In this tutorial, I show you how to make wood and resin surfboard wall art that glows in the dark using reclaimed cypress wood.
Even if you don’t need to make resin wall art, the DIY tips and techniques I share can be applied to any resin or woodworking project.
Keep in mind, this wood and resin surfboard wall art also functions as a table.
There are many things which are difficult to explain with words and images, so be sure to checkout the video tutorial below.
Tools and Material
- Epoxy Resin
- Sky Blue Pearl Pigment
- Neutral Sky Blue Glow Powder
- Transparent Blue Dye
- Sapphire Pearl Pigment Powder
- Fluorescent Blue Glow Powder
- Pearl White Pigment Powder
- 1 Quart Containers
- Stir Sticks
- Latex Gloves
- Silicone Caulk
- Packing Tape
- General Finishes Satin Oil & Urethane Top Coat
- Furniture Wax
- Painters Tape
- Double-Sided Pencils
- Kraft Paper
- Shop Rags
- Foam Brush
- 1/8″ piece of Melamine 4’x4′ – Local Hardware Store
- Scrap Pieces of Wood for Mold – Anywhere
- Brad Nailer
- F Clamps
- Jig Saw
- Block Hand Plane
- Trim Router
- 1/2″ Roundover Router Bit
- Straight Router Bit
- Router Pad
- Rubber Mallet
- Black Light
- Dremel Tool
- Festool RO125 Rotary Sander
- Festool Vacuum CT-SYS
- Sandpaper Grits
- Solder and Lights
- Razor Blade
- Hot Glue Gun
- Hairpin Legs
- Screws for Hairpin Legs
Making Resin and Wood Wall Art
I obtained this piece of Cypress wood from a local cypress sawmill in Louisiana.
This piece of cypress was in the scrap wood pile, so I grabbed it on my way out after I received permission from the owner.
Ultimately, this piece of cypress wood was located at the top of the trunk just before the tree split into 2 main branches.
The wood sort of looked similar to a pair of pants.
Regardless, I liked it and knew I could make something unique with it.
This piece of cypress sat around my shop for months until I finally decided to run it through my planer to get a better view of the grain.
The grain of this cypress wood is simply beautiful, so I decided to start my project the following week.
Surfboard Wall Art
As you know if you follow my projects, my family and I love anything that has to do with the ocean.
In turn, I decided to make a resin and wood surfboard that can be wall art or a small table.
So, it is time to walk you through the steps on how to make resin and wood wall art that glows.
Prepare Resin Mold
I prepared the resin mold for this epoxy resin wood art by using the same piece of 1/8″ melamine I used on my Sand Dollar River Glow Table.
First, I used my air compressor to remove loose debris.
Next, I applied furniture wax to the bottom of the table before laying the cypress wood on top.
Then, I used my brad nailer with 1.5″ brad nails to secure scrap 1x2s to the back and 2 sides of the wood.
Also, I covered the scrap pieces of wood with packing tape covered with furniture wax to prevent sticking.
Next, I clamped a scrap piece of 2×4 on top of the table to hold it down.
Then, I used a scrap 2×4 on the opposite.
This 2×4 was severely warped, which was fine since it resembled the shape of a surfboard side.
While the boards were secured with clamps, I sealed the wood on the inside and outside of the table with silicone caulk.
First Resin Pour
I wanted the void in the middle of the table to be transparent blue and the side of the table to be opaque blue.
Essentially, the transparent blue resin part of the resin and wood wall art would be shallow water and the opaque blue would represent deeper water.
First, I mixed 1 large batch of epoxy resin and split them equally in 2 different containers.
Next, I put one drop of transparent blue dye in one container and sky blue pearl pigment powder in the other container.
Also, I used transparent resin on this resin wall art project as well.
Then, I added sky blue pearl pigment powder and neutral sky blue glow powder to the second container.
I mixed the pigment and glow powder for roughly 3 minutes.
Quick Tip for Resin Measuring and Mixing
As a quick tip, always use the inside of the measuring cup when pouring resin as opposed to outside.
By using the inside, you will be much more accurate.
I use a sequence when mixing resin to make certain it is mixed correctly.
Furthermore, I explain my method in the video at the top of this page.
First, I poured the transparent blue resin within the void.
Once the transparent blue resin reached the end of wood and resin surfboard, I poured the opaque blue.
Next, I covered the section on side of the wood and resin art with the opaque blue resin.
The depth of the resin pour ended up being about 3/8″.
Then, I used my heat gun to remove bubbles and further blend the resin.
Second Resin Pour
First, I mixed a large batch of resin the following day and split the resin into 3 different containers.
The first container contained transparent blue dye, the second contained sky blue pearl pigment, and the third contained sapphire blue pigment.
Additionally, I added fluorescent blue glow powder to the second and third containers.
Next, I poured these in a methodical way to facilitate proper blending and color patterns.
Third Resin Pour
First, I mixed pearl white pigment with a small batch of resin immediately after the second resin pour.
Next, I drizzled this resin in front of the sapphire blue resin on side of the wood and resin surfboard.
Essentially, the purpose of this white is to represent wave crests and crashing waves.
Then, I blended the resin together with my heat gun until the pearl white pigment looked cool to me.
Fourth Resin Pour
First, I mixed a medium sized batch of resin with transparent blue dye immediately following the third resin pour.
I needed more transparent blue dye to pour in the void to push the opaque resin back out to sea.
The darker blue was creeping into the transparent dye too much.
Additionally, I needed about 1/8″ more to complete the resin pour and move to the next step.
Next, I used my heat gun to blend the resin and remove bubbles.
Then, I let the resin cure for 24 hours.
Making Resin and Wood Wall Art that Glows – Black Light Test
While the resin was curing, I tested the glow powder with a black light.
The black light quickly charges the glow powder and it is a great way to test the glow powder.
First, I turned off the lights and held the black light on the glow powder for a few seconds.
The longer the black light shines on the glow powder, the brighter the resin glows.
Ultimately, I find shining the black light for 3 to 5 seconds provides an accurate representation of how bright the resin will glow.
Two days after the fourth resin pour, I removed the resin mold with relative ease.
I used a rubber mallet to tap on the sides until the wood and resin wall art releases.
Next, I lifted the wood and resin surfboard from the melamine easily.
Rough Sanding of Resin and Wood Wall Art
After I removed the resin and wood wall art from the mold, I used my festool RO125 sander with 40 grit sandpaper to rough sand the entire piece.
Ultimately, the purpose of this step is to get the resin and wood surfboard as flat as possible by removing the high spots and rough areas.
I realize the festool sanders are more expensive than most sanders. However, this is when they are worth every penny.
Additionally, the dust collection on this sanders catch the majority of resin and wood dust particles.
In order to accomplish this epoxy resin wood art without it, I would need an orbital sander, belt sander, and twice the amount of time.
First, I used Kraft paper and covered one side of the board.
Next, I flipped the board over and cut out the Kraft paper the exact size of the board.
Or, as close as possible to exact.
Then, I flipped the resin and wood surfboard over again.
I folded the Kraft paper in half, sketched a half moon, and cut it out with a pair of scissors making sure to stay just outside the lines.
Next, I used painters tape to tape the wood and resin surfboard template to the board.
Then, I traced it with a pencil and used my jigsaw to cut it out just outside the line.
Finally, I used my rotary sander with 40 grit sandpaper to sand up to the pencil line.
After the rough sanding was complete, I used my trim router with a 1/2″ roundover bit to roundover the top and bottom.
To shape the resin and wood wall art to look like a real surfboard, I used my sander with 40 grit sandpaper along with my block plane.
First, I flipped the surfboard around (top facing down) and I removed the material with my 40 grit sandpaper. I started at the tip and worked by way back to create the upward angle.
Next, I used my block plane to smooth out any indentions from the sander. 40 grit sandpaper is a very course grit and removes material very quickly. Consequently, it causes indentations on the board.
Solder LED Lights and Battery
Even though this surfboard will glow without LED lights, I decided to add them to the bottom in case the resin and wood wall art is placed in an area with low light.
Furthermore, the resin and wood surfboard is meant to be wall art. Therefore, I used a rechargeable battery with an on/off switch to prevent the need for a power cord or wall outlet behind it.
First, I soldered 2 small LED light strips together.
Soldering is a great skill to learn as it can be used in many different applications. Checkout this post for more detail on how to solder LED light strips.
Next, I used my heat gun to heat the shrink wrap in order to protect the solder.
Then, I soldered a male plug to one end of one LED light strip. This male connector will connect to the battery to power the lights.
Finally, I connected the LED light strips to the rechargeable battery to make sure they work. And, they did. :)
Hidden Battery Compartment
The battery is about 1″ thick, which would create a space between the wall and the resin and wood wall art.
So, I decided to use my router with a straight bit and create a small compartment in the back of the surfboard. Also, I made the compartment to fit the battery charger both horizontally and vertically.
First, I drew the outline. Next, I used my dremel tool to create a pathway to start my router.
I removed 1/8 of material at a time until the I reached 3/4″, which allowed the battery to slightly protrude to access the switch.
This allows access to the on/off switch without needing to take the wall art from the wall.
Then, I used my chisel to clean up the edges.
Sanding Resin and Wood Wall Art
Now, to the fun part of the resin and wood wall art project. I’m kidding, it is my least favorite part of any project. However, it is very important.
First, I used 80 grit sandpaper to sand the top and bottom with my festool sander.
Next, I worked my way through the grit sequence
Then, I wiped the surface with a damp rag to raise the grain and sanded with 320 grit sandpaper.
Oil and Urethane Satin Finish
After sanding, I proceeded to applying a finish to the resin and wood wall art.
Although this finish works, it is not on my list of best finishes for epoxy wood projects.
I used an oil based urethane Satin finish by General finishes on the top and bottom of the resin and wood wall art.
First, I applied the first coat with a lint free rag.
Quick Tip: Smooth out the finish by making a soft circle with the rag and lightly wiping the length of the table.
Next, I hand sanded with 320 grit sandpaper and applied a second coat.
Then, I repeated the process above for the third and final coat.
As I previously stated, this resin and wood wall art can also be an end table or couch table.
So, I used a set of hairpin legs I had in my shop from a previous project.
To install the hairpin legs, I centered the back and front pair both vertically and horizontally.
Next, I marked the holes and drilled pilot holes.
Then, I secured the table with screws.
Install LED Light Strip
After I secured the hairpin legs, I installed the LED light strip.
First, I placed the rechargeable battery in the compartment and secured it with hot glue.
Next, I laid out the LED light strips and peeled off the paper covering the adhesive side.
Then, I pressed them down and secured the LED light strip with hot glue for extra security.
In conclusion, I hope you learned how to make resin and wood wall art that glows and it brought you some form of value.
Let me know in the comments if you prefer the resin and wood wall art or table.