Building your own countertop with pebbles and resin gives you complete control over the color, pattern and thickness of the final product. You can use as many or as few colors as you like, mix different sizes and shapes of pebbles, or create a custom design using contrasting colors or pebbles with glittering flecks of mica or crystals.
1. Frame It
Construct a frame around the edge of the plywood or countertop base to serve as both a decorative border and a barrier that keeps the resin in place when you pour it on the countertop. The frame can be wood, metal, tile or any decorative material that will withstand regular daily use of the countertop. Make sure that the corners or any joints are tightly affixed so that the resin does not seep through.
2. Prime It
Make sure the countertop base is smooth, dry and clean. Mix up a small amount of resin and pour a thin layer onto the countertop. This layer will prime the countertop for the thicker layer that contains the pebbles. The thick layer will adhere tightly to the first thin layer and prevent the entire piece from lifting from the base.
3. Pour It
Combine a batch of mixed resin and clean, dry pebbles. Pour the mixture onto the primed countertop base and smooth it out with a small 2-inch trowel to an even depth. Leave enough space at the top, at least 1/4 inch but more if desired, to pour a final top coat of clear resin. To prevent the resin from sticking to the trowel, wipe it off regularly with a citrus-based wood refinishing solution.
4. Pack It
Pack and level the pebble and resin mixture with a regular trowel before it sets to create a nice even surface. Use even pressure and press the pebbles into place to push out any air pockets. If you want to create any slope or angle on the countertop, such as higher edges and a lower center, do it during this stage, before the resin sets.
5. Finish It
Let the resin cure for three to four days, then pour a finishing layer of resin over the top. If you want a textured surface, pour just enough to coat the top of the pebbles. For a smooth surface, pour a thicker layer of resin on top. Allow the top layer to cure for at least 72 hours, or as recommended by the resin manufacturer, before using the countertop.
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