A DIY epoxy resin tray is a great piece for decor and serving tools. Besides, you can even gift it to your loved ones. Best of all, anyone can easily create a unique epoxy serving tray. You just need to be creative and have some epoxy resin. On top of that, you can embed some beautiful items to customize your serving tray.
But where do you get started? Don’t worry! In this tutorial, I’ll show you how to make a beautiful resin serving tray. Ready to learn? Let’s get started then!
Some Creative Epoxy Resin Tray Ideas
1. Wood Tray
Pouring epoxy on a wood serving tray is one of the most popular ideas out there. If you don’t have woodworking skills or tools, look for a pre-made wood tray. The tray features raised edges, enabling it to contain epoxy effectively.
2. Ocean Serving Tray
An ocean-themed epoxy tray is an incredible gift. Not to forget that you can make one in a few hours. To do this project, you need live edge wood and some tools. Afterward, pour your epoxy and create beautiful waves with your heating tool.
3. Marble Tray
Combining marble and epoxy is another interesting project that you can undertake. This is because you can tint the resin to any color you can think of. Besides, the process is quite simple and the marbled look comes out amazing!
4. Seashell Serving Tray
If you’re into coastal decor, I’d suggest you make a beautiful seashell beach tray. Thankfully, with epoxy and the right materials, you can easily create one. This enables you to convert your seaside treasures into a pretty DIY serving tray. Thus making your coastal decor elegant and beautiful. Moreover, you can use this decorative tray for serving drinks and snacks.
As you can see, there are various ideas you can use to make a resin serving tray. In this tutorial, however, I’ll show you how to transform a simple wooden tray with epoxy. Now, let’s have a look at the materials you need for the project!
Things You Need to Make a Resin Tray
- Two-part resin
- Unfinished wood tray
- Measuring cups
- Heat gun/ propane torch
- 220-grit sandpaper
- Decorative items
- Painter’s tape
- Polish cream/ cutting board oil
After gathering all the necessary supplies, let’s jump into the actual project!
Steps for Making an Epoxy Serving Tray
Step 1: Personal Preparation & Safety
Like any other resin project, your safety should always come first. So, before you start working on your resin serving tray, put on all the necessary PPE. In this case, you’ll need disposable gloves, eye protection, and a respirator mask.
Step 2: Prepare the Working Area
First, cover the surface with plastic or paper. This protects the working surface from any resin mishaps that may occur. Also, make sure the room has adequate ventilation and lighting. Lastly, make sure you’ve got a type of covering box prepared in advance. That way, you can cover your resin tray while it cures to protect it from contaminants and dust.
Step 3: Choose and Prepare a Tray
Serving trays are available in different shapes, sizes, and materials. Remember, epoxy resin adheres to most materials out there. So, you can either choose a tray that’s made up of wood, acrylic, or even metal.
However, I suggest that you avoid pieces crafted from flimsy, bendable plastic.
The best thing about working with a tray is that you don’t need a mold.
Instead, the poured epoxy stays on the tray, so you don’t have to remove it after curing. As for the size and shape, feel free to choose any tray you want. For instance, you can either use a square, rectangle, or round piece.
In this project, I’ll stick to a square, decent-sized wooden serving tray.
To prepare your tray, apply 2-3 quick layers of an all-purpose sealer to its interior surface. This helps to cover any existing colors and patterns. After painting, leave it to dry completely.
Step 4: Arrange Decorative Items: Optional
Although this process is optional, it’s a great way to customize your project. Some of these items include; driftwood slices, glitter flakes, seashells, and mosaic tiles.
Arrange them on the tray one by one to get the desired pattern. If you don’t like the pattern, just reposition them. More importantly, glue down your pieces with sealer or glue. Otherwise, the pieces will float to the surface when your pour epoxy. Leave the decorative items to air dry.
Step 5: Determine the Amount of Resin
As I stated above, serving boards come in various shapes and sizes. The shape and size of your serving board will determine the amount of epoxy you need. For instance, large-sized trays need more resin than small trays.
The easiest way to calculate that is by pouring water into your tray. Then measure how many ounces it can hold. Nonetheless, I suggest that you mix up a little more epoxy than that amount.
Step 6: Mixing & Pouring Epoxy
Next, it’s time to mix and pour your resin. For best results, read the instructions before you mix the hardener and resin. Also, use a drop cloth, wax paper, or newspaper to cover your board. On the same note, put several layers of painter’s tape/ masking tape to protect its outer sides. More notably, put the board on a well-balanced table/ platform for uniform curing.
Pour equal amounts of hardener and resin into a mixing cup and stir for about 2 minutes. Transfer the mixture to a clean mixing cup and mix for another minute. Pour the epoxy onto your tray’s center immediately after mixing.
And gently spread it in one direction over the whole surface. You can use a rubber squeegee/ plastic spreader for that. When the pour starts to harden, stop spreading it right away. Doing so allows it to self-level while it cures.
Step 7: Eliminate Air Bubbles
After pouring epoxy, bubbles will rise to the surface. To dissolve these bubbles, pass a propane torch/ heat gun over the mixture while it’s still wet. Once that’s done, cover your DIY resin piece with a covering box and leave it to cure. The curing process usually takes about 24 hours.
Step 8: Finish the Epoxy Surface
Once the epoxy has dried completely, it’s time to finish your serving board. Start by removing the painter’s tape. Then sand it smooth with the 220-grit sandpaper to clean it up. Lastly, finish your piece with polish cream to make it shiny.
How to Maintain Your Epoxy Resin Tray
The best way to clean your resin serving board is to use a non-abrasive damp microfiber cloth. Never use abrasive materials like wire wool scrubbers and steel brushes. You’ll also need diluted, mild dish soap and warm water.
To wash the surface, lightly wash it with a damp cloth, pat it dry and leave it to air dry.
Moving on, to protect the surface from water and stains, finish it with a cutting board oil. When the finish starts to turn dull or cloud, reapply the cutting board oil. This helps it to maintain protection and refresh the finish for many years to come.
You can either use a paper towel or your hand to apply the cutting board oil. Afterward, gently buff the surface with a paper towel or soft cloth. Alternatively, you can protect the wood surface by applying a beeswax product.
To protect the wood tray from cracking or splitting, lightly coat the surface with food-safe oil. Moreover, keep it away from excessive sunlight and heat.
Lastly, never put your wood pieces in a dishwasher or submerge them in water.
Is Resin Tray Safe for Serving Food? How Toxic is it?
Epoxy has several uses in the kitchen. For instance, it’s used to make cutting boards, knives, serving trays, and tumblers. Thanks to its effectiveness as a coating and adhesive material. Besides, it works well with any type of metal, wood, fiberglass, and more.
But is it safe to eat from an epoxy-coated surface?
In general, liquid epoxy is toxic, while cured epoxy is non-toxic. So, in its cured state, you can safely eat from an epoxy serving board. This is because it doesn’t release any smell or taste to the food placed on it.
Also, your health will not be endangered by consuming food placed on the surface. This may not apply to all epoxy resin products though!
For instance, some epoxies may contain harmful ingredients. In that case, eating from such surfaces may have certain harmful effects on your health. For this reason, when buying epoxy for making a serving tray, check with the manufacturer if it’s food-safe or not.
To learn more about whether the epoxy resin is toxic or not, click here!
There you’ve it- how to make a beautiful resin serving tray. Just follow the steps highlighted above and you can easily create one yourself. However, if you intend to use the tray for serving food, always look for food-safe products.
On top of that, carefully follow the manufacturer’s recommendations and directions.
If you’ve enjoyed this guide, leave a comment or feedback down below!
1. How much epoxy do you need to make one tray?
Trays come in different sizes and shapes. So, the amount of epoxy needed to make one tray will vary depending on these factors. In other words, to get a rough estimate, you need to consider the dimensions of your tray. Then use them to determine their volume in ounces.
2. Can I wash my resin tray?
Yes! You’ll need some warm water and mild soap. Gently wash the surface with a damp microfiber cloth and leave it to air dry.
3. How do I care for my resin tray?
There are various ways to care for your resin tray. First, you should clean it with warm water and mild soap. While doing this, avoid using abrasive materials. Instead, use non-abrasive materials like a soft microfiber cloth. Second, regularly polish the surface with quality cutting board oil.
This will keep it in good condition and renew its finish.
4. Can you pour epoxy on a wood tray?
Why not! The epoxy resin adheres to most surfaces out there and the wood tray is not an exception. Besides, you can apply it to other materials like metal, fiberglass, and acrylic.