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Install a Penny Countertop

how to make a coin shine

Replace a boring surface with a cool, durable, and cheap new top.

Shane Selman


We bought some “mold release” spray which I sprayed onto the exposed part of the foil tape before pouring. This turned out to be doubly bad. Not only did the tape not release well from the Epoxy, the mold release contributed to the tape not sealing well against the edge of the old counter material in some places and the epoxy leaking through and either causing bulges in the tape or drips onto the appliances/drawers below (luckily the latter were easy to remove.)

I ended up using a knife to trim the tape off flush, then used a drum sander to remove the bulges and painted the edge black. Then masked the floor and cabinets with paper and let the second coat run over the edge so it’s seamless and shiny.

Next time, I would do it by picking an edge I wanted to be there permanently and applying it first, making sure it left an appropriate lip. Then I would do multiple layers with the goal of ending flush with the trim.


We bought ours at Lowe’s. By the gallon I think it was around $60. A quart was like $48, so when we needed more, we bought another gallon. It’s not cheap, but for the counter at least, it worked out to $7.50/sf including the pennies which is less than half of the $17/sf it would have cost for Lowe’s to install a cheap laminate counter top in its place, and almost 1/10th of what granite or quartz would have cost.

That would be cool! I think it would be best done by building one of those sorting machines that could read the coloring and construct the image for you.

You don’t want to mix more than 1qt at a time really. The Epoxy cures somewhat as an exothermic reaction. The more you mix at once, the more heat it will generate and the shorter work time you will have. So the instructions say not to use larger batches unless you’re really

experienced. That’s also why you don’t want to do overly deep pours in one shot.

As long as you don’t let dirt or dust come in contract with it between pours, there is no problem seaming multiple pours together. (Don’t do it while doing construction in another room.) The instructions recommend wiping it off with Acetone or similar solvent to be sure no oils or anything will interfere with adhesion.


Sorry for the slow response. I would recommend going with something a little harder than we used – like the system 3 stuff, and I would *definitely* make sure you put down the marine varnish. It smells nasty, but it renders it nearly immune to solvent damage, and makes it much more rigid than just the epoxy. We lived with ours for four years, and left it in place when we moved. If was good enough condition that the property owner left it in place, and the new owners still adore it. We have no kids, but we cook and we bake extensively, and it survived many, many parties and baking sessions with flying colors.

Warm items are okay, hot items are a definite bad idea. We worked around it by keeping a felt bottomed granite sink cut out on part of the counter. The felt kept the granite from scratching the surface, and was the perfect surface for hot stuff – we even use them to cool cakes and brittles.

One of the best things about this in terms of durability is that it is infinitely patchable. If it gets scratched up, all you have to do is sand it smooth and put down a new skim coat and it is as good as new – the epoxy fills the scratches in perfectly.


Agreed. We have switched over to the System III line ( we still aren’t doing a tremendous amount of this, and the other commercial resins are rather expensive to experiment with ).

It’s a bit harder to work with – more prone to micro bubbles, but the final outcome is more than worth it.

Category: Bank

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