Decoupage (pronounced: dey-koo-pahzh) in relation to home bars describes an artistic technique of arranging pieces of memorabilia on your bar top and then sealing them in a layer of two part epoxy. This creative technique will give your home bar project that special touch and make a great conversation piece while preserving your memories forever. Decoupage also allows you to creatively cover up any seams or imperfections in your bar top sheeting.
Beautiful Decoupage Bar Top
Decoupage items might include:
- The ubiquitous travel stamps or luggage tags
- Beer bottle caps or labels
- Unique liquor bottle labels
- Wine corks
- Collectable drink coasters
- Concert or sporting event tickets
- Cocktail napkins
- Tile patterns
- Autographed baseball cards
- Hockey pucks or sticks
- Baseball halves or mini bats
- Speeding tickets
- Marriage or divorce papers
- Awards or citations
- Collectable Stamps
- Coins or Paper Money
- Old Records or CD's
- Album covers
- Old match books
- Casino Tokens
- Anything else you want to preserve for eternity
The Decoupage Process:
Decoupage is a popular way to finish off your bar top and it's very easy to do. Just arrange your items in a creative and visually appealing way, then be sure the items won't move during the epoxy pouring process. A glue stick or hot glue gun can help. Flimsy items like cocktail napkins need to sit flat, while stiffer items like drink coasters and wine corks can be positioned on riser boards or placed in a trough (see photos for an example of this).
Thicker items like baseballs, mini bats or hockey pucks need to be reduced in thickness either by cutting the item itself into layers (not desirable) or more preferably by counter sinking the bar top; making exact fit through holes to snugly fit the item. This can be tricky, but the photos below show that it can indeed be accomplished with amazing results. Again, the hot glue gun or silicone caulk from below will prevent leaks around items when you pour.
Pour It On!
Once everything is in place you are ready to pour on the two part epoxy. I recommend using Envirotex Lite. Envirotex comes as a two part epoxy resin which needs to be mixed thoroughly before pouring it on. No need to rush as it takes over 24 hours to set and up to several weeks for a full cure. In the first few days, if you set a beer glass on the bar top, it will leave an indentation. Don't worry though, the indentation will gradually disappear.
Envirotex is a self leveling epoxy resin which is why you get a glass like surface once it's cured. The biggest trick is making sure you have a fully seal perimeter before you start pouring or all the expensive epoxy will wind up on your floor. As a mixed liquid, it has a very low viscosity and will stay that was for up to 6 or more hours. Eventually it will start to harden, but very, very slowly, especially with a thick pour. Patience is required.
Flame Out the Bubbles:
Envirotex is not flammable at all, in fact the best way to drive out tiny air bubbles is to use a propane torch which forces air to the surface. Most bubbles make their way out on their own, but the torch method works great to speed the process. Just be sure you didn't apply fresh polyurethane instead of Envirotex or your bar will go up in flames.
Below are some sources for Envirtex at very good prices compare to hardware stores and home centers.
Below that are also a few dozen photos from projects site members have created. Have Fun!
The 32 oz kit is good enough for a thin layer or test project.
[amazonjs asin="B000BZYYQ0" locale="US" title="Environmental Technology 32-Ounce Kit Lite Pour-On, High Gloss Finish"]
The 128 oz kit is good for a thick pour to cover larger decoupage items and bar tops.
[amazonjs asin="B000LNW022" locale="US" title="Environmental Technology 128-Ounce Kit Lite Pour-On, High Gloss Finish"]