How to Simulate a River Bed in Epoxy
A customer asks, “I recently saw what looks like a creek bed built out of epoxy with stones in it. How is this done in epoxy?”
Here are the steps to do it:
- Choose your stone. The stone that you choose can be uniform in size or a blend of stone sizes and shapes. If bigger stone is going to be used, it is recommended that you use a blend of larger stone with smaller stone. Variations in shape will also help to increase the amount of surface area holding the system together, making it stronger. Be sure the stone is clean and completely dry before attempting any of the steps below.
- Make a mock-up of the complete system below in a small box made out of plywood or similar material. This will verify everything from stone selection, to aesthetics, to stone durability. It is also gives you a chance to practice your procedure,and get additional phone tech support from us if required before you proceed with your project.
- Construct the recessed area that your river will “flow”. That could be a recessed area in a concrete floor, a wooded shadow box or some other “box” to hold your river. Be sure the box is watertight and that the surface is properly prepared before proceeding –www.epoxy.com/surfaceprep.aspx
- Prime the area created in step 3 with Epoxy.com Product #12 – www.epoxy.com/12.aspx at a rate of 250-300SF per gallon. Allow to cure until hard to the touch, typically 6-8 hours
- After the Primer in Step 4 is hard to the touch and before 24 hours has passed, apply a coat of Epoxy.com Product #1 – http://www.epoxy.com/1.aspx – 100% solids General Purpose Epoxy Coating to the bottom of the box created in Step 3. This will help to give you a consistent background color. Black helps give you the illusion of infinite depth.
- Optionally you can add a second coat of the #1 Pigmented Epoxy Coating to increase color intensity.
- On the other hand if the stone in Step 6 is so deep that you will not be able to see through it you can skip this step and proceed to step 6.
- Allow the epoxy in Step 5 to cure hard to the touch before proceeding, typically 10-12 hours. Do not wait more than 24 hours before moving on to Step 6.
- Properly mix Epoxy.com Product #17 – www.epoxy.com/17.aspx – Epoxy Stone Adhesive Part A and Part B. Add your stone into the mixed stone adhesive. The amount of stone that you will be able to add to it will vary depending on size and how clean the stone is. 100 lbs per 3 quart batch (2 QT “A” and 1 QT “B”) is a good starting point. This ratio should be verified in a mockup before proceeding to this step. Mix in the stone until a uniform shine can be see on all the stone. Install this mix into your “box” at the desired thickness. Be sure to pack it in tightly and level to the desired surface. Allow to harden overnight. Do not wait more than 24 hours before moving on to Step 7.
- Properly mix and pour Epoxy.com Product #214 – www.epoxy.com/214.aspx – Table Top and Casting Epoxy into the spaces between the rock in step 6. You typically will want to pour a minimum of 1/8 inch or not more than 1/2 inch at a time. Take care to break any bubbles as you go early and often. This is typically easy to do using a hair dryer and/or Isopropyl (rubbing alcohol mist). Allow each layer to harden and cool before adding another lift. Never wait more than 24 hours in between coats and/or pours of epoxy.
When you complete this project it will look like a stone riverbed filled with \ water. You can also experiment with other objects in your stone mix. Contact Epoxy.com Technical Support with your questions: firstname.lastname@example.org or 352-533-2167