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Make Nesting Epoxy Sample Boards

If you have an epoxy business, sample boards are a vital component to show potential customers different types of patterns, stones, etc. so they can visualize how it could look in their space. Follow these steps to create a sample board with edges that 2 other sample boards can fit into.

1. Cut to Size.

Take a ½-inch thick sheet of MDF, and cut the board to a 12.25” * 18.25” size. (since the other sample boards are 12”*18”, this ensures they will fit inside when done).

Also cut strips 1 ½” thick for the edges. I like to make one of the long edges thicker (using ¾” MDF), to support making a rockface edge on that side. You will want the following sizes when you are finished:

  • (1) * 1/2" thick 12 1/4" Height 18 1/4" Length

  • (2)* 1/2" thick 1 1/2" Height 12 1/4" Length

  • (1)* 3/4" thick 1 1/2" Height 19 1/4" Length

  • (1)* 1/2" thick 1 1/2" Height 19 1/4" Length

2. Glue

I like to use Titebond II wood glue, and glue the edges together. Use bar clamps to hold everything in place until the glue dries.

3. Router the edges

With the glue dry, you can use a router on the edges. Since this is a sample board, make each edge a little different, to match the different possible edges you offer your customer. I like to do the following edges:

· 3/8” roundover bit on top edge and underside: “Half-nose edge”

· ¼” roundover bit on top edge and 1/8” bit on underside: “classic look”

4. Make a rock-face edge on the thick side.

If you offer a rockface edge, add that to your sample board. It’s a great way to help customers visualize the look. You can see the steps for making a rockface edge on a sample board here:

5. Paint the board with an undercoat.

Choose a base color that matches the effect you want to make. (light grey for white boards, tan for earth-tones, dark charcoal for black stones).

6. Epoxy Coat

This step is fun! Use color additives to make the board resemble natural stone. Mix enough epoxy for about 3 - 4 oz. per square foot of the board.

You can see the steps performed to make a sample board with edges here. At the front of the video I show the boards fitting into each other:

7. Clear Coat

Once the epoxy coat with the effects is done, cover over the board with a clear layer of epoxy the next day. This keeps the board color-fast. Use a square notch trowel (1/8th inch square notch works best) to further mix the epoxy on the surface and spread it out evenly. Use a 2” paint brush to chop the epoxy to further mix it, and brush out the sides using long horizontal strokes. Then, use either a blowtorch or a heat gun to pop any bubbles on the surface. (I prefer the torch for this step, it goes a little quicker).

8. Top Coat

If you also offer a scratch-resistant top-coat, I like to mask off part of the board with painters’ tape, and cover part of the board. This way, you can show the difference between the gloss sheen and the top-coats slightly muted sheen. Warning: Many top-coat epoxy products are very skin-sensitive. Wear thick rubber gloves and use a mask. A ventilated area is also recommended. Roll out the product using a 3/8” nap roller, and go over it again with a second, dry-roller at 3/8” nap. This helps improve the texture of the top coat and gives a more professional finish.

Now that you have made a sample board with edges, you are one step closer to taking your show on the road. Check out these related articles to finish making your mobile showroom you can take to your customer’s homes:

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