How to Make an Epoxy Picture Frame Like a Boss
November 12, 2018
We are all about sustainability and re-purposing things here at AeroMarine Products! There is no better use of an old wooden pallet than to make a picture frame. Except for a beach bonfire. We love a good bonfire (all the pallet nails removed, of course) on a cool fall evening. But, we also have super cool seashells and stones and beautiful beach glass from our pre-bonfire beach-combing. With all these marvelous materials, we put them together to make a truly fantastic epoxy pallet picture frame. We wanted to start with something simple (the 4-poster bed built exclusively from pallet wood will have to wait until next time) to show off both the epoxy and our awesome beach-combing skills. (Humility came when we tripped over driftwood on our beach glass hunt and face-planted in front of the lifeguards).
One of our incredible AeroMarine Products epoxy specialists will now walk you through the steps so that you can make your very own epoxy pallet picture frame
- Wooden pallet
- AeroMarine Products 300/21 Epoxy Resin and Hardener
- AeroMarine Products 5 minute Epoxy Adhesive
- Saw and hammer and C clamp or something else to hold the wood while you saw.
- Glasses/goggles for eye protection
- Barrier mask for protection from sawdust
- Measuring tape
- Plastic measuring/mixing containers and utensils
- Inexpensive brushes (I used 1 inch chip brushes)
- Painter’s tape
- Sandpaper (I used 100 grit)
- Picture frame hanging/fastener things and the tools to anchor it to the frame. (You can find them at Home Depot, your local hardware store, and Amazon)
- If you like, something to decorate the frame, we used beach glass, shells and pebbles, but you are limited only by your imagination.
Your work area:
- Clean, level work surface, covered in paper or plastic for easier clean-up.
- All materials comfortably within reach.
- 1. Preparing the Pallet Pieces
- First, you need to carefully pull apart the pallet. Put your protective glasses/goggles and mask on and use the the back end of the hammer to pry the slats apart. Carefully remove the nails and throw them away.
- Once you have a nice pile of pallet wood, go through and pick out the four pieces you want to use.
- I used a C clamp to anchor my wood to my workbench so we could use my saw to trim two pieces to 25 inches and two pieces to 27 inches. You can cut your wood smaller or larger depending on what you like.
- 2. Mixing and Applying First Coat of 300/21 Epoxy Resin as a Sealing Coat
- After trimming the wood to size, I laid the pieces out on my plastic covered workbench. I put on my gloves and mixed up about 6 ounces of AeroMarine Products 300/21 Epoxy Resin and used a chip brush to apply it thinly to all the wood pieces. After the epoxy cured (24 hours), I flipped the wood over and sealed the other side with epoxy.
- 3. Using 5 Minute Epoxy Adhesive to Glue Pallet Pieces Together
- Once the seal coat of epoxy was cured (again 24 hours), we used AeroMarine Products 5 Minute Epoxy to glue the pieces of wood together. I mixed up about 2 ounces for each side I was gluing. The 5 Minute Epoxy sets up quickly so I didn’t bother clamping the pieces together. Instead, I just taped them in place for the 5 minutes it took the epoxy to set.
- 4. Applying Second Coat of 300/12 Epoxy Resin
- Now the fun part! I mixed up 6 ounces of AeroMarine Products 300/21 Epoxy and brushed a thin layer all over the picture frame. I was extra careful to make sure my mix ratio was correct (4 ounces 300 Resin to 2 ounces 21 Hardener).
- 5. Arranging SeaShells, Stones and Beach Glass on Pallet Picture Frame
- I sprinkled some beach sand in one corner of the frame and a little down the sides. I arranged the glass, transitioning into stones, then transitioning into shells.
- 6. Curing the 300/21 Epoxy Resin
- Let the epoxy set for 24-48 hours. Because of the small amount of epoxy used, the cure time will be longer than usual 24 hours, unless you heat up the area where the epoxy is curing. Which you can do, of course, with a space heater or your thermostat.
- 7. Top Coating the Seashell, Stone and Beach Glass with 300/21 Epoxy Resin
- After the epoxy cured, I checked to make sure everything was glued down properly. Then I mixed up some more 300/21 Epoxy Resin (6 ounces) and brushed it all over the shells and rocks and spaces in between. I was trying to avoid the beach glass because the epoxy takes away the frosted quality of the glass. However, this proved difficult and I ended up brushing the glass with epoxy too. I let that coat of epoxy cure (24 hours) and then brushed on a final coat.
- 8. Attaching Picture Frame Hanging Hardware
- Last step is attaching hanging hardware to the back of the frame. Follow the directions that came with the hardware. I’m not an expert framer, so when I find a poster I want to put in the frame, I’ll just staple it in. In the mean time, it looks pretty cool just hanging by itself! **Important–Don’t forget to take off your protective eyewear, mask and gloves when you finish for the day. Otherwise, you will get strange looks at Starbucks. Ask us how we know this.
- Final Notes (extra credit if you have read this far)
- That’s it! It was fun, I got some great practice working with pallets and got to use some of my beach stuff collection. Looking at the final product there are a couple things I would do differently next time. 1. I would skip the sand. The pallet wood has such a nice color once the epoxy is on it that I wouldn’t cover it with the dark sand. 2. I would do the whole project, leaving the beach glass off but leaving space for it. Once the epoxy was applied, I’d glue the beach glass down with super glue instead, preserving the frosty look of the glass. Overall, I’m pleased with how it turned out.
If you have questions about this or any other project, give us a call toll-free at 1-877-342-8860 or send us an email at [email protected]