Bottle cap bar tops and tabletops are unique and eye-catching ways to spice up your home or business with epoxy resin. They’re an ideal choice for bars, man caves, restaurants, and other areas that focus on entertaining. Not only are they aesthetically pleasing and easy to customize with different colors, but they also have the practical benefit of a surface protected from spills, scratches, and other types of damage.
This type of tabletop/bar top is made by embedding bottle caps within an epoxy resin finish. Our UltraClear Bar and Table Top Epoxy is an incredibly strong material that is used for a variety of applications including castings, laminates, coatings, and more. It's highly resistant to temperature shifts and chemicals, making it perfect for use in a bar setting.
Overall, a bottle cap bar top or tabletop is an excellent way to add visual appeal and practicality to any space, with enduring results that will last for years to come!
Learn how to make your own epoxy bottle cap bar top or tabletop with our project guide below.
Step 1: Gather the necessary supplies and equipment.
The first thing you’ll want to do before you begin the crafting process is to make sure you have all of the supplies and equipment you’ll need to see it through without any major issues occurring. Imagine how awkward it would be to realize you forgot something essential—halfway through building your epoxy bottle cap bar top.
With that in mind, we’ve made this handy list to help ensure you acquire the necessary tools and supplies. We’ll assume you’ve already decided on your substrate material (such as wood) for your tabletop/bar top. If you haven’t, we’ve written a blog post about which materials bond best with epoxy.
- UltraClear Bar and Table Top Epoxy: Our own premium line of epoxy has earned top marks in durability, corrosion resistance, and waterproofing. Though there are many different brands out there, you’ll find no other that can match the clean transparency and physical sturdiness of UltraClear Epoxy. You can use our Epoxy Resin Coverage Calculator to determine how much epoxy you’ll need for your project.
- Bottle caps: We can’t provide these, but we imagine you have your own ideas on which bottle caps to use. There are numerous bottle cap designs of different colors, patterns, and even branding that you can collect. Use your own artistic sense to decide how you intend to display them.
- Nitrile or butyl gloves: We value your safety. That’s why we always recommend you wear nitrile or butyl gloves when handling uncured epoxy resin. Safety first!
- Graduated mixing containers: We sell two types of graduated mixing containers. Our one-quart containers are used for mixing seal coat batches, and our five-quart containers are used for mixing flood coat batches. For very small projects, you can stick with just the quart-sized containers. However, note that these containers cannot be reused. You’ll need a fresh container for each batch of epoxy you intend to mix. Make sure you have enough!
- An electric drill and mixing drill bit: Most DIY enthusiasts will already have an electric drill, but you’ll also need a mixing drill bit. These are used to mix gallon-sized batches in our five-quart containers. If you won’t be using the five-quart mixing containers, you can skip this particular accessory. Otherwise, you can find both the mixing drill bit and an electric cordless drill in our online store, so order whichever you need.
- A paintbrush with strong bristles: This is necessary for applying a seal coat to nestle your bottle caps in. The seal coat will be what keeps them from floating when you pour your flood coat batch near the end of the crafting process. We offer excellent brushes in our online store, and you can also get them from most hardware stores.
- Stir sticks: A pair of these reusable oval-pass hole stir sticks will be perfect for your entire project. These are used for hand mixing/blending small batches of epoxy resin with the epoxy hardener. Generally, this will be your seal coat batch, though small projects may also use them for mixing flood coats as well.
- A propane torch or a heat gun: This item is absolutely essential for ensuring a crystal-clear finish on your epoxy project. It will be used near the end to remove any air bubbles that develop after pouring your flood coat. We recommend a propane torch a little more than a heat gun, but both will do an exceptional job of clearing out air bubbles, and we even offer a very reliable heat gun in our store. You can find propane torches at many hardware and home improvement stores.
- (optional) N95 masks: If your workspace has poor ventilation, we recommend you wear an N95 mask while in the area. The fumes from epoxy resin aren’t serious, but if they build up due to poor ventilation they can cause some symptoms, particularly for people with a respiratory illness.
- (optional) Acrylic caulk: If your project has raised edges, you can use this acrylic caulk to seal them and ensure no resin leaks through.
- (optional) Space heaters: Epoxy cures best in a specific temperature range of 75°F to 80°F. If your project environment doesn’t have a way to maintain that, you can use space heaters to control the temperature and keep it high enough for the curing process.
- (optional) Painters plastic, PVC pipe, and duct tape: You can use these three items to construct a temporary enclosure to work within. It will enable your space heaters (if you have them) to maintain the appropriate temperature during your curing phase. These are only necessary if you have no other way to do so.
Step 2: Prepare your workspace.
This step is fairly straightforward. Once you’ve obtained everything you need, it’s time to set up the work area of your epoxy bottle cap project.
First, remove any unnecessary flammable materials or objects from the area. For preparing your substrate, take a look at our blog post on clean project surfaces. We also recommend that you read our blog post on epoxy seal coats, as this will give you a general idea of typical seal coat application, though the version for bottle cap projects described below is slightly different. Orders of our UltraClear Epoxy always include a detailed set of instructions, which you can use as a reference.
You should also cover any non-substrate surfaces you want to keep clean (e.g., your floor) with painters plastic. This will protect those surfaces from resin accidents or spills. It’s always good to plan for potential mistakes. If your workspace has poor ventilation, we recommend wearing an N95 mask while in that area.
Make sure everything you’ll be using is organized in a convenient location that you’re aware of. You don’t want to be searching for something during a time-sensitive part of the process. Double-check the area at the end for any potential hazards you might have missed.
Note: If your project will require a temporary enclosure for climate control, make sure you set that up and keep it clean inside.
Step 3: Begin your epoxy bottle cap tabletop/bar top project.
It’s finally time to start working on the project itself. There will be two curing phases during the project, after which your project will be complete and usable.
Note: The following steps are relatively easy, but you’ll only have five minutes to start applying the epoxy after blending, whether painting it on or pouring. As long as you know what to do and have all of your materials in a convenient location, you’ll encounter no problems. Double-check to make sure you have everything before you begin.
- Mix up a seal coat batch: Using a one-quart container, add a 50:50 mix of our UltraClear Bar and Table Top epoxy resin and hardener components. For the measurements, this should be no more than 16 oz. of each component (32 oz. combined)—make sure you don’t use more than that in one seal coat batch. If your project is smaller, you may need less of it. You can mix up a second batch using a fresh one-quart container if your first batch was not enough. Once you’ve done that, just use your stir sticks to manually blend the components together. This should take about two to three minutes. Be sure to scrape the sides and bottom of your container to prevent either component from sticking to the interior.
- Immediately apply the seal coat batch: Use your paintbrush to apply the blended epoxy to your substrate, which is the surface you’ll be pouring a flood coat on. The key here is to make sure it’s a thick enough coat to place the bottle caps afterward. This is very important, as it will ensure they stay affixed to the surface and don’t float upward when you pour your flood coat.
- Immediately place your bottle caps into the seal coat: Press them into the seal coat firmly in any position or pattern you like.
- Allow the epoxy to cure for 24 hours: Once you’ve finished affixing your bottle caps, you’ll need to give your epoxy seal coat 24 hours to cure. Remember to keep the temperature in that space within 75°F to 80°F.
Step 4: Mix and pour your flood coat.
- Measure your flood coat batch: Using your five-quart container, add your epoxy resin and hardener in equal 50:50 proportions—no more than one gallon combined. For flood coats which require more than a gallon, you’ll need to use a separate container to mix up the remaining amount needed after mixing and pouring the current batch.
- Blend your flood coat batch: Use an electric drill with a mixing drill bit on medium speed to carefully blend the flood coat batch for about five minutes. You can use a stir stick halfway through to scrape the sides and attain a comprehensive blend. Don’t lift the drill bit too high while spinning, as it may draw air into the resin mix.
- Immediately pour your flood coat batch: After mixing, you’ll want to start pouring right away, as the epoxy will have already begun the curing process. Just smoothly pour the epoxy from the container onto your bottle cap project substrate. It will self-level on its own, so you just need to make sure that the intended surface area is covered. Your bottle caps should be submerged, but if they’re taller than the natural self-leveling layer of flood coat, you’ll be able to add a second layer later, which we’ll explain below.
- Remove any air bubbles that have formed: After pouring your flood coat layer, you’ll have 15 minutes to remove any air bubbles that have formed by using a propane torch or heat gun. Though they both handle similarly here, we’ll provide steps for each.
- Caution: Do not apply heat after 15 minutes have passed, as the epoxy will be in a partially cured state that is more susceptible to heat damage.
- Using a heat gun to remove air bubbles: Hold the heat gun a few inches away from the epoxy surface and smoothly move back and forth over the entire area. Don’t linger for more than a second over any spot; simply maintain consistent movement until you’ve passed over the entire epoxy area.
- Using a propane torch to remove air bubbles: Hold the propane torch a few inches away from the epoxy surface, moving smoothly back and forth over the entire area. Don’t linger for more than a second, and be absolutely sure not to let the flame touch the epoxy surface, as it will likely cause heat damage. Maintain consistent movement until you’ve passed over the entire epoxy area.
- Checking for any remaining air bubbles: After completing a single, comprehensive pass, you should lower yourself to eye level and examine the surface of your epoxy for any leftover air bubbles. This angle will make them easier to see, as light is deflected differently by their distinctive shapes. Just use your torch or heat gun to clear out these residual bubbles.
- (optional) Add additional flood coat layers as needed: At this point, if your bottle caps still aren’t fully submerged within the epoxy resin, you may need a second flood coat layer. To do this, simply wait 4 hours after removing any air bubbles, then repeat Step 4 entirely.
Note: Our UltraClear Bar and Table Top Epoxy self-levels at ⅛ of an inch; it should not be poured in layers thicker than that, as doing so will introduce significantly more air bubbles and may lead to an uneven surface. Instead, follow the optional instructions above to properly create a deeper finish.
Step 5: Allow your epoxy project to cure.
This is the final step. Make sure your environment is still maintaining a suitable temperature of 75°F to 80°F, then let it cure for a full, uninterrupted 72 hour period. Make sure not to disturb or move the project during this time, as it may cause imperfections to the hardening surface. After these 72 hours have passed, your project is now complete, and your epoxy surface will be usable. Congratulations!
Note: Although the epoxy is entirely usable at this point, our UltraClear Bar and Table Top Epoxy will continue to harden even further in the following weeks, eventually reaching its award-winning level of hardness.
Additional resources for epoxy projects:
While the information on this page will fully detail the construction of an epoxy bottle cap project, we also have a blog where we regularly post detailed articles covering specific steps in the epoxy process, as well as more advanced techniques and a variety of other topics. We’ve included a few links below that may interest you.
- Epoxy resin tips: Preventing and removing air bubbles - An article on air bubble prevention and removal.
- Epoxy for beginners: The three types of epoxy coating - An article on the three most common types of epoxy coating.
- Is table top epoxy heat resistant? What can it handle? - An article on how well cured epoxy resin handles high heat.
- Check out our tutorial video on How to Make a Bottle Cap Bar Top or Table - and start creating!
Reminder: You can get most bar top supplies from our online store.
Here at UltraClear, we love seeing what people make with our award-winning epoxy. That’s why we do everything we can to provide the best epoxy resin at a reasonable price—You won’t find a more consistent, reliable brand at this level of quality.
If you’re looking for epoxy to construct your own project, whether it’s a bottle cap bar top as detailed in this guide, or any other of the limitless possibilities epoxy can be used for, consider our UltraClear Bar and Table Top Epoxy line.
With any purchase, our high-tier, responsive customer service will be ready to assist you with project planning, to answer your questions, and to help you sort out any issues you may encounter.
If you have questions before ordering, you can always reach out to us via email or phone here, or contact us through online text chat by clicking the help button at the bottom right of your screen.