Retro Epoxy Counter Top

For the 1954 Airlight

1954 Airlight Bar Trailer
1954 Airlight Bar Trailer

Isn't she cute!  At this point in the restoration I have buffed the exterior twice.  It still needs one more polishing to remove the "swirl" marks. Seriously though, the reflection on the garage it amazing!

This is a project that I've been looking forward to. After I designed the cabinets for the 1954 Airlight bar trailer I had to decide on the countertop material.  I decided to go with butcher block for the main countertops but wanted something different for the little customer-serving niche.

When designing the cabinets my goal was to make the bartender as comfortable as possible.  Have you ever noticed that when you visit a food truck, the servers have to hunch over to hand you your food? I wanted the interior countertops to be standard height. The only problem with this is that the countertop would fall within the serving window.

Photo Jul 02, 11 52 08 PM
Photo May 01, 2 02 56 PM

So, to alleviate this problem, I decided to create this niche so that the customer would have a surface to set their drink or wallet on. It could also be used for decor, a drink menu, or business cards, etc.

Above is a pic of the niche without the countertop installed.


Here are the steps


The cabinets are made of 3/4 in birch plywood. The niche is three-sided: having a back, bottom, and two sides.

I wanted a retro 1950s look so I created it with epoxy and glitter.  This would give me the look of the vinyl countertops popular during the mid-century.

I started by painting them white like the cabinets and trailer walls.  I used Benjamin Moors' Decorators White in the pearl finish. in semi-gloss.

You need to work on a level surface and the temperature needs to be what the manufacture recommends. My epoxy calls for a temp between 70-80 degrees. Both of these factors are pretty important.

ALSO....this needs to be done in a well-ventilated space.  I used the garage. Both the epoxy and torch have a strong smell.

Each side has to be poured and cured individually. Four sides = four days of pouring.

I started with the back of the niche, then the bottom, then each side.

List of Materials

  • Base paint
  • Epoxy tape
  • Epoxy
  • Glitter
  • Disposable cups
  • Stir stick
  • Gloves
  • Propane torch


Prep your piece

After your paint is dry and cured, it's time to tape off the edges. (I let it dry for a whole day.)

I used Tyvek tape for this. It's typically used to put house wrap on.  I just happened to have it left over from a trailer build. There are specific tapes you can use for epoxy.

I taped off the edges of the box so that the epoxy wouldn't run off the piece.

Again, it's important that everything is level.  Shim your table if necessary.

I also use 2x4 blocks to raise the piece off of the table surface. This will help your piece not stick to the table if you get a bit of epoxy on the outside of your project.

Photo Jun 18, 8 48 47 PM

Mix the epoxy

You can use an epoxy calculator to determine how much to use.  I tend to wing it on small projects and just guess.

Epoxy calculator

Wear gloves and protect your surface from drips because this stuff is sticky!!

Mix the epoxy according to the manufacture's directions. Mine calls for a 50/50 mix. I use the plastic cups to measure out the exact same amount of part A and part B. I use Popsicle sticks to stir it. You can purchase reusable silicone cups and stir sticks as well. The directions state to stir the mixture for three minutes and try not to incorporate bubbles.  (good luck with that) I'll show you how to get the bubbles out in a bit.

Next add the glitter.  I used  silver and gold. I didn't measure this out either. Just shake some in like salt and pepper until you're satisfied with the concentration. Stir this in until it's evenly distributed in the epoxy.


Now is the fun part! Pour the mixture on the surface and spread it out with the stir stick.  It is self-leveling so with the correct temperature it will flow out evenly. I wanted about 1/8 inch of epoxy for the surface. After I poured and scraped all the epoxy out of the mixing cup, and after it was all spread out, I began using the torch.

Torch time

This is my second favorite part of the project...FIRE!

Light the torch and move it across the surface of the epoxy. You will see tiny bubbles come to the surface and pop. Don't leave the torch in one spot too long. It will scorch the surface. You can wait a few minutes then do this process again.  I probably did it between 3 and 4 times before I was satisfied that all the bubbles had be removed.



I waited 24 hours between pours for each side of the niche and repeated the above process.

The end result is stunning!  I'm so happy with how it turned out.

Photo Aug 17, 3 08 45 PM
Photo Aug 17, 3 08 37 PM

Thanks for visiting.

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Flamingo Santa Hat DIY

I know my kids will think I've absolutely lost my mind with this post.  LOL.  Oh well!

I've been preparing for a Christmas photoshoot with the '55 Airlight trailer and thought the pink flamingos didn't quite look festive enough.

In just a few minutes I created these little hats with NO SEWING.


Here's what you'll need.

  • 5 in x 6 in scrap of red fabric. (You can use anything; felt, velvet, or even an old t-shirt)
  • 1 in x 6 in piece of white fabric or fur
  • cotton ball
  • hot glue

With the fabric facing right-side-up, run a little bead of hot glue on the 5 inch side of the square.



Press down with your fingers and let dry.

This should form a tube.



Turn the tube right-side- out.

Run a bead of glue along one free edge and place the fur down.

Gather the top of the hat and add a drop of glue between the folds.


Now just add the cotton ball to the gathered end and you're done!


Tip:  I used a drop of hot glue to keep the hat on the flamingo. The glue will peel off and not damage the flamingo for summer use.

Thanks for visiting.

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Vintage Light Restoration

This is my favorite part of my work shop communication center wall.

See my post on the new shop communication center here...

This was the reason I designed it in the first place. This light belonged to my grandmother. It originally was part of her O’Keefe & Merritt electric stove/oven. When the appliance finally needed replacing my grandfather couldn’t bear throwing out a perfectly good operational light. He removed it from the stove and hung it above the wall phone. Yes, a phone with a cord that hung on the wall!

I just realized that my grandmother had a communication center as well.  I hadn’t put that together until now.  Her cubby space was just inside the entry door. It had a copper cup with pencils, scrap paper for messages, a bill box, phone book, address book, and a calendar on the wall. Such a great memory for me.

Incidentally, this stove appears in many sitcoms and movies. A similar stove was part of the Everybody Loves Raymond TV set.

LOS ANGELES - APRIL 16:  Marie takes care of the three men in her life on the May 16 series finale of EVERYBODY LOVES RAYMOND.  From left to right:  Brad Garrett, Doris Roberts, Ray Romano, Peter Boyle.  Patricia Heaton featured in background.  (Photo by Robert Voets/CBS Photo Archive/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES - APRIL 16: Marie takes care of the three men in her life on the May 16 series finale of EVERYBODY LOVES RAYMOND. From left to right: Brad Garrett, Doris Roberts, Ray Romano, Peter Boyle. Patricia Heaton featured in background. (Photo by Robert Voets/CBS Photo Archive/Getty Images)

It originally had a clock on it as well.  I assume that it didn't work and was removed.

The same stove appears in the iCarly series.

Nickelodeon's iCarly set
Nickelodeon's iCarly set


My dad gave me the light several years ago. I wanted to put it somewhere where I could enjoy it daily and I finally have the perfect spot. But before I could mount it, it needed a little TLC.


  • Steel wool
  • Spray paint: black & white
  • New e6 sockets
  • Lamp cord
  • Toggle switch (I bought this at my local Ace hardware.)
  • New light bulbs

It was brown originally and the stainless edging was coming off. It also needed to be rewired. Safety first! The light was so old that the wires are cloth covered.

I disassembled the lamp and lightly sanded everything. I used 000 steel wool to polish the stainless edging. Next, I taped off the exterior of the lamp edge and spray painted the interior of the light.  I used white paint for this so that it would reflect the light well.

Then I painted the exterior of the light with black semi-gloss spray paint. I let everything dry for 24 hours.

light socket

I purchased a new light socket kit, toggle switch, and lamp cord. I followed the instructions on the package and mounted the sockets on the light base.

It was so easy even I couldn't mess it up!

Now the moment of truth….It works!!! I just love it and it is a piece of my grandparents that lives on in my shop.


Photo Nov 19, 2 46 09 PM

Thanks for visiting.

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