We’re finally closer to finishing the bar top we started over a year ago.

Luke had been collecting bottle caps for years with no real plan of what to do with them. We had millions (it seemed) and when we built the new bar at our new house, we decided to put those caps to good use and make a bar top. I sorted them and arranged them, found out we needed more and had to actually buy some on ebay, and then I finally set them into the top with black tile grout and there they’ve sat since November 2005.

They looked cool enough the way they were, but our ultimate plan was to pour epoxy over them to make a smooth, shiny protective coating over the caps. My problem was that pouring epoxy is a pass/no pass kind of thing. You can’t start over if you screw up. I wanted it to be finished, but I was afraid to screw it up and have to tear out the entire bar and start over. I bought the epoxy in 2005 from an online aircraft products supplier and we had everything we needed to finish the top but we just never got around to it. Until this past Sunday.

We started by taking the shop vac and sucking out the two years of peanut shells and Dorito crumbs. Nice. Next I scrubbed down the caps and touched up the inside edge of the bar with black paint. Then we mixed up a gallon and a half of Kleer Kote epoxy and poured away. And I held my breath. This is where the air bubbles start to show up and the dust can stick to the surface, and loose debris can float to the top, and clumsy Lisa can accidentally drop her camera in. But all was surprisingly well. There were just a few air bubbles but the heat guns solved that problem. There’s a little dust but we can buff that out. Thanks to the wrist strap, I didn’t drop my camera and it looked amazing. We were so excited that we decided we need to add more stuff to the top. Thee were some places where the spaces between the bottle caps were larger so we stuck in a few “Free Drink” chips for the American Legion, a guitar pick, some extra sights form the pool table. I slid a little print of one of my paintings over a blank cap. It was fun! Then we had to wait for it to cure and pray that the cat didn’t decide to jump up there to watch the fish last night.

Yesterday morning I checked on it and, luckily for her, there was no cat epoxied to the bar. It looks fantastic and it’s hard and smooth and I love it! Next I have to stain the arm rail and then you can all come over and have a celebratory drink on it! Now when you put down your wine glass or beer bottle, it won’t topple over because of the uneven surface and Dorito crumbs won’t get lodged between the caps any more. Yay!