My Backyard Hangout

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If you’re not familiar with epoxy, it is one of the most versatile materials to use for home projects. Initially a liquid, it hardens into a clear, glossy finish as it cures. Many people apply it to their floors or tables, but there are tons of epoxy bar top ideas out there as well, including for outdoor bars.

Note: As with any outdoor project, there are some extra considerations. First, you’ll want to make sure your bar top is beneath a covering and not in direct sun. Second, you’ll want to buy UV-stable/UV-resistant epoxy. After the epoxy has cured completely, you can also add a clear coat of something like polyurethane for the most protection. With those considerations noted, let’s get to the fun part. 

1. Galaxy Epoxy Bar Top Ideas

If you love the night sky or all things outer space, consider a galaxy epoxy bar top. It’s one of the least complicated designs to create, which also makes it a good choice for those who are new to epoxy. Despite this, there are still plenty of ways to make a unique design. For example, you could make a uniform pattern using the same color of mica powder or glitter, such as silver or black as they do here. Or, you could make it a bit more detailed and add in some regions of purple or blue hues.       

2. Glow in the Dark Epoxy Bar Top Ideas

Another cool idea, especially for outdoor bars, is using glow-in-the-dark pigment powder. You can use this with all kinds of designs, including the galaxy bar top mentioned above. You can also use it in a river top (which we’ll talk about next), some hollow driftwood, or in “pecky Cyprus” wood, as they do here. If you wanted to add your bar’s name or a custom design, you could use a router and fill in the engraving.

3. River Epoxy Bar Top Ideas

One of the most popular uses for epoxy is for creating a river design. This is done by joining two pieces of wood and pouring a section of colored epoxy in the center. As you might have guessed, given its name, one of the most commonly used colors is blue. But you could experiment with other colors of mica powder or even mix them. You could also consider changing the variation of wood to achieve different effects. Western redcedar, for example, has a richer, red tint. But northern cedar is lighter and more yellow.

4. Ocean Epoxy Bar Top

Like the river top, another common design is a recreation of the ocean shore. These are a cool addition to tiki bars, but they’re one of the more complicated designs to make. They also require more materials to create a realistic, gradient look. If you haven’t worked with this material before, I wouldn’t recommend starting here. Either practice with some other pieces first or purchase one instead.  

Faux Epoxy Bar Top Ideas

If you prefer the look of traditional materials, you might consider buying a faux bar top. Or you can upcycle what you already have using the following inspirations.

5. Marble

One faux top you could make is marble. Marble is often viewed as luxurious, and some rare varieties, like Calcutta, are very expensive. To create this look, you can use white epoxy as your base and dab in streaks of black or gray to create veining. You could also add streaks of metallic mica powder, such as gold or silver. An easier way (but one that offers less control) is using marble spray paint.            

6. Granite

Granite is comparable to marble in that it’s a luxury material. There is more than one method for creating a faux granite epoxy top. Just like with marble, you can either create the designs by hand or buy stone spray paint.

7. Copper

Real copper changes over time, creating greenish-blue patinas. Creating a faux epoxy top allows you to control how little or how much of the patina look you want and the placement. 

8. Geode

Although you can add real geode slices to epoxy (which we’ll discuss at the end) you can also choose to recreate a geode look by drawing your own designs. In this case, you’ll want to use something like alcohol inks to fill them in, which makes the color spread out. Then, spray a layer of matte UV varnish, like in this tutorial, before adding the epoxy.    

9. LED Epoxy Bar Top Ideas

If you’re searching for creative ways to add more lighting to your outdoor bar, consider an epoxy bar top that contains LEDs. There are a few different ways to achieve this design. One of the easiest I’ve seen is to use a plastic tube with a rigid placeholder inside. Once you pour the epoxy and it hardens, you can remove the placeholder and replace it with the LED strip. This technique makes it easy to swap the strip for a different one later on if you need to.       

Epoxy Bar Top Ideas using Embedded Materials

Since epoxy cures clear, it’s great for embedding materials. What you choose to embed can be something personal, like event tickets. Or it can be just something that creates a cool effect. Here are some ideas. 

10. Pennies

I first saw this idea used on an epoxy floor, but it would also look good on a bar top. To make it more interesting, you could use both new and old pennies to create variations in color. Or you could use them to create some kind of design. 

11. Wood Slices

Another option is to arrange thin slices of wood and pour epoxy around them. These are easy to find or even buy online. To create more variation, you could use different sizes and species of wood.

12. Geode Slices

I mentioned how to create a bar top by drawing your own geode designs, but you could also embed real geode slices. For example, blue or red agate.

13. Memorabilia

The best part of having a home bar is making it personal. Using epoxy, you could embed things like concert or movie tickets, postcards from your travels, or family photos. If you’re using items that are hard to replace, make sure you do some test pieces first using other materials.

14. Wine Corks or Bottle Caps

Over time, you’re likely to accumulate things like bottle caps or wine corks. Instead of trashing them, you could arrange them inside a mold and pour clear epoxy over them. 

15. Pebbles and River Stones

When using pebbles or stones, you could create a design similar to the river tables. But, instead of using colored epoxy for the center, arrange the stones there and coat them with clear epoxy.


Epoxy can be a fun material to use for outdoor bar tops. Although most epoxies are not designed for outdoor use, there are some steps you can take to make your bar top more durable. First, you’ll want to limit UV exposure by placing the bar top beneath a roof or overhang. You’ll also want to buy UV-stable/UV-resistant epoxy and coat the surface with a clear sealant. If you want to read about more outdoor bar top ideas, read 6 Outdoor Bar Top Ideas for any Backyard.  

Want some more outdoor bar ideas? Check out these metal bar stool ideas.


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