Loving life in Austin, Texas

Cheers- updating an old bar with pennies.

I found this bar on craigslist for $30. It was not the color I was looking for but it was solidly built and a great shape.  I loved the brass bar detail on the front.  That alone was worth the $30!


We immediately got to work sanding it down and refinishing it.  My husband, Chris, added decorative wood to the front to create some depth.  I wanted a solid look while still showing some grain so we picked a dark stain and used two coats.


It was already looking much better!  However, I needed to take it from a piece you could buy at any furniture store to a one of a kind piece.  So I went to the bank.


I got Pennies-  One thousand of them to be exact.  I did not measure- this resulted in 2 trips to the bank.  My advice is do your measurements before getting the pennies you need for your project. Once I had the pennies I needed,  I arranged them on the top of the bar, used older oxidized pennies for the B.  I wanted shiny new pennies for my design so the bank was the best resource for new.  But old pennies can work just as well.  Select your pattern and create.   It’s a very inexpensive design element.  You don’t have to stick to bar tops with pennies.  I’ve also seen penny accent walls and beautiful penny floors!

The last step was the epoxy.  Easy to find at any hardware store.  Warning!  Its a very sticky process that must be timed.  I suggest having a buddy with you.  Its a little hard to do on your own.  Other than the stickiness, the process is easy, most kits come with great instructions.  I will give you one tip the instructions do not mention.  Air bubbles arise while the epoxy is settling and drying.  Use direct heat to make them pop so you ensure a flat surface.  I used a long lighter, like you’d use to light a fire.  I did that process about 5 times, every 15 minutes until the epoxy hardened.  Result- a perfectly smooth surface.

Here is the finished product.  It is truly a statement piece for my game room. Total cost with epoxy, pennies and stain $150.  A fraction of what you’d pay to purchase a piece like this already completed.  Cheers!

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One thought on “Cheers- updating an old bar with pennies.”

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