How to make a penny floor
The story of the IT worker who made his own penny floor went viral recently – and it’s easy to see why. With a load of copper pennies, some epoxy and just a little patience, you can create a stunning bespoke floor covering that really won’t cost you the earth. Here, we talk you through how easy it is to make an epoxy penny floor yourself.
What you’ll need
• Wessex Permakote• WEST SYSTEM® G/5 Five-Minute Adhesive• Disposable brush• Foam roller cover• 2 measuring bowls• 1 smooth-walled mixing container• Long spatulas• Electric paintstripper• Appropriate sealant
• WEST SYSTEM 502 Black or 503 Grey Pigment• Plywood• Sandpaper• Self-levelling compound
1. Do a trial run
Before you do any real work on your floor, we recommend reading through everything below and doing a trial run on a test surface with a few pennies and some epoxy. Practice will make perfect!
2. Get enough pennies!
The first step is to make sure you have enough pennies for your floor area. You’ll probably need thousands of them, even for a small area – and that’s not the kind of thing you can just pop to the bank and pick up. Take some time to measure your area accurately, order the pennies in advance, and plan your layout!
3. Make sure the floor is level
For the best and safest finish, it’s essential to make sure your floor is level. Ensure you sand any bumps and fill any holes or irregularities. If the whole area is proving problematic, you could fix some plywood to the floor and paint it with a pigment such as WEST SYSTEM 502 Black or 503 Grey. Alternatively, you can use a self-levelling compound.
4. Seal the surface edges
You’re going to be pouring epoxy all over your floor later, so it’s vital you use an appropriate sealant to protect the edges of your surface – BEFORE you pour epoxy on. Epoxy will just trickle into any cracks… and once it’s there, it’s not going anywhere!
5. Sand and clean
If you’ve used plywood, sand this first. Then, before you start sticking anything to the floor, you’ve got to make sure it’s scrupulously clean, so there’s no trace of dust, polish or wax.
6. Stick the pennies down
Here comes the time-consuming part! With the surface clean, you need to glue your pennies to the floor. We recommend using WEST SYSTEM G/5 Five-Minute Adhesive for this – it’s easy to mix, is ideal for spot applications and cures completely in 3-5 minutes.
7. Apply epoxy
Now the hard work is done, you get the gratifying job of pouring epoxy all over your floor! We recommend Wessex Permakote for this. It’s a solvent-free, ultra-tough, two-part epoxy clear coating that pours like liquid glass and will give a stunning finish to your penny floor. It’s resistant to water, alcohol, many acids and solvents. What’s more, you don’t need to use a grout with it as Permakote will fill the gaps and level out for you.
Using Permakote is simple – all you need to do is mix part A with part B thoroughly and then pour it onto your prepared floor. To release any air bubbles after you’ve poured it, you can pass a gentle heat over the surface using an electric paintstripper.
Of course, there are important safety and efficiency pointers to follow. You can find full and thorough instructions for using Permakote here.
8. Leave to cure
Permakote will gel in 45-50 minutes and will be touch-hard in 6 hours – so you could coat your penny floor in the evening and leave it to cure overnight. Remember though: it needs four days to cure to its optimum hardness and quality.
That’s it! Now you can stand on your beautiful new floor and admire your handywork.
…but why stop there?
A penny floor is just one idea. Why stop there? Permakote perfectly preserves wood, metal, plastics, ceramics, photographs, prints, paint, cloth, leather, stone, acrylics, dried flowers, autumn leaves, sea shells, grass cloth, hessians, trinkets, medals and more… and it’s not just for floors but bar-tops, table-tops, signs, plaques – anything you can think of! The applications are endless. Let your imagination run wild!