Things You'll Need
- two sawhorses
- Two 2-by-4s, each 8-feet long
- Smooth, slick paneling
- Paste wax
- Soft clean cloth
- Fiberglass matting
- Tape measure
- Resin kit
- Plastic ice cream container
- Utility knife
- Table knife
A homemade fiberglass panel is made from fiberglass matting. Fiberglass matting is available in pressed or woven matting, which comes in several thicknesses. The choice of the mat will determine the strength of the fiberglass panel. Woven fiberglass matting is stronger than the pressed fibers. A mold is required to make a fiberglass panel. A simple mold for at home use can be made from a flat sheet of smooth, slick bathroom paneling.
Place two saw horses 6 feet apart. Lay two 2-by-4s, 8-feet long, on top of the sawhorses to create an 8-foot work space.
Center and place the 4-by-8 foot piece of bathroom paneling on top of the 2-by-4s so the slick, smooth surface is on top.
Wax the surface of the paneling with paste wax. Apply two more coats of wax. Allow the final coat of wax to set for one hour.
Measure and cut two pieces of woven fiberglass mat 8 feet long. Matting is typically 38-inches wide. Measure and cut one 8-foot strip so it is 12-inches wide.
Place the two strips of fiberglass matting over the surface of the waxed paneling. Overlap the edge of the 38-inch strip by 2 inches on top of the 12-inch strip.
Mix a batch of resin according to the kit instructions. Pour two to four cups of resin into a plastic ice cream container. Add the appropriate amount of catalyst. Different brands require a different amounts of catalyst. Mix the catalyst and resin together.
Begin in one corner of the fiberglass matting and saturate the layer. Add additional resin to the overlap so both layers are saturated. Mix more resin as needed.
Wash your hands with acetone to remove any set resin. Follow immediately by washing your hands with soap and water.
Allow the resin to set up for 30 minutes. Cut around the outside of the paneling with a utility knife to remove any overhanging strands of fiberglass.
Slide the blade of a table knife between the fiberglass panel and the paneling. The easiest point of entry is at a corner. Slide the knife 6 to 8 inches along the edge. Place the tips of your fingers under the panel. Pull straight up. The panel will pop from the sheet if it was waxed properly.
Kim Blakesley is a home remodeling business owner, former art/business teacher and school principal. She began her writing and photography career in 2008. Blakesley's education, fine arts, remodeling, green living, and arts and crafts articles have appeared on numerous websites, including DeWalt Tools, as well as in "Farm Journal" and "Pro Farmer."