We converted a sofa to a desk!

Who needs a master sofa anyway?

Enjoy came with a little sofa next to our bed in the master pontoon. The problem with it, was it was too short, not deep enough and just generally uncomfortable. We didn’t need it anyhow, and since we’re still working part-time, an office was much more important. So, we took on a major carpentry renovation and turned the space into an office.

The thigh bone is connected to the knee bone

Lagoon’s build philosophy is to drop cabinatry all tabbed together as one structure (sofa, cabinate, locker, etc.) into the hull. So, in order to remove the sofa, we had to cut the base support structure but luckly it is under the table so the cut isn’t very noticable.

When we assembled the desk, we reinforced it with an I beam of 2″ plywood, and repurposed the woods from the sofa base and back of the sofa to finish under the desk. We added a conveniently located electrical outlet and changed out a Quick regular LED to a spot light LED to make it complete!

Resinart inspired by Adi and Stewart

After donating all my large canvasses, precious oil paints and other art supplies to a local art charity, I’ve channeled my artistic talents into learning ukulele. But… my sister Adi Benning has done amazing artwork using clear Artresin over acrylic and oil paintings, while one of my Shelter Bay Marina neighbors, Stewart Banjo (SV Matador), had mixed colors to create marbalized countertops and even a beautiful, yes….toilet seat out of resin colored with car paints (certain materials are hard to come by here).

As a result, for less than $200 in materials, I created the tabletop which Don has named “Bocas del Toro mangroves”. On the other hand, it took a full week of work to make it all happen.

Technical details of ArtResin

For those interested in the technical details, we repurposed the sofa seat, glued the cut outs down to access the storage which we gave up, and then used it as a template for a 1/4 lewan top which we purchased downtown Colon with the help of Mr. Ranger, the Shelter Bay Marina bus driver who knows everyone in town.

  • We used contact cement to glue the lewan on top of the sofa base to ensure a level base for the epoxy resin.
  • I then painted it with an acqua acrylic to prevent air from trespassing from the wood to the resin. Then, Don got to work mixing resins for me.
  • We put down a base coat of clear EnviroTex epoxy resin, hot gunned out bubbles after 15 minutes and then waited until tacky.
  • Then, Don mixed more resin which I colored with the car paints and used a Swipe technique to create the patterns. I took a HUGE risk and used 3 drops of silicon oil for painterly effects, which is a KNOWN pain to remove as it repels resin to create the cool effects but then is nearly IMPOSSIBLE to remove, before laying down the next resin layer. If it’s not removed, you get craters and fish eyes which we did.
  • I added another layer of color to quiet down some loud yellows and blues which ended up making the yellow match the Lagoon wood perfectly!
  • Was the silicon oil worth the effects? No! Washing with 99% alcohol, Dawn dish oil and Windex did Not remove it. No! Filling the voids with more clear resin did not fully remove it. No! Sanding it down did NOT remove it all. Ultimately, Robert Madsen (SV Milonga), came over with thin varnish and we put down a barrier coat between the resins. After giving the varnish a light sanding, I put on the clear top coat, hoping that it would remain level. I am pleased with the results, although not 100% perfect.
Converting a sofa to a office worthy of a digital nomad
Nothing fully got the silicon oil off!

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