I carved out an hour to get my hands on this wood tray I bought at the local thrift store a couple of weeks ago. It was pretty beat up. I find these old, nasty varnished wood pieces to be really cheap and tacky looking. There is always that moment just after you get started that you wonder if you've made a complete mistake. I definitely had that moment where I questioned myself. But I had the inspiration of the wood bowl I did a couple of summers ago to give me hope.
This DIY has only two maybe three steps but it is time consuming and messy. Basically you want to sand off all the old, beat up, ugly stain. I wore a mask and did this outside. I don't even want to think about inhaling all that dust. In the back of this photo you can see the sanding block I used on all the flat surfaces. That saved some time.
You can see here the contrast mid-process with the sanding. The flat surfaces are pretty easy but the curvy areas require some patience and care. Throughout the process you must brush off all the dust and occasionally wipe down the wood with a damp cloth. When I sand down these old wood pieces I allow the edges to get worn down a bit. It gives it a more rustic, upscale feel.
The sanding is done. This is pure, natural wood. It's a little drab, but I like the character that is starting to shine through. After sanding, the wood feels like softened driftwood. At this point, I started feeling some confidence that I was really going to like this tray.
I started to apply the beeswax wood rub across the top of the tray. You can see how the character and depth immediately get more interesting. I love this rub I've used on this project, my kitchen cupboards and wood breadboards. I wrote about it when I upcycled a thrift store bamboo tray. You can see here.
Here's the final look. It reminds me of so many gorgeous trays I've seen at upscale home and kitchen stores the past year. I paid $1.99 for this beauty that I will enjoy for years to come. It's oblong shape makes it really easy to use down the center of a table. It will be so pretty with matchstick cut veggies, fresh greens or piles of fresh fruit. I think it will be a great companion to my wood bowl and I hope to keep adding nice wood pieces. These will always be stylish and beautiful with a little thoughtful care.
I hope you enjoyed this simple DIY and I look forward to sharing more with you soon. I still have the yellow cutlery basket to do something with soon. Hope your Friday is a great one and that you have a fantastic weekend. Sending you my warmest wishes. Thanks for coming by!
all images by kalanicut