Tray Makeover: From Ugly, To Uglier, To Beautiful


You know when you have an image of something in your head and you know it’s just going to be beautiful? Oh the anticipation, the excitement, the delight when you find it! It’s perfect! Is that reality? Not all the time. Nope, definitely not. This, my friends, is a story of a project gone terribly, terribly wrong  (have I emphasized that enough?). Thankfully, there is a happy ending with a great recovery.

It all started with a simple black tray from Goodwill.

tray-transformation

It wasn’t bad as is, but it did have some paint discoloration on it. I knew it could be better. My plan was to have it as the second shelf holder on the black table in the sun room.

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Perfect right? Except it needed to be prettier. My plan was to draw in the colors of the sun room with the tray. I went all over the color palette of the room trying to decide which color to paint the tray. I ultimately decided I wanted to go yellow.

tray-transformation

tray-transformation

I was pretty happy with the yellow as-is. But I thought it would be fun to bring in even more colors and some geometric shapes. This is where it goes downhill fast.

I used painters tape to randomly tape out a fun little pattern.

tray-transformation

Then I took the remaining sun room colors to fill in the geometric shapes. That way when I pulled away the tape it would be pretty colors with yellow lines surrounding them.

So I got down to crafting. Thankfully good sense surfaced in enough time to yell at me, “STOP!”

tray-transformation

Yup, halfway through I knew there was no salvaging this idea. It literally looked like the worst 80’s craft project gone so wrong. I mean, it was TERRIBLE. I’m not ashamed to say that first and loudest. What was I thinking? It was all wrong – so wrong!

Down went the paint brushes. I tried to rub the paint up with a wet cloth.  Nope, too dry. So I let it dry completely.

Then the failed project failed some more. When I went to pull the paint off the next day it became an even bigger mess. The tape didn’t come up well. It left spots. It pulled up the original black finish. It wouldn’t have worked in the first place. It was bad, people, bad.

tray-transformation

I set to sanding it down in hopes of getting rid of all the paint edges and lines. It sanded down pretty well.

tray-transformation

tray-transformation

I then decided to take it to a manageable base where I could reimagine the project. On went the white spray paint.

tray-transformation

You could still see the geometric lines now but I actually kind of liked that white on white pattern. But it was too much white. So I decided to keep it white and put paper on the bottom.

tray-transformation

I planned to Modge Podge it down (hence the pictures with Modge Podge) but miraculously it had some static cling to it that kept it in place.

tray-transformation

Now this is more like it.

tray-transformation

tray-transformation

I thought this tray was destined for the trash (as it wasn’t even worthy enough to go back to Goodwill) but I am so pleased with how it turned out in the end. Yes, I say that’s a point for the comeback kid. So everyone, the lesson here is to never give up, even if your first idea tanks, there is still room for beauty to emerge!

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  • Love the final makeover. Funny story how it got there!ReplyCancel

  • Love that you didn’t give up! And that you had the creative genius to make it look amazing!ReplyCancel

    • Thank you so much! There was a moment where I almost gave up but in the manner of the DIY spirit I kept going. So glad I did too!ReplyCancel

  • paulasweetpea

    I wasn’t sure what your crafting mess up was until I saw it….Glad you could fix it instead of trashing the tray. The end result is really pretty!ReplyCancel

    • Thank you Paula! It’s not hard to miss the mess up when you see it! Thankfully it had a good landing!ReplyCancel

  • Aww wow that tray has seen some things!. You totally recovered from this “whoopsie-daisy” though!! And hey, kudos for sharing it with the rest of us..helps us remember you’re not perfect either 😉ReplyCancel

    • Haha. Yes, that tray was a journey…into the 80s apparently. I think it’s important to keep it real! Sometimes the blogging world looks so perfect in our stage pictures. It’s not. Things happen like projects like this. Thank goodness for the recovery!ReplyCancel

  • Oops..didn’t really finish my thought. My final thought being…it looks great!! At least you know if it ever gets boring you can always change it up again with a bit of paint!ReplyCancel

    • Haha…and I will respond to this one too! Thank you! I’m sure that it will be painted again if it stays with me for years to come. 🙂ReplyCancel

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