Refurbished Plant Tray DIY

Several months ago I picked up a wooden tray from Goodwill. At $5.99, it was really pricey but I had been looking for one specifically and despite its, well, horrible paint job, I liked the shape of this one and it was before I got really into thrifting and found a million other trays.

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I wasn’t 100% sure what I wanted to do with it but I knew I wanted to get it sanded down. First I was going to try to sand it completely down to the wood. Trying to do it by hand was a silly idea, though it was great for getting out some frustrations. I ended up having to borrow my dad’s hand sander to sand the rest of the way. I realized quickly that because there were so many coats of paint I was not going to be able to get it down to just the wood so in came Plan B.
This was going to be put in my kitchen and my accent color in there is what I call “Cayenne” – a red orange that I took from this sign that is the inspiration for some of my decorating.

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This isn’t exactly a standard color so I mixed two of my Americana paints together – bright orange and true red – in order to attain the right hue. I applied it to the tray with a sponge brush but made sure that some of the black showed through in order to show the wood grain. I thought that this gave it a really unique and rustic look, more like a stain than an outright paint color.

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I loved how the color turned out but then I noticed the rust colored handles didn’t quite go with the color anymore so I pulled out some jute string and wrapped them to further give it a rustic appearance.

I decided that I wanted to put an array of planters in it so I coated it with polyurethane in order to protect the wood from possible drainage. I chose a matte finish for the polyurethane because I didn’t want my tray to appear shiny.

Next I raided my flea market finds and pulled together a Pfaltzgraff crock that says “Tea” on it (originally this would have had a lid and been part of a set but since the lid had since been lost or broken, I picked this up at Goodwill for $1.99), the silver teapot that once held Newton the Apple Mint plant (poor Newton was beyond saving when I got him and has since passed on), and a little ceramic pig that I had picked up at 3rd Sunday on a 3 for $1 table (Thrifty Thursday #3). She has a hairline crack on her, but nothing too severe so it shouldn’t affect her ability to hold a plant.
I picked up some low maintenance plants from the terrarium section at Jeffrey Alan and planted the 3 containers by first pouring in some rock for drainage and then adding Miracle Grow plant soil. These plants are really great since most of them are varieties of succulents – they don’t need to be watered often. Just check the soil to make sure it is still damp and they will fair just fine!

Voila – a really sweet little plant arrangement to sit on my kitchen peninsula.

What do you think of my tray redo?

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