An Easy Rustic Tray Makeover

OK, first off I have to thank you all for the awesome feedback on my last post. So many of you offered input on what to do with my new vintage trunk, so thank you!! You guys are the BEST and I always appreciate when you take time to leave a comment. Now, onto today’s post, which is an easy rustic tray makeover that I did with this round wood and wire tray I bought from the Hearth and Hand at Target. I actually snagged this when the line initially launched several months ago and I really did like it at first. But to be honest, I truly never loved it and I struggled to make it work with my decor, which is why you don’t see it in many of my photos. The red cherry wood paired with the brass bar just wasn’t exactly my style. Pretty, but not really me. So after months of moving this tray around our home without ever truly loving it, I decided why not try a little makeover to make it more my style? So that’s what I did and I actually LOOOOOVE how it turned out. I’m excited to share it with you today! Ok, here’s how the tray looked before:

An Easy Rustic Tray Makeover

It’s definitely pretty, but I just didn’t love the red tone to the wood with the combination of the brass. So the first step for my little makeover was to remove the wire band from the wood. It simply screwed off on the back side.

Once the brass wire was removed I spray painted it flat black. I did two coats. Easy peasy. Next up was sand sanding down the wood.

I thought the wood was maybe particle board with a thin layer of real wood on top of it, but nope. It’s actually a solid piece of wood, which made it much easier to sand down. I used a sanding block with 220 grit paper and it only took about 15 minutes to sand it down to remove the high shiny finish and the dark red tones. So simple. Here’s how it looks now!

An Easy Rustic Tray Makeover

Easy Rustic Tray Makeover

An Easy Rustic Tray Makeover An Easy Rustic Tray Makeover

The sanding removed the very red/orange finish just like I wanted and now now has much more of a weathered look to it. It still has a bit of a red tone for sure, but it’s definitely not as strong. I really LOVE this combination of the matte black wire and weathered wood!

An Easy Rustic Tray Makeover

An Easy Rustic Tray Makeover

I know this is just a simple little makeover, but I’m SO happy with how it turned out. And I can’t wait to start actually using this tray more. Before this I was honestly thinking about giving it away because it was just one of those things that I moved around the house constantly and never really loved. But now it totally fits in with the rest of my decor and I adore how it has a very rustic, farmhouse vibe. And it only took about 20 minutes for the whole thing. Easy peasy lemon squeezy! (And FYI, this tray is still in stock if you want to snag one for yourself.)

Thanks so much for stopping in today!! Here’s a few other easy DIY projects you might love too:

DIY Vintage Bird Cage Planter

Easy DIY Farmhouse Decor Projects I Still Love

The Easiest DIY Fall Wreath Ever

Leave a Comment

47 Comments

  1. Karen Pickett wrote:

    How creative you are! I have seen this tray and thought the same as you did but never did I think about sanding and painting it so I never purchased it. I’m heading to Target now!! 😆😆😆

    Posted 8.8.18 Reply
    • Sarah wrote:

      aw thank you Karen!! Hope you can find the tray.

      Posted 8.9.18 Reply
  2. Denise wrote:

    Beautiful transformation with softer, subtle tones and more suitable for your table.
    Speaking of table and chairs…they resemble my set from my old farmhouse. Unfortunately my kitchen table and chairs are in need of a facelift (they’re currently unpainted with polyurethane finish. I wish to paint the set white. Do you recommend a durable paint and finish, one we can wipe spills from?

    Thank you for a creative blog!

    Posted 8.8.18 Reply
    • Sarah wrote:

      I think chalk paint does a pretty great job, but you can also use latex paint too. Just make sure you use a clear poly on top, that’s the most durable finish!

      Posted 8.9.18 Reply
  3. Donna wrote:

    I love it!!! Just a few tweaks to make it your own. Going to Target now

    Posted 8.8.18 Reply
    • Sarah wrote:

      thanks Donna!! xo

      Posted 8.9.18 Reply
  4. Tina wrote:

    Very creative. Funny how sometimes the simplest things can make the most impact. It looks custom to your decor now. Good job!

    Posted 8.8.18 Reply
    • Sarah wrote:

      I agree Tina!! The smallest changes make the biggest difference.

      Posted 8.9.18 Reply
  5. Dana wrote:

    One can never have too many trays! (This is something my mother-in-law told me over 20 years ago.) The little tweaks to make it your own truly did make it more aesthetically pleasing! I love it!

    Posted 8.8.18 Reply
    • Sarah wrote:

      haha your mother in law was right!!

      Posted 8.9.18 Reply
  6. Funmi wrote:

    I love it!! I recently discovered Hemp Oil for finishing wood after sanding. You might want to give it a try, if you don’t know about it already.

    Posted 8.8.18 Reply
    • Sarah wrote:

      I might give that a try, thanks for the tip!

      Posted 8.9.18 Reply
  7. Krista wrote:

    I have the same tray. I love what you did with it! Very inspiring.

    Posted 8.8.18 Reply
    • Sarah wrote:

      Thanks so much Krista!

      Posted 8.9.18 Reply
  8. Becky wrote:

    Hi Sarah, It’s sooooo cute! Funny how we’re not liking something we bought that we thought would be perfect and then it’s not.😖. I’ve done more times than I’d like to admit. lo It looks great now!!! By the way I forgot to wish you a happy Birthday the other day! Hope it was great. xoxo becky

    Posted 8.8.18 Reply
    • Sarah wrote:

      Aw thanks Becky, I had a great birthday!

      Posted 8.9.18 Reply
  9. Elizabeth wrote:

    Love love love it❤️😍

    Posted 8.8.18 Reply
    • Sarah wrote:

      Thanks Elizabeth!

      Posted 8.9.18 Reply
  10. Sandy wrote:

    Hi Sarah,
    Love your ideas and your adorable home! You’re a breath of fresh air and I always enjoy reading your blog. PS-I’m a Grandma who loves vintage inspired ideas and antiques.

    Posted 8.8.18 Reply
    • Sarah wrote:

      Aw thank you Sandy! I can’t tell you how much I appreciate that. Grateful to have you here!! xo

      Posted 8.9.18 Reply
  11. Christine Eckel wrote:

    Love the makeover, thanks for sharing 😊

    Posted 8.8.18 Reply
    • Sarah wrote:

      Thanks for dropping by Christine!

      Posted 8.9.18 Reply
  12. Shirley wrote:

    Ok the minute I saw the old I thought black wire and sanded wood. It does look nice but honestly it could look even better with some sort of oil, like hemp oil or even coconut oil. I think the hemp oil would take the rest of that red out of it and make it even more perfect. Just my opinion but you drastically improved it! That’s the kind of tray that can go just about anywhere.
    Love your blog!

    Posted 8.8.18 Reply
    • Sarah wrote:

      We might do that, thanks for the idea Shirley! For now I like the matte/weathered look to the wood.

      Posted 8.9.18 Reply
  13. ERIKA wrote:

    You’re amazing! I’ve been wanting to paint this tray black and you just pushed me and nudged me to make it over after seeing this post in my email! It’s a sign I should go for it! Thanks Sarah! This would be my second diy from you! Thank you, you’re the bomb!!! Always so inspiring:) love your style, sharing very similar design and decor ideas with you! -ERIKA (Instagram: homedecor_mama)

    Posted 8.8.18 Reply
    • Sarah wrote:

      Aw thank you Erika!! I’m so glad this gave you the nudge to do it. Definitely give it a shot, you’ll probably LOVE it!! xoxo

      Posted 8.9.18 Reply
  14. Melissa Filson wrote:

    I just recently subscribed to your blog and I love it!!! I get so excited to see what the next one will be! I wanted to ask about your hydrangea in these pictures. I’m looking for nice faux hydrangea and wondered if yours are faux or real? They are beautiful! Thanks for all the inspiration! My weekend project is going to be drop cloth curtains!

    Posted 8.8.18 Reply
    • Sarah wrote:

      Oh yay!! That makes me so happy Melissa. Thank you so much for being here. And that hydrangea is real actually!

      Posted 8.9.18 Reply
  15. Sandee wrote:

    I have totally wanted to do this to mine. was worried it would ruin it. I am so going to do this. I love hoe that looks.

    Posted 8.8.18 Reply
    • Sandee wrote:

      How* jeez!!!

      Posted 8.8.18 Reply
    • Sarah wrote:

      Love how yours turned out Sandee!!

      Posted 8.9.18 Reply
  16. definitely looks much better now! In your pictures I see your dining chairs and I love the color! Do you remember what brand and color and sheen you painted those with ( because I am assuming you made those over as well 😉 ) Thanks, Monique

    Posted 8.8.18 Reply
    • Sarah wrote:

      I believe those chairs are done in Linen White by Rust-Oleum chalk paint.

      Posted 8.9.18 Reply
  17. Brenda Johnson wrote:

    So smart…the black wire is so much nicer. I’m not into the brass or gold metals either, but I know lots of people are getting into the mid century decor these days.

    Posted 8.8.18 Reply
    • Sarah wrote:

      Yes! It’s definitely making a comeback. I thought I could get on board with it, but I just can’t!

      Posted 8.9.18 Reply
  18. It’s amazing what a little paint will do!!!! I love it with the black! It looks great!

    Posted 8.8.18 Reply
    • Sarah wrote:

      Me too Dena, that black flat paint made all the difference!!

      Posted 8.9.18 Reply
  19. Marty K wrote:

    Nice! Love the new look!

    Posted 8.8.18 Reply
    • Sarah wrote:

      Thanks Marty!

      Posted 8.9.18 Reply
  20. Diane Hyde wrote:

    Love the black metal and natural wood, definitely an improvement. Great job! Enjoy your new piece.

    Posted 8.8.18 Reply
    • Sarah wrote:

      Thanks Diane! I am so happy with how it turned out.

      Posted 8.9.18 Reply
  21. carole wrote:

    Had to take a couple of looks to make sure it was the same tray. Yes, small changes can have a big impact. It’s lovely.

    Posted 8.8.18 Reply
    • Sarah wrote:

      Yep same tray! Just a little change can make a huge difference.

      Posted 8.9.18 Reply
  22. Andrea wrote:

    Big improvement! I don’t know about you, and I am certainly NOT bashing this line at all, but I have been a little disappointed in some of the things. I love what you did to make it Soooo much better!!!

    Posted 8.9.18 Reply
    • Sarah wrote:

      Yeah I agree, it’s kind of hit and miss! I’m hoping they bring out a lot of new stuff for fall.

      Posted 8.9.18 Reply
  23. Isabelle wrote:

    Hi I really would like to see how you painted your oak table but I know nothing about how to find the blog for viewing.
    Help!!!
    Thanks 🙏🏻
    Isabelle

    Posted 8.9.18 Reply

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