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

The Comments

  • Karen Pickett
    August 8, 2018

    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!! ๐Ÿ˜†๐Ÿ˜†๐Ÿ˜†

    • Sarah
      > Karen Pickett
      August 9, 2018

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

  • Denise
    August 8, 2018

    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!

    • Sarah
      > Denise
      August 9, 2018

      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!

  • Donna
    August 8, 2018

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

    • Sarah
      > Donna
      August 9, 2018

      thanks Donna!! xo

  • Tina
    August 8, 2018

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

    • Sarah
      > Tina
      August 9, 2018

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

  • Dana
    August 8, 2018

    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!

    • Sarah
      > Dana
      August 9, 2018

      haha your mother in law was right!!

  • Funmi
    August 8, 2018

    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.

    • Sarah
      > Funmi
      August 9, 2018

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

  • Krista
    August 8, 2018

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

    • Sarah
      > Krista
      August 9, 2018

      Thanks so much Krista!

  • Becky
    August 8, 2018

    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.๐Ÿ˜–. 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

    • Sarah
      > Becky
      August 9, 2018

      Aw thanks Becky, I had a great birthday!

  • Elizabeth
    August 8, 2018

    Love love love itโค๏ธ๐Ÿ˜

    • Sarah
      > Elizabeth
      August 9, 2018

      Thanks Elizabeth!

  • Sandy
    August 8, 2018

    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.

    • Sarah
      > Sandy
      August 9, 2018

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

  • Christine Eckel
    August 8, 2018

    Love the makeover, thanks for sharing ๐Ÿ˜Š

    • Sarah
      > Christine Eckel
      August 9, 2018

      Thanks for dropping by Christine!

  • Shirley
    August 8, 2018

    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! Thatโ€™s the kind of tray that can go just about anywhere.
    Love your blog!

    • Sarah
      > Shirley
      August 9, 2018

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

  • ERIKA
    August 8, 2018

    Youโ€™re amazing! Iโ€™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! Itโ€™s a sign I should go for it! Thanks Sarah! This would be my second diy from you! Thank you, youโ€™re the bomb!!! Always so inspiring:) love your style, sharing very similar design and decor ideas with you! -ERIKA (Instagram: homedecor_mama)

    • Sarah
      > ERIKA
      August 9, 2018

      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

  • Melissa Filson
    August 8, 2018

    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!

    • Sarah
      > Melissa Filson
      August 9, 2018

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

  • Sandee
    August 8, 2018

    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.

    • Sandee
      > Sandee
      August 8, 2018

      How* jeez!!!

    • Sarah
      > Sandee
      August 9, 2018

      Love how yours turned out Sandee!!

  • Monique Adams
    August 8, 2018

    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 ๐Ÿ˜‰ ) Thanks, Monique

    • Sarah
      > Monique Adams
      August 9, 2018

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

  • Brenda Johnson
    August 8, 2018

    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.

    • Sarah
      > Brenda Johnson
      August 9, 2018

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

  • Dena Breitmeyer
    August 8, 2018

    It’s amazing what a little paint will do!!!! I love it with the black! It looks great!

    • Sarah
      > Dena Breitmeyer
      August 9, 2018

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

  • Marty K
    August 8, 2018

    Nice! Love the new look!

    • Sarah
      > Marty K
      August 9, 2018

      Thanks Marty!

  • Diane Hyde
    August 8, 2018

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

    • Sarah
      > Diane Hyde
      August 9, 2018

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

  • carole
    August 8, 2018

    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.

    • Sarah
      > carole
      August 9, 2018

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

  • Andrea
    August 9, 2018

    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!!!

    • Sarah
      > Andrea
      August 9, 2018

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

  • Isabelle
    August 9, 2018

    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 ๐Ÿ™๐Ÿป
    Isabelle

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    August 17, 2018

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