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Raise your hand if you’ve ever bought something for your home just because it was cheap. Maybe you said…oh I’ll refinish it! I’ll turn it into something beautiful!
Well today’s the day to grab out all of the cheap, ugly things you’ve purchased with the intention of updating or upcycling them. Today’s the day that we’re taking them out of the junk closet and turning them into everything we knew they could be.
For me, it’s a wood tray I bought on clearance almost 5 years ago. Yup, I said it. 5 years I’ve been hoarding a tray I bought for $4… and today, it finally gets to become decor that I actually use!
Alright, let’s start DIYing!
Pssssttt….if you have some old vases you’re looking to modernize, check out this post with all the vase-painting ideas.
What You’ll Need
- Something to refresh and refinish (we’re using a wood tray)
- Sandpaper (120, 180, and 220-grit)
- Tack cloth
- Painter’s tape and utility knife
- Krylon Fusion All-In-One in Matte Black
- Krylon Brilliant Metallic in Gold Leaf (it’s my absolute favorite metallic spray paint!)
How to Spray Paint Wood
New to DIY? Download our free 5 Steps to Getting Start with DIY guide!
STEP 1: SAND
If you’re using Krylon Fusion All-In-One, you actually don’t need to sand the wood before spray painting, but we’re going to sand ours down with 220-grit sandpaper because our tray had some texture and a paper finish in the center that we wanted to smooth out and remove.
I knocked out the majority of my sanding with my orbital sander, but I needed some help getting the paper off the edges and corners.
I used a scraper to remove the majority of the paper. Then I used a sanding block to sand these sections smooth.
Once everything was sanded, I wiped the surface with tack cloth to remove any dust. Now we’re ready for some paint!
STEP 2: PAINT IT GOLD
There’s no quicker way to make something feel more luxurious than by adding some shine with metallic spray paint. For this project, I’m using Krylon Brilliant Metallic in Gold Leaf because I’ve always loved the way this spray paint catches the light.
Whenever you use spray paint, it’s important to really shake it up before spraying.
I applied 3 light coats, waiting 1 minute between each coat. I spray painted the top edge of the tray and the inside of the handle holes. The best part? I barely made a dent in the spray paint can, so I have plenty left for future projects!
I waited 1 hour before moving onto the next step.
STEP 3: TAPE IT OFF
Now that the gold has dried, I’m covering any areas that I painted gold with tape. I added the tape and then flipped the tray over. Using my utility knife, I scored the tape along the edges of the tray and removed the excess.
Before moving onto the next step, I pressed all of the tape down firmly to ensure there weren’t any areas that the black paint would creep under.
STEP 4: PAINT IT BLACK
Because I have a dalmatian that aggressively sheds and a garage that always has sawdust in the air no matter how much I clean, I wiped my tray again with tack cloth to make sure the surface was nice and clean.
I applied 4 very light coats of Krylon Fusion All-In-One in Matte Black to the entire tray, waiting 1-2 minutes between each coat.
Whenever you spray paint, focus on lots of really light coats, don’t try to cover everything in one sweep. The great thing about spray paint is that you only have to wait a minute between coats, not hours!
Like the Brilliant Metallic, I still have more than half the can to use on future projects.
After about 10 minutes, I removed the tape, finishing my black and gold tray transformation!
Woohoo! After just 2 hours, the cheap tray that’s been collecting dust for nearly 5 years is finally DONE. It’s pretty embarrassing to think that I put off such a simple (and quick) project for so many years.
Lesson learned: buy the ugly thing and then refinish it within the same week…not 5 years later. All it takes is a little creativity and spray paint!
For more spray paint inspiration and project ideas, visit krylon.com.
Hi Zoe, okay, this tray is just about as cool as trays can be! I would never (even on my best day) thought of doing this kind of chic paint treatment on a basic tray. It looks fabulous and $$$. Thank you. I have 3 plain hum-drum trays in my storage room waiting to be beautiful!
I can’t wait to see how yours turn out!! It’s amazing what a little paint can do 🙂