| | |

Magnolia Market Wood Serving Tray Makeover – From Country To Modern

It’s officially too hot to work on any projects that require much physical exertion (it was a record-breaking 112 degrees in Waco yesterday). But since I have a hard time sitting still, I’ve been occupying myself with some small, easy and fun projects these last few days. First up, I wanted to do something with this wood serving tray that I purchased at a bargain basement price at the Magnolia Market warehouse sale about three years ago.

I bought it because it was priced too low to pass up, but as you can see, it was not only huge, but also a little too country for my taste. So I did a little reworking and painting, and then coated the inside with resin to give it a super shiny finish. Here’s how it looks now…

Oh, how I love that super shiny glassy finish!! I think the juxtaposition of the high gloss on the inside and the natural wood on the outside fits my taste and style just perfectly.

To give this tray it’s makeover, I started by tapping the sides with a hammer (firmly but not hard enough to make marks on the wood) until the glued joints broke free. Then I pulled everything apart.

It was put together with glue and tiny little brads, so I just pulled all of those brads out with pliers.

Then I measured and marked where I wanted to cut the pieces. I didn’t want to remove the handles, so I just cut the same amount off of each end, keeping the handles centered on the end pieces.

I did that on all four pieces. I ended up reducing the size by four inches on the ends and eight inches on the sides.

Then I reassembled the sides of the tray with using wood glue and 3/4-inch 18-gauge brads on the corners. When putting together a frame like this, I use three nails on each corner — two nails going one direction at the top and bottom, and one nail going the other direction in the middle.

With the sides back together, I measured and cut the bottom on my table saw.

I made a careless mistake while cutting that one, and had to cut another one out of some 1/4″ plywood that I had on hand. I attached it with wood glue and the same 3/4″ nails that I used on the sides of the tray.

Here’s how it looked at this point…

Next, I caulked all of the corners of the inside of the tray.

When that dried (which took about five minutes in this heat), I was ready to paint the inside of the tray. I taped off the top edges of the sides, making sure to line up the edge of the tape with the inside edge of the wood as perfectly as possible.

Then I mixed up three different turquoise and teal paints that I had on hand to get just the right color, and painted the inside with two coats of paint, sanding with 220-grit sandpaper between coats.

I let the paint dry for a couple of hours, and then it was ready for resin. I used ArtResin, which recommends four ounces of mixed resin per square foot. I estimated the area of the tray to be more than two but less than three square feet, so I just rounded up and mixed twelve ounces of resin (six ounces of resin and six ounces of hardener).

I poured the resin into the bottom of the tray and made sure that it coated completely. To get the sides, I tilted the tray up on its sides, letting the resin pool as close to the top edges of the sides as possible without it spilling over. Then I used a small spatula to get it all the way up the sides.

If any resin spilled over the top of the tape, I made sure to wipe it away quickly so that it wouldn’t run back down and create a distinct drip over the thick coat of resin.

I repeated that on all four sides, and then made sure the rest of the resin coated the bottom of the tray evenly. After removing the bubbles with the propane torch, I let it sit outside in the heat, covered with a piece of MDF, for several hours until it was dry.

After it was dry to the touch, I brought it inside to cure until this morning. Just look at that shine!

Now it fits, both in style and in size. And it was a fun and easy project that fed my current need to resin all the things I can get my hands on. 😀



Similar Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.


  1. Beautiful project! I also have a tray on my coffee table but this gives me a great idea to change it up a little.

  2. Actually it was 114 degrees yesterday and it broke the 112 degrees record in Waco !! It was awful yesterday.

  3. Actually it was 114 degrees yesterday and it broke the 112 degrees record in Waco !! It was awful yesterday.

  4. Another great DIY! Luckily I live in Seattle where we are expecting a heat wave…..it could get as hot as 88 degrees!

      1. I’m sorry. I used to live on Long Island (NY) and we had incredibly hot summers there with 100% humidity. I do feel your pain.
        It was a hard move to Seattle but I’m so glad to be rid of the heat. Unfortunately, we are visiting there next month which is the height of temp and humidity. Oh, well.

        1. Ha! I was just teasing. Glory in the cool until you make your visit. And at least you know it’ll just be temporary. I just have to keep the right perspective that these two months of hell are the dues we pay for the great weather the rest of the year. 🙂

  5. Very pretty! Yes, your temps made national news… ugh. Hot where I am too… but at least we’ve been blessed with afternoon thunderstorms 🙂

  6. Very stylish makeover and the blue you mixed is perfect for the room. It gives the handles a more modern feel to have the color and shine next to them. Great idea! Up here in Ohio we just got past a heat wave with high humidity to boot. Don’t think I could go out in that heat.

  7. What a fabulous makeover!!
    The idea of purchasing something that’s a bargain basement price but not quite my style and making it my own is my new fun thing to do, too!
    Kristi, this was truly a GREAT WAY to have fun with your new resin passion.

  8. The turquoise color that you custom blended is just gorgeous! Love the resin finish, it makes the tray look like a very expensive lacquer piece. Beautiful job!

  9. This is beautiful! I think I know the answer but…when using ArtResin does the item have to be ‘contained’? Meaning does it have to have sides to contain the resin? Or is it thick enough to stay put on small objects? I’m looking at a project that uses individual 2″ wide, round metal disks.

  10. Oh yeah! I just LOVE this little tray. Back in the day, large metro furniture stores had B&R rooms (bruised & reduced) which I haunted weekly. Sometimes the trip was a bust…other times I found treasure.

  11. That turned out beautiful! I don’t think I would have thought to cut it down for my taste, but I’m not you! Very creative!
    I wonder though if, during these hot as the sun days, why not work on those drapes? Or are you pondering whether you want to continue with that look? It’s a lot of work to sew that border, so maybe you are hesitating due to that fact. I know I wouldn’t want to do it!

  12. This turned out great! I love the size of the handles—quite large for the tray, which is a nice change of pace. Kristi, can you give me the name/brand of the resin you used? Thanks!

  13. Hey Kristi, in reference to a previous post of yours, maybe working with resin could be one of the classes you teach. If you did something similar with a tray (or maybe make the tray) you would get in a few miter cuts, painting (maybe some mixing colors) and the use of the resin. I’d certainly attend that one if I were within range (instead of the Atlanta metro area).

    Wish I had room for classes at my place. I’d certainly invite you to teach some classes at my place. I know you have lots of followers from this area. You wouldn’t even have to bring your tools since hubby has most every tool known to man.

  14. That is beautiful, I have one that is all wood and I thought about painting the inside but that would take to the next level! Your colors are very close to mine and I love everything you do even the purple curtains! I would never thought to do that, and I see a lot!

  15. Kristi, what is your opinion on using fabric to line a tray (just the horizontal surface) and covering it with resin? Love your blog, BTW. You seem so real and relatable. Thanks for sharing such great ideas!

    1. I think that’s a great idea as long as you use a fabric that has some body to it (a decorator cotton as opposed to something slinky like silk or polyester) and as long as you trim the edges as precisely as possible so that there are no tiny gaps or wrinkles around the edges. I would use Mod Podge to attach the fabric and seal it first, and then resin it. If you use something like a spray adhesive that doesn’t also seal the fabric, I think the fabric would release too may air bubbles into the resin to get out with a torch, and you’d be left with bubbles in the resin. Sealing it before the resin should eliminate that problem.

  16. I love this enameled tray. The mix of the resin with the rustic wood is a great combo. Another item for your etsy shop!

  17. Well, that turned out beautifully…no surprise! It looks so much better, to tell you the truth. 😉 We’re leaving humid Pennsylvania next year as we head into retirement, and that’s our number one goal, to live where the humidity is very low!!