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. 😀