Create a beautiful slatted tray with paint stir sticks and a thrifted tray. Thank you to DecoArt for sponsoring this post.
Hello there! I’m glad you’re here to chat about one of my favorite things… thrift store makeovers! I absolutely love to peruse thrift stores in search of my next project. I have the best luck when I go in not looking for anything in particular and that way my mind is open to discover the gems.
Sometimes I am looking for something specific and on a rare occasion I will actually find it; that was the case with this serving tray. My original idea had been to find a thrifted tray and put tiles in it. But then I brought the tray home and walked by a table that had a bunch of paint sticks on it that I had gotten at the Haven Conference. That’s when the idea came to me to paint the paint sticks to place in the serving tray.
I immediately knew that I wanted my serving tray to have a vintage-y feel (is vintage-y a word? No, but I’m going with it). I knew I could achieve the perfect vintage-y feel with Vintage Effect Wash paint. The formula gives that vintage, pickled appearance that would usually take decades of wear to achieve. Who has time for that?!
So what do you think? Let’s make you a paint stick slatted tray too?
DIY Slatted Tray with Paint Stir Sticks
- Square or rectangular serving tray
- Paint sticks (the quantity will depend on the size of your tray, plan on 3 row since the tapered section of the paint stick won’t be usable)
- Sand paper
- Paint brush
- Americana Decor Chalky Finish in Yesteryear and Relic
- DecoArt Vintage Effect Wash in White and Grey
- Americana Decor Clear Créme Wax
- Industrial adhesive
Paint tray with Chalky Finish in Yesteryear. Since my tray is acrylic with a gloss finish it took 2 coats. A wood or satin/matte finish tray should only need 1.
Cut varying sizes of paint sticks with a saw. This was a fun afternoon with my Dad showing me around my new Ryobi saw. 🙂 The easiest way is to cut 1 piece (for each row), place that piece into the tray and mark what the size the other piece in that row will need to be by placing a paint stick right above it and marking with a pencil. Sand the rough edges and lightly sand the surface of the paint sticks.
Mark on the back of each paint stick which row it will be so they don’t get mixed up. Looking back I should have also written ‘L’ or ‘R’ so that I could have dropped them in where they should be so that the right ends lined up without reassembling like a puzzle. Oh well, live and learn right?
Paint the paint sticks in different colors of Chalky Finish paint (Yesteryear and Yesteryear mixed with Relic for the darkest gray) and leave some with their natural finish.
Once dry, apply Vintage Effect Wash to selected paint stick pieces. To create more shade variation, on some of the paint stick pieces I wiped off more and some I wiped off less or wiped off none at all. Some of the pieces had a pretty grain so I just used the Vintage Effect Wash in either color which created a stain-like effect in the grey shade and a white-wash effect with the white. I also painted 2 or 3 coats of the Vintage Effect Wash on some of the pieces.
I was amazed at how many shade and texture variations I could get with just 2 colors of paint and 2 colors of Vintage Effect Wash. To protect and seal the slatted tray, apply Clear Créme Wax on the tray and paint sticks and buff.
Position the paint stir sticks inside the tray to ensure they line up properly. Apply a line of E6000 or wood glue to the back of each paint stick and press them down in the slatted tray. Allow wax to cure for 7 days before heavy use.
My slatted tray is perfect in our guest room with some guest essentials!
Thanks so much for stopping by, I hope you enjoyed this project. Have a wonderful day!