Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Wood Tray Makeover!

I put an exclamation mark in the blog title because I had so much fun working on this project. Fun projects deserve an exclamation point! Not only was it fun, but small projects are also great to practice new techniques or to try out new color combinations. My goal for this project was to practice blending paint colors. It looks a little blah along the way, but I'm happy with the final results. I think you'll agree there's a big difference between the before and after.

Before & During

So the project itself is a painted red tray with a border of white snowflakes. I picked it up for a prop to stage some Christmas items in my booth. I had the tray marked for a few bucks, but there weren't any takers, so I brought it home.

Red Christmas tray ready for a makeover
Before: Red Christmas tray.

I painted the tray with a thick coat of Country Grey for my base color and then sealed it with clear wax. Typically you don't need to seal between coats of paint, but the next step was going to get messy, so the wax will keep the first coat from fading and won't show the red underneath.

Apply a thick base coat and seal the paint.
Apply a thick base coat and seal the paint.

Next I painted one solid coat of Duck Egg Blue.

Applying Duck Egg blue.
Applying Duck Egg blue.
After the paint was dry I re-wet the surface with a brush dipped in water.

Re-wet the paint with water.
Re-wet the paint with water.
Then I began applying and layering colors. I'm a little short on photos of the process itself, because instead of blending with my brush, I found it worked better to use my fingers. So it ended up being a fun finger painting project!

So the next photos give you an idea of the colors that I used for blending: a little bit of Louis blue, then Napoleonic blue for depth, and hints of Old Ochre for highlights.

Napoleonic blue, Old Ochre, and Louis Blue were used for blending.
Napoleonic blue, Old Ochre, and Louis Blue were used for blending.
Use a brush to blend the colors. Or use your fingers.  Your choice.
Use a brush to blend the colors. Or use your fingers.
Your choice.
So here's the finished blended portion of the project. At this point it just looks like a bit of a mess. But I carried on to the next step with hopes it would improve.

Blended paint colors prior to waxing.
Blended paint colors prior to waxing.
After the paint was dry, I sealed it with clear wax and then applied dark wax.

Applying dark wax to the side of the tray.
Applying dark wax to the side of the tray.

After

I didn't plan on adding a stencil, but I thought it needed a little something more. So I used a stencil I had on hand, "L'Auberge" (French for a hostel or inn). I dabbed on the wax with a lint free towel to seal the stencil.

Tray painted with a combination of  Napoleonic/Louis/Duck Egg blue and Old Ochre chalk paint
Tray painted with a combination of
Napoleonic/Louis/Duck Egg blue and Old Ochre chalk paint
And here's one last shot to give a closer view of the blended paints. After it was waxed I added some gold highlights to the edges. (Don't apply wax over the gold or the wax will remove it.)

Painted tray. Blended paints give the color dimension.
Painted tray. Blended paints give the color dimension.
I plan to take the tray back to the booth and use it for a vignette for Spring. I hope you enjoyed today's project and that it might have inspired you to find a little project for a makeover. I'll include a supply list below. Thanks so much for stopping by!

Supply List

Below are the supplies I used for this project. Some (not all) links are affiliate links which  means I earn a (very) small commission (ha ha) if you make a purchase. It doesn't cost you extra, but it helps support the time and effort of maintaining the blog. Thank you for your support and understanding!
  • Chalk Paint by Annie Sloan I used leftover paints that I had on hand: Country Grey, Duck Egg blue, Napoleonic blue, Louis blue, and Old Ochre. I finished with and wax (clear and dark). Click on the link to find where you can by her products from local stockists. Some stockists also ship via online orders!
  • Small wax brush (alternatively you could use a lint free cloth to apply the wax). I have both a small and large wax brush, but if I had to choose only one I would go with the small brush. If you do a lot of projects then it's worth the investment to have both sizes.
  • Stencil (The French Inn) by Decor Art 
  • Rub ' Buff metalic gold leaf. (You can buy this individually, but since I use it on many projects and like to have a variety of colors on hand, I purchased the 12 color sample package.)

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