Put Together an Upcycled Footed Display Tray for Your Kitchen
The kitchen is the heart of the home, and your decor should match accordingly. I wanted to make something that could be used to display my seasonal kitchen decor, and this footed display tray provided the perfect pedestal! I’ll show you how I made mine, but this project is fully customizable to match your aesthetic. And, as an added bonus, most of the materials can be thrifted, making it both functional and economical. Check out my step-by-step guide so that you can make your own!
Tools and Materials
- Thrifted cheeseboard
- Paint (I used Cheesecake by Country Chic Paint)
- Blue acrylic paint
- Gray acrylic paint
- Stencil brush
- Painter’s tape
- Foam paint dabber
- Table legs
- Wood glue
- Antiquing wax
Paint the Board
I started off by painting the cheeseboard. I used a paint from Country Chic Paint. I love their paints because they don’t require any prep work, you don’t need to sand or prime your piece. This saves a lot of time and effort because I can just start painting immediately. The cheeseboard I’m using was thrifted, and I’m sure you’ll find a bunch at your local thrift store, but if you can’t there are plenty of places to order online. If you desire, paint a second coat once your first coat is dry. I am going for a farmhouse look, so if it’s not completely covered that only adds to the aesthetic.
Create a Design
As I’m going for the farmhouse look, I decided to create a grain sack design to paint down the middle of the cheeseboard. Using painter’s tape I taped off where I wanted the top and bottom of my design to be.
Then I cut a skinnier strip of painter’s tape and taped it down in the middle . If you can get your hands on different sized painter’s tapes that would also be useful.
Mix Your Paint
With the beginning of my design taped off, I moved on to painting. I didn’t have the exact blue I wanted on hand, so I decided to make my own. I mixed blue paint with a bit of grey paint. When mixing colors, make sure to go bit by bit. It’s always easier to add more of the paint you’re mixing with, but it’s much harder to get back to a color that you had.
Fill in the Stencil
Now I could paint the stencil I had made! Using a stencil brush, I picked up as little paint as possible and dabbed it on my scrap paper. One of the most important things when stenciling is to have just as much paint as you need, but no more, as it can bleed under the edge of the stencil.
I started off using a stencil brush, but I wasn’t happy with the bristle marks that started showing up, so I switched to using a foam paint dabber instead. The foam paint dabber will give you an even coat with no bristle marks.
Another tip when it comes to stenciling: never stroke, always dab. If you have to use a normal paintbrush, make sure to dab, not stroke, because when you stroke that’s how you end up with paint under your stencil.
In order to get the paint into the indents on the edge of the cheeseboard I used a smaller dabber. If you don't have one you can switch to a brush and very gently fill in the area, being extra careful not to accidentally get any paint under the tape. One of the advantages of decorating in the farmhouse style is that you don’t have to be super exact, everything is slightly beat up and rustic, so don’t stress too much if your DIY isn’t perfect.
Continue the Design
Once I’d painted this first bit, I removed the painter’s tape. Make sure to remove the tape before the paint dries. If the paint dries it may lift when you remove the painter’s tape.
Then I cut a skinny strip of painter’s tape and placed it up against the stripe I had just painted.
With that in place I added one more piece of tape below the one I had just placed to create a thick stripe.
Then I painted it with a foam paint dabber.
I filled in the indents with a paintbrush. This caused the paint to be a bit of a different color, but because I was going for a rustic look it fit perfectly.
Then I removed the tape and reused it above my original design. By reusing the piece of tape I’ve guaranteed that the stripe on the top will be the same size as the stripe on the bottom.
Make sure to have the sides with paint on them facing each other so you don’t end up with bits of paint outside where you want it.
Before the paint dried I removed the tape and then I could see my grain sack pattern!
Take a look along the edge of the board and make sure to touch up anything you want.
I happened to have some old, rustic table legs lying around that were perfect for this project. It’s pretty easy to find similar legs at your local thrift store, but if you can’t find them there then you can certainly find them online.
I balanced the board on the table legs, looking for the most stable arrangement. I didn’t want them too close to the edge either.
Once I had them placed where I wanted, I removed the board from the top. I decided to attach them with wood glue because this display tray wasn’t going to be holding anything too heavy. I added a dollop of wood glue to each leg, placed the board on top of them, and pressed down firmly. You should leave it to fully dry for a day or two.
Make it Rustic
Once the glue has completely dried, rough up the table top to your liking. Using some sandpaper, I roughed the board up along the edges and surface. This adds a vintage rustic feel to the piece.
Additionally, you can use a bit of antiquing wax to add to the vintage vibe of your piece. I picked up a bit of the wax with a cloth and rubbed it along the edges of the board. Make sure not to add too much of the wax, because it can affect the color of the paint you’ve used.
With the smaller board I chose to just use some antiquing wax to age it a bit. I really love how the edges picked up the color.
I also used a different style of leg because I felt that it needed a daintier look.
Add some knick knacks and that’s it! The direction you take this project is really up to you. You can do a different design, or even a stencil, and whatever colors you want to complement your kitchen. This footed display tray would also look great in your bedroom or bathroom, it’s entirely up to you! Where would you put yours?
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