DIY Footed Tray Using Drapery Finials

7 Materials
3 Days

The Background

Footed trays are all over Instagram and Pinterest right now. I wanted to create my tray without purchasing anything new.

Many lifetimes ago, I owned my own custom drapery and bedding studio. I have tons of hardware laying around.

So, I decided that maybe some of the finials I have would work as legs.

Many lifetimes ago, David lived in Australia. He bought some handmade furniture he shipped back to the States.

I found a remnant from that furniture laying in the barn covered in dirt and grime.

I figured I could use that remnant as the top for my footed tray.

Materials Used

  • wood remnant for top (my remnant is 11 1/2 inches X 27 inches and 1 1/2″ thick)
  • 4 legs (drapery finials with screws – mine are 6 1/2 inches tall and 4 inches in diameter)
  • drop cloth
  • old towel
  • disposable gloves
  • seran wrap
  • mineral spirits
  • sander
  • 80 grit sand paper
  • foam brush
  • Citristrip
  • Krylon Color Master, modern white, matte finish spray paint
  • drill
  • 11/64 drill bit
  • blue tape
  • gilding wax
  • dark wax
  • cutting board cleaner
  • oil, cutting board
  • cutting board wax
  • 03 steel wool
  • disposable microfiber cloths

Legs of Footed Tray

  1. The drapery finials I used as legs are 6 1’2 inches tall and approximately 4 inches in diameter. They are also made of resin.
  2. I decided to remove the stain and start fresh instead of painting directly over the stain.
  3. You could probably omit the stripping step, but creating this footed tray was an experiment for me. I wanted to see what was underneath the stain.
  4. Using a foam brush and working on a drop cloth, I painted Citristrip onto each finial.
  5. Then I wrapped each finial in seran wrap to keep the stripping gel from drying out. You do not want the stripping gel to dry out, or you will have to start over and apply it again.
  6. After smearing on the gel, I discarded the foam brush. I allowed the Citristrip to remain on the finials for 24 hours.
  7. Using disposable gloves and working on a protected surface covered in plastic, I unwrapped one finial and discarded the seran wrap.
  8. I sanded the stain off the finial using 03 steel wool to get into the crevices.
  9. I repeated this process with the remaining 3 finials.
  10. Then, using a new foam brush, I wiped each finial down with mineral spirits so that they would be ready to accept new paint.
  11. I placed the finials, screw sides down, onto cardboard boxes outside.
  12. I spray painted each finial with Krylon Color Master Modern White in a matte finish.
  13. It took 3 coats to completely cover the finials with paint so that no dark stain that was left on the finials bled through.
  14. I allowed the final coat of paint to dry overnight.

The Finishing Touches On The Legs

  1. Then, using a microfiber cloth, I applied a very thin layer of black wax onto each finial. This gave the legs an aged appearance.
  2. After allowing the dark wax to dry about 30 minutes, using my finger, I applied gold guilding wax to each leg to bring out even more of the details on each leg.
  3. I applied the guilding wax to the sides of each leg as well.

Top For Footed Tray

  1. While I was waiting during certain steps on the legs, I worked on the wood remnant. Several wood pieces had been taped together. I chose the biggest piece (11 1/2 inches X 27 inches) so that it would be in scale with the legs.
  2. I sanded the tape marks off the piece I chose using 80 grit sandpaper and my electric sander.
  3. After I sanded the wood piece smooth, I washed it with soap specifically designed for cutting boards.
  4. After I allowed the cutting board to dry for approximately 1 hour, I placed it on a towel.
  5. Using a microfiber cloth, I applied 3 coats of oil to the top, bottom, and sides of the board.
  6. Then, I allowed each coat of oil to dry 1 hour before rubbing in another coat of oil.
  7. After I allowed the last coat of oil to soak into the board for approximately 2 hours, I began to apply wax to the board using the same microfiber cloth.
  8. I applied 3 coats of wax to the entire board and allowed the wax to dry for approximately 1 hour between each coat.

Putting The Pieces Together

  1. After the wax dried on the board, using a pencil, I marked the cutting board where I wanted the finials to screw into the board.
  2. Then, I measured the depth of screw on my finial, and marked that depth on my drill bit with blue tape. This allowed me to know how deep to drill into the cutting board and not accidentally drill too deep into the board.
  3. Using a 11/64 drill bit, I drilled a hole where I had marked for the legs to attach to the bottom of the board.
  4. Next, I drilled straight down into the board until the tape reached the board.
  5. Once the tape reached the board, I knew that the hole I had drilled was deep enough.
  6. Meanwhile, I repeated this process three more times, to create four holes in the board for the legs.
  7. Then, I screwed each leg into the hole.
  8. Once all the legs were attached, I flipped the table over to check my work.

Not only can you use this tray in home decor styling, you can serve food directly off this tray!

Using food safe products, like the soap, oil, and wax specifically designed for cutting boards, is the key to this.

These products allow you to serve food directly off your tray for all of your holiday parties and entertaining.

Apply Citristrip and allow to sit for 24 hours covered in seran wrap to prevent drying out.

Buff off citristrip with steel wool.

Wipe mineral spirits on the stripped finial to allow the finial to accept paint.

Place finials on cardboard box outside to paint.

Once the finials are completely covered and dry, age the finials with black wax.

Add gold gilding wax over the black wax.

Sand any dirt and marks off the board.

Wash the board thoroughly.

Rub oil into the board.

Wipe wax on and buff into the board.

The waxed and oiled board

Measure and tape your drill bit so that you don't drill further than necessary.

Drill the hole and stop once the tape reaches the board.

Screw each finial into the board.

Closeup of Legs

Resources for this project:

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Jennifer Williams
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2 of 16 comments
  • GeorgiaBulldogsFan GeorgiaBulldogsFan on Jan 14, 2021

    I definitely agree that these finials are gorgeous! I pick up architectural bits and pieces all the time. Was just looking at my stash yesterday. 😆🤔 I have so many ideas now that my creative juices are going crazy. Thanks for a great share!

  • Patty Patty on Nov 26, 2021

    Nice looking stand. I liked the look of the finials after stripping,before painting.