"Rustic Jewel" T.V. Tray Redo

2 Materials
This tray is from a set of two trays that I got free from a co-worker. The 1st tray I did in black and white and you can see how I did that one in a previous Hometalk post. I decided to do the same Mariposa technique on this one, but with a more rustic look.

Here it is before
Here is the top before sanding. It was an golden oak color.
And here is the top after sanding using a 220 grit sanding sponge. Sanding reveals the gorgeous grain. I also lightly sanded the legs.
Now that it is sanded it's ready to be stained. I used Rustic Reality and Navajo Jewel Unicorn SPiT Gel Stain full strength for this part. I would just squirt out a little bit at a time on a paper plate and worked off of that.
Using a small paint brush, I brushed in the Navajo Jewel on the lighter colored areas and the Rustic Reality in the darker areas. I did this one section at a time. I'm not going to lie. This is a tedious process. So if you're not a patient person this might not be the technique for you. I find it therapeutic myself. I just sat and did one section, then took a break, and came back and did another section.
And finally all 4 sections are filled in. Now to stain the border and the legs.
I squirted some Rustic Reality into a small cup and added some water to dilute it down to more of a stain consistency. Unicorn SPiT can be diluted with up to 70% water. I just used tap water, but if you live in an area that has lots of minerals, etc in the water you should used bottled water to prevent the possibility of uneven coverage when you go to seal your piece. Then I used a t-shirt piece to stain the border around the top. The right side picture shows the comparison in colors from before to after. I also rubbed the stain in on the legs. I love this stain. It is a beautiful coffee/chocolate color.
And here is the final product. The legs have a combination of the oak color and the brown color and I like that because it will blend in with various other wood pieces that you might have in the house. I did 3 to 4 layers of spray sealant using Cabot Semi-Gloss Spar Varnish which is advertised for maximum sun & water defense.
Before & After
Beautiful Top
Now this can be used as a beautiful bedside table or end table.

Michelle Nicole-the creator of Unicorn SPiT- has partnered with Eclectic Inc. who are now manufacturing and distributing her product. It can now be found online at Amazon, Walmart, and Jo-Ann Fabrics-soon to be in all 90 some stores. It is also available in select Ace Hardware stores and soon Home Depot. While it is available on the retail market, if you join the Unicorn SPiT Gel Stain Q & A group on facebook, you can also purchase through local vendors which is where I purchase. The customer service and knowledge is top-notch.

Please feel free to find me on Pinterest, Instagram, Facebook @angelrockstudio

Thanks for reading.

Suggested materials:

  • Unicorn SPiT Gel Stain   (www.unicornspit.com)
  • Cabot Semi-Gloss Spar Varnish   (www.amazon.com)

Frequently asked questions

Have a question about this project?

3 of 4 questions
  • MsCaliLady MsCaliLady on May 28, 2017
    No question. Just want to say with tongue-in-cheek that you win for the best spit job in my book! Seriously, I love your artistic talent!

  • Kathryn Sanderson Kathryn Sanderson on Jun 14, 2017
    Just beautiful! Do you have a link to Mariposa Technique? I haven't found one. It seems pretty straightforward: paint with the grain. I just wonder if there's some other technique (or something) involved..

  • Beautiful result. Not having used the SPIT product yet, I'm wondering if I could paint in just the teal color and then, once completely dry, do an overall stain of the piece with the Rustic color. Will the stain that is spread over the teal color just wipe off before drying completely or will it soak somewhat into the teal or muddy up the teal? If you know. I thought you might bave had some edge stain spill over into the center section and would therefore have accidentally discovered the answer. Thank.


Join the conversation

3 of 28 comments
  • Jan Jan on Jun 13, 2017
    We have some of these old TV trays we use in my drawing class. I would love to "borrow" them and paint with this technique . I'm sure my art teacher and fellow students would love the look as much as I do. Great job!!

    • Traci Heimer Traci Heimer on Jun 17, 2017
      Sounds like fun! You could use multiple colors too. Sky is the limit on creativity. :)

  • Sue Lilly Sue Lilly on Jun 21, 2017
    Can't wait to try this