Friday, May 11, 2012

Aqua and White Vintage Tea Tray

As promised, here is the final reveal!  Remember the sneak peek I gave you yesterday?

003 copy

And of course, let’s not forget how she started…

photo (12)

Dusty and rusty.  Ick.

But look at her now!  (For the record, I don’t know why all of of my furniture projects are referred to as females.  They just are, k?)

aqua and white tea tray

I love how bright and summery this tray turned out – and it’s the perfect catch-all for all of those pool necessities…

004 copy

My tray started out pretty darn rough, aesthetically, but structurally in good condition.  The first thing I did was hit it with some hot soapy water and Windex to remove the dirt, grime, and cobwebs.  My towel was literally black when I was through!  Nasty.

I primed the tops of the trays with Zinsser Cover Stain, mainly because I planned on painting this with an oil-based exterior paint.  Then, I changed my mind and decided to use up the spray paint I had on hand.  The aqua was leftover from my Martha Stewart recipe box knockoff.

That changed the game plan, so then I disassembled the entire tray to make spray-painting easier.  I tossed the electric cord attachment that came with it because I knew I wouldn’t use it.  Then it was painting time.  The bottoms of the trays were very rusty, so I coated them with some spray primer to keep the rust from rubbing off on towels and such.  After that dried, I painted the tops aqua.

While the aqua was pretty, I wanted something a little extra… so I added a great script “swim” stencil I cut out on my Silhouette and then taped off the corner at an angle.


Then I taped off another tray for some stripes.


The spray painting didn’t end there.  The hardware and the railings were rusty and tarnished, so I sprayed them as well.  I used this great hammered look paint.:


(As always, Diet Coke was essential to the completion of this project!)

I used some leftover Styrofoam to hold the screws (to keep from spraying the threads).  Worked like a charm!

007 008

I spray the rails with the hammered paint also… and the end result was fabulous!  I seriously heart this paint – I want to spray everything with this now!

hammered metal rail

After removing my tape and allowing the paint to cure, it was simply a matter of assembling the pieces and moving her to her new home.

aqua and white tray 2

(Ignore the non-swept and wet patio – I snuck in pictures between rain storms!)

I am in love with this little cart, as always because it’s functional and beautiful.  It doesn’t hurt that I spent a total of 12 bucks on this project…

aqua and white striped tray

I’m hoping the littles in my home like it too, enough to put their swim things away when they’re done with them…

aqua and white tray

Who am I kidding?  This is the only time it’ll look like this!  Good thing I have a photo to remember it by… 
(and the little pooch that kept creeping in to all my pictures!)

Have you had a great find lately?  I wanna hear all about it!

Linking up with these fun places:
Be Different Act Normal
Tatertots and Jello
Positively Splendid
Lines Across My Face
Brassy Apple
Uncommon Slice of Suburbia
Primitive and Proper
Sweet Little Gals
Miss Mustard Seed

Creating with the Stars


  1. It looks great! We had a very similar tray when I was growing up in avocado green. Looks much better in aqua and white!

  2. This is beautiful!! I love all the details, especially the swim. And for $12 how can you go wrong?! I would love it if you would be willing to share at our party going on now-Monday. Thanks

    Hope you have a wonderful weekend!

  3. Once again, you've done an amazing job! You have such an incredible talent for restoring things. You're the "trash-to-treasure" goddess!

  4. This is spectacular. I am in complete awe of the transformation you achieved here. I love the vintage feel it has, makes me want to watch Mad Men right now :). It's bright and cheery. I wouldn't want to use it to store anything on...I would just want to look at it. Beautiful job!

    amy @

  5. Oh my goodness, this is fabulous!! What an amazing makeover!! Thanks so much for sharing!
    Hope you have a great week!

  6. This is great! You did a wonderful job. I love being able to take old stuff and make new.

  7. Beautiful! So much fun to take this old rusty cart and make something so pretty and useful! Love your design touches, the word swim and stripes! Thanks for the inspiration. Another blogger jsut turned one into a yellow poolside beverage cart. Such fun!

  8. OOOO YES I am all into salvaging ghastly rusty items and turning them into a THING OF BEAUTY..lady you did GOOD!
    Brundidge, Al.

  9. oh wow! that is ADORABLE!!!!! love the colors, pattern, all of it! nice work!

  10. Your cart is AmAzInG!! I had one of these years ago and boy do I wish I still had it. Now following, would love it if you visit and follow me back too :)

    Hugs, Tanya

  11. What a great makeover and the swim detail is adorable.

  12. You are so clever! I have one of these trays and I'm going to follow your directions and repaint it. Thanks for the inspiration.

  13. I love this...and it was so fun to see each step. I have been having a blast making throw pillows from placemats, and next I want to find some old furniture such as this to revamp and reuse!

    It's beautiful!

  14. wow! THAT is a makeover - well well done - glad to have found ya - off to explore more of your blog & would love to have c'mon by for a visit anytime!

  15. Cute color!!! Also, love the diet coke! Haha that's a must have for any crafting project!

    ~Cathy Mini~

  16. Omg I love this. I'm your newest follower. Would love for you to check out my blog at

  17. Ahh..the tray is a great find! Love it! Your after job is amazing, love!!


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