A Dairing Life

Transformation Tuesday: Re-purposed Thrift Store Frame into Serving Tray

November 30, 2016 0 Comments

If you follow me on Instagram, you know that I spent Thanksgiving weekend at the beach with my husband’s family. We had such a good time getting away from it all, and just enjoying each others company. It was a much needed mini vacation.

I absolutely love the beach. The waves always bring a sense of calmness and peace. I think for me, seeing those waves, transforming, becoming something new over and over really brought about some inspiration for me this week. While the transformation I’m going to share with you today isn’t quite as life changing and awe inspiring as the ocean, I like to think it’s pretty cool, and can open some possibilities for your in your home decor 😉

Let me tell you – I love the change that a good coat of paint can bring. Whether it’s on your walls, or your great grandmother’s old dresser (I know, I know, but sometimes the original wood finish doesn’t work with the decor in my home), paint is one of the most cost effective ways to change up your home décor. But there are so many more options than just furniture. Home accessories are probably the item I paint and change up the most (if you haven’t seen it, make sure to check out my easy modern canvas art tutorial)!

I love searching local thrift stores for new pieces for my home. One of my favorite items to look for are frames. You can do so much more than use them for pictures. Case in point – today’s super easy tutorial.


I have a coffee bar area in my kitchen, and wanted a tray for my coffee maker to sit on. Nice trays are hard to come by and are often expensive, so I had to think outside of the box.thift-store-frame

I had actually purchased this frame a while back and spray painted it a bright shade of blue. I have to admit, I don’t mind the color in these photos, but this color looked totally cray cray in my kitchen). It proceeded to chip and flake, even though the frame doesn’t really endure wear and tear. That’s why I was so excited when I had the opportunity to try No Prep Furniture Paint from Vintage and Restore by K.


The only prep you need to complete is wiping your piece down – I cleaned mine with a little soap and water. See those little chips? I didn’t even need to sand these out. I’m sure all of you avid DIY’ers know that prepping is the most painful part of any project, so it was amazing to skip it!


I used the Galvanized Gray color of the chalky finish paint, and it is absolutely gorgeous! I painted on a thin layer around my frame. The back of the frame actually has little metal prongs to hold the back on, so I just opened them all the way up so the frame sat above my drop cloth! After 30-45 minutes (depending on the temperature and humidity in where you live), you can add a second coat if needed/desired.


I let the last coat of paint dry for 2 hours. I chose not to distress this piece, but if you’d like yours to have a more vintage vibe, then distress at this stage. I think there is a misconception about chalk paint being only for vintage/country decor. That is really not true at all. Chalk paint is extremely versatile, and you can finish it however you wish to get the effect that fits the look you want.

Then I applied a thin layer of the unscented All Natural Furniture wax to the entire frame, let it sit for a few minutes, and then softly buffed it with an old t-shirt. Not my husband’s like I see a lot of tutorials state. This is my project, I’ll ruin my own clothes. Homeboy has enough problems being married to a woman to buys a bunch of stuff from thrift stores because she has a “vision”. You feel me. I know it. I digress.

After completing this step, I applied a coat of the all natural Antique Black Furniture Wax. I didn’t want to fully darken the piece, but rather slightly accent some of the smaller details of the frame. Taking my brush, I sort of stippled the wax on the edges, and lightly brushed it on all of the other areas. After a few minutes, I buffed this layer off.

Keep in mind if you want a subtle effect with your colored wax, that mostly clings to small details, apply the colorless sealing wax first. Otherwise the darker wax won’t buff off as well (and on the flip side – if you want to really darken your piece, make sure to do the opposite).


You can stop at this point, and you’d have a beautiful frame, ready and refreshed to brighten up your decor. If you want to turn your frame into a tray (especially one that comes in contact with liquids) then you’ll want to follow these additional steps:

  • Put your glass back in the frame, and turn it face down. Take clear caulk, and seal the glass on to the frame (you can see in the photos I used white – I don’t recommend this!).
  • If you really want to make sure it’s sealed, after the caulk dries flip it over and seal the other side as well (definitely only do this step if you are using clear caulk).
  • Pick a “backdrop” for your frame. I used gold leaf wrapping paper since the holidays are approaching, but any pattern of wrapping, tissue, or contact paper will work. This is a fun way to tie the tray into your decor, and have a truly custom piece!
  • Use the back of the picture frame to measure how big your backdrop needs to be and cut it to size. Insert it into the back of the frame, and you’re done! You could always add handles to the sides to make it a more portable piece.

I love the flexibility this type of project provides, because you can always change out the design under the frame. It doesn’t just have to be used for coffee either – this project would be a great addition to a bar cart, or even as a coffee table accessory. I hope you’ll give it a try!


While I received Vintage and Restore by K paint and wax in exchange for a tutorial on their website, all opinions and directions are my own 😉 Make sure to check out my original blog post here, and more of their products here. There are some gorgeous colors I can’t wait to try!

A Dairing Life


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