Kitchen Island Tray Makeover

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This $2 thrifty find makes the perfect kitchen island tray for displaying all kinds of pretties! 

Hello, friends, and happy October! Fall is moving along, isn’t it?
If you missed it, I shared my super simple fall porch (and a few projects) last week. You can see it (and them) here.

Today I’m sharing a brand new project. A $2 (yes, TWO!) dollar wood tray I made over for our kitchen island. I just love it!

I popped into our local ReStore and found it along with a couple of other small pieces I’ll be sharing soon.

You know I can’t pass up a good tray, don’t ya?! I have made over a bunch here, just search “tray” in the search bar to see a few of them. (well, pages and pages of them actually, lol)

Before I get to today’s makeover… I’m happy to say that today is 12 years since breast cancer was removed from my body. I’m beyond thankful to be able to say that! If you haven’t read my story before, you can right here. So, what is my reason for mentioning this?? Since it is breast cancer awareness month, this is my reminder to YOU to take care of yourself, know your body, be your own advocate and get those tests, etc, when they are due! Don’t put it off…just do it. xoxo

Kitchen Island Tray Makeover

Here is it “before”…

old wood tray reddish wood

TWO dollars, y’all, who could pass that up? And it’s solid wood too.

old wood tray with reddish wood

Do you spy Ryder over there laying by his daddy? :)

And look at these adorable little peg feet. Are they not the cutest??

underside of wood tray tiny peg foot

I add feet to a lot of my trays (as you’ll see if you did the search I mentioned above) so this was a nice bonus!

I spent about 30 minutes in the garage sanding this. Not my favorite thing to do (at all) but hey, sometimes it’s just necessary.
I considered just taking the “easy way out” on this one and painting it, adding a beautiful floral transfer, and done! And I do think that would have been gorgeous but this tray is for me and my kitchen island so I made it over in the way that I was planning to use it instead. I have a lot of “white” in my kitchen so I wanted a touch of wood.

freshly sanded and wiped wood tray

This is what it looks like wet from wiping all the sanding dust away. See how reddish most of the wood is?

And once dry.

freshly sanded tray dry

Still reddish.

Which led me to my decision to use a cool gray stain on it.

You might remember this one I used on my favorite coffee table here.

One coat wiped back and this is what it ended up looking like.

wood tray sanded and stained with classic gray minwax stain

No more red!

wood tray stained with classic gray on white countertop

And it actually turned out to be the perfect shade of weathered wood I was after.
Just right for my coastal home.

wood tray up close with decor

Okay, before you see the rest of the photos, just know that we are in the middle of dealing with the remnants of Hurricane Ian and it’s really dark in our house today. So I had to lighten the photos up quite a bit which doesn’t depict the color as well as the first two “after” photos I shared above.
The tray looks closer to the 2 undecorated photos in real life.

wood tray on kitchen island with fruit in bowl and green plant

I love it and look forward to decorating it a little for the seasons. I kind of just threw together what I had so I could get it posted today but you’ll be seeing more of it with the holidays coming up.

wood tray on island with green plant and bowl fruit

You can see the inset handle there. I left it stained dark because I thought the contrast might be cool.
AND because I didn’t feel like trying to sand or even strip in there. It sort of ties in with the darker dovetail sides this way. (which I also like)

And aren’t those little feet so cute?

up close of tiny feet on wood tray

I didn’t sand those either, by the way, I just wiped a bit of the gray stain on them.
I also haven’t sealed it yet. I plan on using the same poly I did on our coffee table I shared in the link above.


wood tray decorated with stainless fridge behind

I can’t wait to decorate it up a bit more. Do you use trays like this in your kitchen??

I love thrifting and finding things like this. It really is the perfect way to decorate your home on a budget! So many great finds to be had out there.

PIN it to save it!

This $2 thrifty find makes the perfect kitchen island tray for displaying all kinds of pretties! Get rid of that red with this stain...wipes it right away!

Hope you have a wonderful week! I’ll see you next time with this!

UPDATE! See this sweet box now here!



  1. Your right….the little feet are so cute….Love the tray! Hope you and your made it through Ian without any damage. We have a place in Bonita Springs, thank fully only damage was a few pieces siding that came off. Could have been worse. Have a wonderful day! Julie

    1. Yes, we did, thank you! Just lots of limbs everywhere and tons of leaves. So glad your place is okay too. You are so right, really could’ve been! xo Julie

  2. First let me say, Congrats on your 12 year success!! It is proof of Gods blessings. Your journey lends hope to all women. May he continue sharing his Grace on you. ✝️
    On another note, I love your work on the tray! Recently we had we faced our kitchen cabinet’s and added another section. The doors on the new cabinets were taken off and I plan on making trays from them since they are raw wood. I hope they come out as good as yours. Stay well, healthy and blessed. Dawn

    1. Thank you so much, Dawn! Oh, yes, that is a great idea and use for them. Love it! They will be beautiful, I am sure. :) xoxo

  3. Blessings to you Nancy…….congrats on a healthy you!
    Love the tray……and all of your creations. You are so talented.
    Hope your cleanup is minimal. We are in Bethany Beach & its been crazy here. Very high winds & rain since Friday!
    Looking forward to seeing your next project😊! Enjoy your day!

    1. Thank you so much, Theresa! :) Just lots of limbs and tons of leaves!! Hoping you don’t have too much damage or cleanup either! xo

  4. Who knew there was such a beautiful piece of wood under that banged up finish?!? I can imagine how much work it was to sand it, but the result is so worth it. Happy anniversary and continued good health, Nancy!

    1. Right?! Sanding is never fun but it IS always fun to see pretty wood underneath! So that for sure makes it worth it. :) Thank you, Marcie! xoxo

  5. Congratulations…12 years is a milestone! Okay, $2 for this tray?! It’s perfect…your creative makeover has rendered the tray into an incredibly beautiful piece of home decor! Can you imagine the price tag on your fabulous tray if it was in Pottery Barn, West Elm, or Crate and Barrel, just to name a few? Big $$!

    1. Thanks so much, Annie! And yes, you are right, it would be so pricy!! I love “treasure hunting” and transforming all these wonderful pieces. So much potential out there!! xo

  6. Oh I totally love that – and wow what a price!!! SCORE!!! It is going to be loved a long time – and will look good year round. Love that stain color. Excellent job.

    And prayers and congrats on being a 12 year breast cancer survivor. That is AWESOME. My daughter found a lump and is getting her first mammo very soon. Praying it is nothing, cuz it’s scary and runs in the family. Glad you are well. Stay well, Nancy. ♥

    1. Thank you so much, Michele. And yes, I really love it! :)
      I will keep your daughter in my prayers. I understand how scary that is. It will be okay!! Most times it’s nothing so hold onto that! Hugs!! xoxo

  7. WOW! What a transformation: it looks like a high-end designer tray now…hmm, I suppose it actually is. Beautiful!

  8. The tray is lovely as is everything you do! Can you share where you get the cute little feet from? They are the perfect pieces for the tray and I really appreciate you sharing this with us. Happy anniversary!!!

    1. Aw thanks so much, Connie. The little feet came on the tray. I wish I could find some like it though for other projects, they are adorable. I’ve never seen any like them before. xo

  9. Thank you for sharing your story. This month marks the 20th anniversary of my breast cancer diagnosis. I didn’t feel anything, just went for my yearly mammogram. I have dense breasts too, but luckily it showed up. The diagnosis was DCIS. It hadn’t spread beyond the duct, so I had a lumpectomy and radiation. I urge everyone to get a yearly mammogram and definitely as you said, trust your instincts. Congratulations on your anniversary!

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