Simple DIY Patina

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This simple DIY patina method will have you transforming all of your old and new thrifty finds!

Hello friends!

I bet you see these old silver trays at the thrift store a lot. I sure do. You may even have a few (I do too).

I actually found this one at the thrift store years ago and used it in my decor “as-is” for a while.
You can actually see it here in this old post

gallery wall with mirror with blue dresser

It’s been packed away in my stash for a few years so thought I’d pull it out and give it a new look.

Simple DIY Patina

old tarnished metal tray on counter

It had gotten a little tarnished but I didn’t bother with trying to clean it because I had planned to spray paint it gold.

silver tray painted gold

Once that was dry, I used this to add the simple DIY patina look to the gold tray.
You can find the Gilder’s Paste Wax in Patina (and other colors) in my shop, here.

gilder's paste wax in the color patina

It’s the same stuff I used on my light fixtures. Do you remember that?

metal scrollwork on light fixture that has been patina'd

I did two different light fixtures…while they were hanging up on the ceiling!
You can read all about that right here >>> How To Paint Light Fixtures

Love this stuff!

I simply rubbed it on with my finger…

finger applying patina wax to gold tray

Isn’t that cool? I love the look it gives it.

gold tray with patina edges on white counter

And I love how it brings out those grapes and grape leaves so much better.

After that I let it sit overnight and then used a soft cloth to buff it.

up close of patina edge

another up close of patina edge

Lots of ways you can use a tray like this.

As a centerpiece on a dining room table…

dining table with decorative balls on gold patina'd tray

up close of balls on gold tray

I still adore this old dresser I made over (twice!) so much. It is still probably my favorite piece.

blue dresser with wood starburst mirror and gold tray

You can read all about its latest makeover here >>> Aubusson Blue Chalk Paint Makeover (again!)

aubusson blue dresser with starburst mirror

You can see in the picture at the top of this post how the original makeover looked (dark top and dark hardware).
I loved the first makeover I gave it but I LOVE the new lighter top (and gold-touched hardware).

Anyway, back to the gold and DIY patina tray.

white couch, wood table with plant and gold tray with magazines

You could use it on a small coffee table to hold magazines too.

wood table with gold tray and magazines

Do you have something old laying around that needs a new look??
Paint it! I just love how paint can transform.

And hey, let me give you another idea. How about you paint this tray with COPPER spray paint instead of gold.
Then add the patina to that.
Gorgeous! And would be perfect for your fall decor.

PIN it to save it!

This simple DIY patina method will have you transforming all of your old and new thrifty finds! #diypatina

Have an amazing weekend!!

OH!! Don’t forget to keep an eye on your email inbox on Sunday!
I can’t wait to finally share with y’all what I have been working on! ;)




  1. Love this makeover! Holy smokes I didn’t see this coming! Love how delicate the tray turned out. Beautiful with the patina Gilders Paste Wax. I love that dresser also! Have a great weekend!! (Looking forward to Sunday!)

  2. That is so pretty! I had an old silver tray or two around. I’m hoping to find it/them? and try this.

  3. I see those silverplated trays all the time and never once thought about painting one. The patina really brings out the details. Great idea, Nancy!

  4. This turned out so pretty! I had some old trays similar but not sure if I kept them, I need to look! Copper with green patina would be pretty also! Thanks for sharing!

  5. I love this tray idea, I have a similar tray that Mom received as a wedding
    present. This would work well on it, and bring it up to date for me.
    Thanks for the inspiration!!!

  6. This is really pretty, though it seems a shame to paint a beautiful sterling tray. Hopefully it wasn’t anything valuable.
    You always have the best ideas…thanks so much for sharing.

    1. Oh yes, I understand that, Kris! I do always check things out online before I paint them though. Some I don’t mess with after doing a little research but if I find that they aren’t worth much, I do! :) This one was not so I went for it. :) xo

  7. What a beautiful transformation! I love the gold color with the soft patina on the grapes and leaves! So versatile as you stated. Paint does make a huge difference! I also enjoyed reviewing your dresser makeover. What a classic! I love the blue, gold and light wood top. Thanks for sharing all your painting talents! Have a great weekend.

  8. Yes!!! I see those old trays all the time. I have a few myself!!!! Perfect paint job…NO drips!!!!
    I have a wooden mirror frame I would like to put a patina on…would that work on the wood? I was thinking of using Rub n’ Buff…..which would be better????
    …on a side note my dog is named Buffalo Bill Cody….we call him Buff….and he likes to rub!!! lolol
    Have a good weekend!!!!

    1. Thanks, Addie! Yes, you can use this on wood too. I have used Rub n’ Buff once or twice, I never liked it much. I LOVE the Gilder’s Paste Wax! And have use it a bunch. Hahaha…you are a hoot, love it!! xoxo

  9. Can the patina Gilders Wax be used outdoors in Northeast weather? The roof over my front bay window was recently redone and now has a dazzling copper border that’s just too bold and raw looking for my taste . I don’t have the patience to wait the decade or so for it to patina naturally so would like to help it along in a semi-controlled way if I can.

  10. Once again you have transformed ordinary into extraordinary. I’m looking at some of my trays to seen if I, too, can create a transformation… but no luck… however I love thrift shopping and I’ve saved your beauty to copy when I get the perfect tray. Thanks.

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