Simple Minwax Gel Stain Makeover

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Sometimes it’s the simplest of makeovers that make the most impact! Minwax Gel Stain makes this thrift store find shine like new…in just a few simple steps!

Minwax Gel Stain gave this old wood tray a BRAND new look! SIMPLY!!! artsychicksrule.com #minwaxgelstain #gelstain #woodprojects #thriftstoremakeover

I’ve got a super simple little thrifty makeover for you all today!
I love to share these simple “projects” so that you can see that not all makeovers have to be labor intensive to make a big impact.
Some of the most simple really are some of the best.

Not only that, but I like to show that some of those smaller, insignificant seeming finds at the thrift store might be some of the best to bring home with you.
And to maybe get ya thinking outside of the box a little.
Sometimes an old simple wood platter/plate/tray? can be so many other things instead.

Simple Minwax Gel Stain Makeover

Here’s how this one started out…

Minwax Gel Stain gave this old wood tray a BRAND new look! SIMPLY!!! artsychicksrule.com #minwaxgelstain #gelstain #woodprojects #thriftstoremakeover

It was worn and all scratched up…

Minwax Gel Stain gave this old wood tray a BRAND new look! SIMPLY!!! artsychicksrule.com #minwaxgelstain #gelstain #woodprojects #thriftstoremakeover

Pretty beat up.

Here’s the rest of the haul I picked up that day.

Minwax Gel Stain gave this old wood tray a BRAND new look! SIMPLY!!! artsychicksrule.com #minwaxgelstain #gelstain #woodprojects #thriftstoremakeover

If you missed that pretty orange plaid basket tray makeover on Tuesday, you can see it >>> here.
By the way, I paid about $8 total for all of this since 2 of them were half off. Cheap! ;)

Today it’s all about the tray. Next week I’ll be sharing that “mini treasure chest” up there at the top.

 

I started out by hand sanding the scratches off. I didn’t want to sand too deep to remove all of the finish as I wanted to use Minwax Gel Stain on this.
Unfortunately, I ended up having to sand a little more than I wanted since some of those gouges were pretty deep.
And since I did, I removed the finish more than I wanted also.

No worries, I just used a bit of pre-stain wood conditioner first. Better already.

Minwax Gel Stain gave this old wood tray a BRAND new look! SIMPLY!!! artsychicksrule.com #minwaxgelstain #gelstain #woodprojects #thriftstoremakeover

Then I applied the Minwax Gel Stain.

Minwax Gel Stain gave this old wood tray a BRAND new look! SIMPLY!!! artsychicksrule.com #minwaxgelstain #gelstain #woodprojects #thriftstoremakeover

I just used a clean rag cloth and wiped it on in the same way I did on our stairs recently.
You can see that post >>> here, if you missed it.

Really simple to do.

Then I let it sit overnight and came back the next day and applied this sealer.

Minwax Gel Stain gave this old wood tray a BRAND new look! SIMPLY!!! artsychicksrule.com #minwaxgelstain #gelstain #woodprojects #thriftstoremakeover

Love this dark, rich color!

And look at that shine.

Minwax Gel Stain gave this old wood tray a BRAND new look! SIMPLY!!! artsychicksrule.com #minwaxgelstain #gelstain #woodprojects #thriftstoremakeover

And as I mentioned at the beginning of this post, there are so many things you can use something like this for.

How about as decor?

Minwax Gel Stain gave this old wood tray a BRAND new look! SIMPLY!!! artsychicksrule.com #minwaxgelstain #gelstain #woodprojects #thriftstoremakeover

I usually have another wood tray here actually.

Minwax Gel Stain gave this old wood tray a BRAND new look! SIMPLY!!! artsychicksrule.com #minwaxgelstain #gelstain #woodprojects #thriftstoremakeover

But this one looks pretty nice here too.

Minwax Gel Stain gave this old wood tray a BRAND new look! SIMPLY!!! artsychicksrule.com #minwaxgelstain #gelstain #woodprojects #thriftstoremakeover

And more decor ideas…

Minwax Gel Stain gave this old wood tray a BRAND new look! SIMPLY!!! artsychicksrule.com #minwaxgelstain #gelstain #woodprojects #thriftstoremakeover

Over on my pretty white stain dresser.

Minwax Gel Stain gave this old wood tray a BRAND new look! SIMPLY!!! artsychicksrule.com #minwaxgelstain #gelstain #woodprojects #thriftstoremakeover

You could even put it to use…

Minwax Gel Stain gave this old wood tray a BRAND new look! SIMPLY!!! artsychicksrule.com #minwaxgelstain #gelstain #woodprojects #thriftstoremakeover

How about using it for controllers and remotes?

Minwax Gel Stain gave this old wood tray a BRAND new look! SIMPLY!!! artsychicksrule.com #minwaxgelstain #gelstain #woodprojects #thriftstoremakeover

Perfect!

Or even better…

Minwax Gel Stain gave this old wood tray a BRAND new look! SIMPLY!!! artsychicksrule.com #minwaxgelstain #gelstain #woodprojects #thriftstoremakeover

It makes the perfect kitchen caddy.

(**you can find the garlic jar, here and salt & pepper grinders, here, I love them both!)

Minwax Gel Stain gave this old wood tray a BRAND new look! SIMPLY!!! artsychicksrule.com #minwaxgelstain #gelstain #woodprojects #thriftstoremakeover

Pretty and functional.

And that’s only a few things this old thrift store find could be used for. :)
How about for jewelry? Watches? Keys at the front door?
Lots of ideas.

PIN it to save it!

Minwax Gel Stain gave this old wood tray a BRAND new look! SIMPLY!!! artsychicksrule.com #minwaxgelstain #gelstain #woodprojects #thriftstoremakeover

I hope you enjoyed this very simplistic project today! Not all of them need to be terribly involved.
I hesitated to share it because it was so simple. But then I thought, no, it’s good to share these really simple ones sometimes too!
They are certainly worthy. :)
Pretty little thing all ready for some reloving!

Happy weekend to you my friends!

I’ll see you back here on Tuesday, with this, the final piece from my latest haul.

xoxo

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28 Comments

  1. Nancy this is adorable! I love the darker stain on it, very refreshing. Well done!
    Have a wonderful weekend!!

    1. Thank you! Hmm, I am not sure about that BUT most polys are food safe after they are dried and cured. (about 30 days or so) :)

  2. SUPER CUTE IDEA!! Love how versatile this is..it works with anything..be cute in a bathroom too!
    You need to have classes for people to bring their thrift finds and fix them up…amazing how much a little paint or stain can change the look!

    1. Thanks, Lesley! Oh yes, the bathroom would be a great place for this too! Aw, yes, I do!! That would be fun. I do have something in the works somewhat along those lines though! Stay tuned! :) xoxo

  3. The stained piece is a good accent on your lovely painted pieces. A good way to try the Minwax Gel Stain before using it on a big piece.

    1. I think so too, Cecilia! I love mixing stained and painted items. :) And yes, you have got that absolutely right!! Great way to try it out! Happy weekend to you! xoxo

  4. I have this same dish. It was purchased in Hawaii over 40 years ago. It is made out of
    the wood of the Monkey Pod Tree.

  5. This is a monkey pod dinner plate. Probably bought by a military wife for those stand up dinner parties or cook outs. Lucky find.

    1. Someone else just mentioned that! That is so cool, I had no idea! I do live in a large military area with all branches in and around here. So that is a definite possibility! Too bad it was all by itself. You’ve got to wonder what happened to the rest! xo

  6. So many ways to use this tray! It looks lovely, and the color is perfect for your home. Love adding touches of ‘dark’ decor to ‘ground’ a room! ;-) Pinned, my friend!

    1. Thanks so much, Julie! :) Me too! I love the contrast especially if the room is mostly light colored! Thank you for the pin as well! xoxo

  7. I agree, Nancy, it’s nice to see a simple project sometimes. They don’t all have to be showstoppers! And it gives confidence to those of use who don’t have the skills you’ve developed.

    1. You’ve got that right!! Plus, as you say, it does help those to begin making over things without feeling intimidated by the larger pieces. And I love making over the small things for my decor too! :) Hope you are having a wonderful weekend so far! xo

  8. Just found you via Pinterest (the one with the milk can). Just read your bio.. I think I love you! Now following you on Bloglovin. laura (formerly blogging at Not a Trophy Wife) Just rebranded to Everyday Edits dot co (like Colorado). laura in CO!

  9. Hi Nancy, I was just wondering where you got your mirror in this post. I saw one much like it at Pier 1 but it is mother of pearl. If you can, please let me know.
    Thank you, Lorrie

    1. Hi Lorrie! I got that mirror about 8 or so years ago. I don’t remember, sorry. It was black when I first got it. I’ve since painted it white…and now gold. :)

    1. Hi Sarah! OH I have a direct link to it in the post, in the gray “materials list” box. It’s Minwax, Coffee!! :) xo

  10. Hi
    New to your page, I am re staining my stairs having been stripping all the varnish top coat off to never ending; so are you saying if I just do light sand and use a gel stain I’m good to go?
    I am going a darker stain than the original to match my new floor.
    Any help or wisdom that can make this easier would be greatly apricated.
    Thank You
    Marie

    1. Hi Maria, I can’t say for sure because I haven’t seen your project, condition of wood, what you’ve done so far, etc. But on regular poly’d wood, you should be able to do a light sanding, then apply the gel stain to give them a darker look. (same thing I did with mine) :)

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