THE OLD SWEDISH TRAY

We needed a new tray table in our living room. I know, it’s not been too long since I’ve made our current one, but after all the changes it will just not work anymore. So I’ve decided to sell it (more about that later) and make a new, slightly different one.

So why does it not work anymore? Remember my style search post? And remember how the Scandinavian farmhouse style kind of sneaked its way in there somehow? Even though I always thought that too much white would be cold, uninviting and boring? Well, it turns out that this is the style that pulls on my heart strings the most these days. Pictures of Scandinavian homes with all or mostly white cottage interiors make me swoon and I find many of them so inspiring that I almost immediately start looking around to see what else I could change to achieve this calm serenity that I can feel in the pictures.

After I had painted the living room white the tray table was already not all that perfect anymore. Now that we got rid of the carpet it bugged me even more.

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You can see it peeking out there in the lower left corner. It’s not awful by any means but it’s just not what I wanted anymore and once something bugs me there’s almost always no way out anymore, it needs to be remedied – especially if I can remedy it myself. Of course I was thinking of something in some shade of white in this corner, maybe even undistressed for once, maybe some transfer on the inside …

But then, when I was poking around on Pinterest one night, I found this

Swedish baking board

and I fell in love :-)

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Of course this one looks like it’s really old and has a true story to tell. Unfortunately I didn’t have one of those. But what I did have was Lowe’s! And my crafty husband :-) I showed him what I had in mind and he set out to build. And after a bit of cutting, some gluing and nailing from Rob and some staining with some dark wax from me we ended up with this

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So far it still looks pretty neat and normal. Enter: Crackle Tex :-) (If you’d like to see what it looks like when you apply crackle tex then check out the post about the chalkboard for my niece.)

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I love that stuff. Put on thickly in places you want some crackles or a worn paint look, let dry completely and put a coat of paint over it (in my case it was Annie Sloan’s Country Grey). If you want crackles, just let the paint dry, if you’re going for worn paint, take a textured paper towel and dab and twist it almost immediately after you put paint on the crackle tex-ed areas. And so the neat tray from above turned into this

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and after a bit of sanding and re-application of some dark wax into this

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Now that the tray was “set up” for its final look I got the Crackle Tex out again and applied some more and once it had dried put one coat of Annie Sloan’s Old White on top, again, working at the crackle tex-ed areas with a paper towel.

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Again, I gave it a good sanding and now I have lots of texture, revealing both the Country Grey undercoat and the stained wood. Now the not so old tray is starting to tell a bit of a story (probably about how it got abused by me), all that’s missing now is a bit of clear and dark wax 😉

Usually when you wax chalk paint, you put on the clear wax first before you put on the dark wax, this way you can take some off if you applied too much. Now if you have a close look at the original old tray then you see that it has some actual stains…

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… which can be achieved by applying a small amount of dark wax directly onto the paint. I did that in a few spots…

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….before I finally put a coat of clear wax on and then dark waxed in some of the worn places.

Et voilà :-)

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There were a lot of little steps involved in the process but I think it was totally worth it in the end. I’m happy with it :-)

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Now as far as the “old” tray table is concerned, as I said I’m planning on selling it. I’ll put up a separate post about that once I’ve taken some pictures.

Have a wonderful week y’all 😉

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4 thoughts on “THE OLD SWEDISH TRAY

  1. Don’t think I’ve ever seen a tray like that but love that it’s different. Why is the one side/end open? Just wondered. It looks nice and sturdy, would take alot to bang that tray up then it would only look better. (unless you live where I do, people don’t like any sign of distressed here, they think you’re trying to get them to buy old beat up stuff, we live west of Grand Junction, CO). I’m not one to prefer heavily distressed but lightly looks good, looks real. It’s hard to find pieces affordable here also, thrift store prices are ridiculously high for furniture. When I go to our Goodwill in G.J. I might as well go to Walmart for retail prices. But my perspective might be colored by my lack of funds that others might have. We’re on SS so not rolling in green stuff. lol. Found you thru Furniture Feature Friday Happy weekend

    • Thanks for finding me, Jane Ellen 😉 Honestly, I don’t know why the front of the tray is open. It reminded me originally of a baking board my mom had for when she made fresh rolls or cinnamon buns or other yeast dough goodies. So that would explain the open front. But really I just liked the way it looked – as you said, it’s different.
      Have a great weekend and I’ll keep my fingers crossed for the perfect affordable thrift store find 😉