I am super excited to share today’s reclaimed wood DIY project with you! Making this shabby chic wood tray from repurposed fence pickets was an easy and rewarding DIY project. It’s just the perfect little piece to add a touch of farmhouse charm to your decor.
Of course, I think all our projects here at The Birch Cottage are either adorable, clever, beautiful or simply delicious. But, I’m especially proud of this project because it gets to show off my Lenny’s aka “master of power tools” skills a little bit. We bought an entire pallet of weathered picket fence from an auction and turned some of those weathered picket fence pieces into a shabby chic wood tray.
But, first, back to this pile of fencing. Lenny loves online auctions and keeps his eye on several of them, but especially likes Auction Ohio. One day, he’s sitting at his computer and he says, “Pam, come take a look at this.” So, of course, I go take a look. There’s a nursery business nearby that is apparently going out of business and auctioning off everything from forklifts and tractors to pallets and mulch. The “look at this” he was talking about was a pallet of picket fence posts. The wood was all still nicely stacked on a pallet, but very weathered, kind of mossy and, well, just very weathered and old looking. Lenny asked me if I wanted him to bid on this fence and if I thought I’d be able to find some projects for him to work on using the pickets. Uhm, yeah!
The wood is beautiful. It’s old and weathered and full of character. I love it! So, the very first project I had Lenny work on was creating a wood tray. I had envisioned in my mind exactly how I wanted the tray to look and somehow was able to portray that vision on to my craftsman. I do know my way around power tools, but Lenny is soooo much better at it than I am and he loves working with wood and I love coming up with projects so it’s a win for both of us! (OK, so in reality, I come out ahead.)
Shabby Chic Wood Tray
Lenny took down my dimensions and prepared the wood. Like I said, the wood was pretty worn and moss was growing on parts of the wood, so he stripped the wood down, removing the outer layer of gunk and cut the boards to size. There was lots of sanding involved in getting the wood to a somewhat smooth finish. We wanted to remove the gunk, but still leave all the character in the wood. He did a perfect job. I love the look of the wood, knots and all!
Well, once Lenny got the tray all put together, I began putting my finishing touches on it. I decided to use a white homemade chalk paint finish on the wood and then sand it really good to give it a distressed and worn look. (You can read all about my homemade chalk paint recipe here and even download some free instructions.) So, we took something old, made it look new and then finished it to look old again. Exactly! I think Lenny was a little disappointed to find out that I was going to paint over the wood. It really did look nice just the way it was – maybe next time.
I applied one coat of chalk paint, let it dry, sanded slightly and then applied a second coat. One of the really nice things about chalk paint is the fact that it dries very quickly. So there’s not much time spent waiting for paint to dry. After second coat of paint dried, I used my sanding block to sand the tray to just the distressed look I wanted. Then I wiped off the tray with a damp cloth to remove any dust and applied a couple of coats of Minwax Polycrylic.
There you have it! Easy as that and I think the tray is just beautiful – not to mention sturdy, one-of-a-kind and functional! You could use the tray in bed, to organize and store items or decor around the house, or even use it to carry all your cookout supplies outdoors or how about a cold pitcher of lemonade? I love the tray so much that I’ve asked Lenny to make two more, each one sized a little smaller so they can stack inside one another. Wait until you see these!
I hope to provide you with some step-by-step instructions on how to make your very own shabby chic wood tray from reclaimed picket fence. Thanks for stopping by today! I look forward to sharing more DIY inspirations with you!
This shabby chic wood tray from repurposed fence pickets is one of my all time favorite DIY projects. I have so many ideas for ways to use these fence pickets, I’m just not sure what project to try next. Do you have a favorite DIY repurposed wood project? I’d love to hear about it.
Til next time…