You know by now that I’ve got a (not so very) secret obsession with trays. All sorts of trays – small ones, big ones, tiered ones. But one tray that I have been wanting to get my hands on was a good old butler tray for our garden. You know the ones – with the pretty stand that comes with it. Unfortunately they can work out pretty expensive if you buy them new. But then this one appeared on Facebook Market place. For £10. Ten pounds!! So I snapped that little baby right up.
clean and fix
The poor thing had a broken foot and it needed a bit of TLC but nothing that a bit of wood glue, some nails and a lick of paint wouldn’t fix.
When I got it home I started with giving it a good clean. Apparently it had been stored in a warehouse for quite a few years. And it showed! But after a good scrub with some soapy water and sugar soap all the dirt and grime was gone.
Next I checked out what was needed to fix the wonky foot that had broken off. I grabbed some Gorilla wood glue and glued it back together. I clamped it overnight and in the morning, although it had set well, I decided to add some nails to each of the joints too. Just for security to make sure it wasn’t going anywhere. Last thing you want with a full tray of drinks is the whole thing collapsing on you!
bring on the paint!
Now for the fun bit! I actually started off by painting it a sage colour. But then I decided that it was too similar to the colour that it was already. I just wanted a complete change and knowing that I would be using the tray outside I opted for a gloss white finish. Although it’s not going to be left outside in all weathers I wanted to make sure that it would at least be shower proof. It took a fair few coats of paint and a lot of patience (not my strong point ..) to completely cover it but it was well worth the effort!
I love the Mediterranean feel and remembered some mosaic tiles that had been given to use by my parents in law last year. Perfect!! They are very shiny and smooth but because this is going to be used as a little side table I wasn’t too worried about things slipping on the tray. You can find similar ones here.
I measured out how many mosaics I needed and placed them on the bottom of the tray without sticking them down first.
Once the paint had completely dried I used some Hard as Nails glue to stick the sheets and tiles down. The glue does not set straight away and this allowed me to move them around until all tiles were in position. Next I left this to dry overnight before grabbing the grout and using this to fill in all the gaps.
the final result
The grouting is a bit messy but VERY satisfying. I mean, how gorgeous does this tray look now? I am so pleased with how this has turned out. It’s a great addition to our decking for when we’re having a meal and brilliant as additional table space.
See those biscuits? Yeah, well .. they were gone about 2 seconds after taking this photo!! If you’ve got (teenage) kids you know what I’m talking about 🙂
Let me know what you think of this make-over? Will you be on the look out for a butler tray to add to your garden?
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