Good morning! I hope you had a fabulous weekend! I worked on a project that I had intended to do months ago, but you know how that goes! Today I’m sharing how I made a wood tray out of an old cabinet door!
If you’ve been following along for awhile, you may remember this post where I repurposed three of the cabinet doors that came out of our laundry room when we remodeled it.
For those projects, all three doors were given a coat of paint and then turned into a serving tray, a wall file, and a chalkboard.
Stripping Paint from Wood
My original plan for this project was to strip the paint from the door and stain it. It didn’t turn out quite as planned, but I’m still going to share with you the process of stripping paint from wood in case it’s helpful for you on a future project.
We’ve stripped paint from wood many times over the years as we’ve refinished furniture. It’s a process but it’s worth it to restore the beautiful original finish.
Purchasing the Right Product
You’ll need to purchase a stripper that is specifically made to remove paint. I used this:
Last year I shared how to easily remove the old varnish from a piece of wood furniture using stripper, but varnish stripper is different from paint stripper so make sure to pay attention to what you’re purchasing.
Paint stripper is really goopy. There’s really no better way to describe it! It comes out in a glob and you spread it over the surface using a scraping tool. Make sure you wear gloves because this stuff WILL burn your skin. If you get it on your skin make sure to immediately wash it with soap and water!
Spread It and Leave It
After you’ve spread the stripper over the surface, allow it to sit for 15 minutes. It will start to bubble up like this:
While I was waiting, I stained the little furniture legs I had purchased to screw into the bottom of the cabinet to make it a wood tray.
Remove and Repeat
After 15 minutes use your scraping tool to remove the bubbled up paint. Clean off all of the excess stripper and paint with a cloth or paper towel. You may need to use the stripper again for stubborn spots.
For my project I had to do two rounds of stripper. After the second round, there were still a few places where the paint didn’t come off. I grabbed our belt sander and used it to sand those places down. Then I used my hand sander to smooth it all out.
Wash and Prestain
At this point I usually would use stripper wash with some steel wool to remove any residue the stripper gel left behind. But I only had a small amount left and it wasn’t enough to cover the whole piece.
Next, I would use a prestain over the whole piece to even out the color and prepare it for stain. But I was out of this, as well. You can tell I really planned ahead for this…NOT.
SO when I went to stain the door, it turned out really splotchy and looked all around terrible.
Plan B – Paint
On to Plan B! I grabbed my Valspar Chalky Paint and painted the door. I gave it three coats and let it dry completely before going over it with steel wood to smooth out the finish.
My hubby used a drill bit to drill the holes for the furniture feet and I screwed them in. I decided to leave them stained instead of painting them to give them a pretty two-toned look.
And here is the wood tray all finished!
I’m still glad that I took the time to strip off the old paint. You can see the grain through the fresh paint and it gave it some character so I’m happy with the outcome!
This wood tray can have multiple uses whether you use if for display purposes or for carrying breakfast in bed or even a decorative way to prop up your computer screen on your desk!
I hope this little tutorial was helpful whether you were wanting to know how to strip paint from wood or wanting to make a wood tray! For more on our home, visit me on Instagram!
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