to BUY or DIY?

>> 10.05.2015

Have you seen this cool tray at Target by Nate Berkus? I love it like crazy. But it's $35. 

So the other day I was at a thrift store and found this octagonal wood tray and thought it would fun to try and copy the Berkus tray. 

First I covered it in Citristrip to get all the previous stain off. 

Then I sanded it down to get all the excess stain off. Well, most of it anyway!

Then I stained it with Early American stain by Varathane. In hindsight I wish I would have gone lighter to begin with. I didn't worry about staining the base because I was going to paint it silver.

 I then went about cutting and fitting strips of iron-on veneer 2" banding that I had leftover from a restoration project I was working on.

 It was kind of a pain because the strips were bendy.

In the original, between the wood slats are are strips of pewter or another silver-ish metal. 

I didn't have the means or inclination to try that, so instead I taped the edges of the tray and wrapped up the rest and sprayed it with Rustoleum metallic silver spray paint. 

 Because the silver was really blue and fake looking and I wanted it to be more pewter, I added a bit of stain to the top to make it look more like the original.

Then I went about ironing on the veneer strips. My iron was a tad too big to fit into the octagonal shape, so it was a precarious job, but I made it work. 

 Lastly, I added a coat of Varathane Triple Thick polyurethane and it was complete!

Because I had all the supplies on-hand except for the tray, this project only cost me $7. Pretty great, right?

However, let's say you don't have a $7 tray, or veneer strips, three types of stain, silver spray paint, or sealer. Would it be worth it to DIY, or easier to buy?  

Well here's the break down: 

The veneer was $8 on Amazon
Stain runs you $5.50 ea. x 3 if you want a variation of color
I even found you a potential tray on ebay for $12.  

Add all that together and it equals $54! So definitely in this case, it's waaaaay better to buy, not DIY. 

BUT if you happen to have these supplies already, or you can beg, borrow or steal all the things you need, then I would consider this a project worth trying! It's always fun to stretch yourself, try something creative, and be able to say, "I did that!"  


Brenda 10/5/15, 7:13 PM  

Looks fantastic Mandie, but I bet it was time consuming! If you had bought it you couldn't say: "I made it!"

Brenda 10/5/15, 7:13 PM  
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Tara 10/11/15, 3:58 PM  

Oh man, when I saw the top picture I assumed the one you made was the Nate Berkus one! I thought that the other one didn't even come close to looking as good. I can't believe yours is actually the diy version, it is fantastic!

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