Whenever my family comes to town, we have to go to the swap meet. HAVE TO. It’s a vital part of their routine when they visit OC/LA. Luckily, my aunt lives incredibly close to a giant weekly swap meet that sells literally anything you can imagine.
Last time they visited, I made two really great finds – this antique tray and a vintage vanity chair I’ll be sharing soon. It was love at first sight, as always. So today I’m sharing my marble antique tray makeover that uses a revolutionary supply. Can you guess it? Contact paper! I love the stuff, and it turned out to be the perfect way to brighten up my tray with a faux marbled look. This is what it looked like when I bought it (after I gave it a good scrub down):
- Metal tray (plastic will work as well)
- Sandpaper (optional)
- Marble contact paper
- Gold spray paint
- Masking tape + plastic
- Flat smoothing tool (for smoothing the paper)
First, sand down any really bad areas of the tray. It seems weird to sand metal, but it really helps in areas with little knicks in them, which were hard to notice in my tray since it looked really tarnished. The top of the tray was glass, so I taped it off, as close to the edges as possible, but I was planning to cover the top later anyway, so it wasn’t that important.
Then I spray painted two coats of gold all over the tray and let it dry completely. A nice feature of contact paper is its lines. The backside of contact paper usually has gridlines, making it easy to cut along them in straight lines. I measured the tray on the paper as best I could from the bottom, but it would still be a little bit large because of the railing all the way around the tray. Well, it’s always better to cut it too big, so I cut the full size and laid it into the tray to better determine the size I needed. Using my scissors, I carefully shaved off the edges so that it would match the antique tray’s glass.
Once I was satisfied with the size, I peeled off one corner of the backing, stuck it down to the corner of the tray, and slowly began smoothing it out as I peeled off more of the backing. It’s easiest to do it a little bit at a time instead of peeling off the entire back of the contact paper and trying to stick it down in one go. After the paper is laid down, use something skinny and flat to smooth out any bubbles in the paper. I used a paper creaser.
When the contact paper was completely stuck down and smoothed out, the tray makeover was complete! It’s sitting on my table now with decorative little things on it, and you’d never know it was the same tray. It’s amazing what a little spray paint and marble contact paper can do.