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Vintage Surfboard Tray

September 26, 2020

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I love a good thrift store upcycle, making a project over is the best part. But sometimes pieces are best left alone. Like this one.

Here are a few quick tips to get those wood pieces looking their best.

Vintage Thrift Store Finds

When I was little, I loved garage sales. That's what they were called in my neck of the woods. Certainly not glamorous, but truly, the name fit.

I would ride my bike to the sale, with a pocket full of quarters and spend tons of time, browsing, looking for treasure.

Among my greatest finds were a Sony and Cher album and a macrame pocketbook. What can I say, it was the 70's and I was ten.

As I got older however, I lost interest in used items and street side wares. I had real money to spend and the bus went straight to the mall.

It wasn't until my 20s', when I got married, that the allure of second hand items and estate sales - as they were now called - caught my attention again.

Mainly because we were poor, just starting out and had to furnish an apartment. Things were cheap and with a little paint, the did the job. This chair is a perfect example.

Upcycled Wooden Chair With Scrap Fabric Skirt

However, somewhere along the way, that need to find second hand items turned into a love and respect for anything old with good bones or a good story or gave me a good feeling.

And thankfully, my guy felt the same way.

Over the years we've furnished not one, but two homes with treasures we've found on weekend outings. Vintage pieces, curbside finds, thrift store and antique shop items that we just couldn't pass up.

We never pay a lot and we usually spruce them up or customize them, turning them into cottage style showstopper for our tiny cottage style home.

Let's face it, that's part of the fun.

But every now and again, we find something that's perfect just the way it is...even if we didn't think so when we bought it.

Wooden Thrift Store Tray

I was alone when I found this tray. It was sitting on a shelf in my local thrift store and it caught my eye.

Right away, I knew I had to have it. It had great lines, was solid wood and priced to sell. It was a little too mid-century modern for my decidedly older and more rustic taste, but I knew I could make it over in some fabulous way.

And on my way home, that's what I thought about...white paint, stencils or wall stickers, pumpkins and apples or snowflakes and stars. It was going to be great.

When I got in the door, I put it in the kitchen, ready to get to work and then the whole world shut down.

My family was here 24/7, we were scrambling for food deliveries and paper goods and that tray just wasn't a priority.

Of course, neither was putting it away. So it sat in the kitchen, getting moved about from here to there, always in view, although never on display, for over 6 long months.

Then this week I remembered that it was time to share something for our Do It Over Designers hop and I thought, ah ha, it's tray time!

As I prepared to get creative, pawing through my supplies, I kept catching a glimpse of that tray from the corner of my eye and I suddenly realized maybe it didn't need anything at all.

Hmmm...it was an odd feeling since I'm usually all about the makeovers, but thinking about how that warm wooden piece looked so at home in my kitchen for all those months, I decided to leave it alone.

Project done, right?

Sticky Residue From Tag On Wood

Well, not quite. You see that tray is old, so it was a little beat up.

And it had a nasty thrift store sticker on it that just wouldn't budge.

Using Peanut Butter To Remove Sticky Tags On Wood

Thankfully, I remembered my friend Ann's peanut butter trick. It took that gooey mess right off. Perfect.

Rubbing Peanut Butter On Wood

Next up, the wooden feet were off kilter. They were slipping and not tucked into place.

Fixing A Broken Wooden Tray

A quick tap with a hammer fixed that problem.

Hammering A Wooden Piece

The next issue was also an easy fix. It was very scratched in one particular area. I didn't want to have to sand the entire tray, so I used my trusty furniture markers (<---these are the ones) to cover them up. 

Furniture Repair Marker For Scratched Wood

They worked like a charm.

I just "drew" over the scratch marks with the marker and then rubbed in and wiped away the excess with a paper towel.

Using Furniture Markers On Wood

When all the scratches were covered, the last step in the process was to shine it up with a little olive oil/ vinegar mix.

It's my go to furniture polish.

MidCentury Modern Fall Decor

In the end it looked brand new and fabulous in my fall kitchen.

The wood is just gorgeous on its own and its midcentury styling takes on a cottage air when surrounded by my country accents.

Vintage Surfboard Tray

An added bonus? I googled this little piece and found out that they are actually quite sought after.

In good shape, some of these vintage teak or maple surfboard trays are selling for quite a pretty penny.

Mine is not the brand in the ad, but even those were selling for much higher prices than the $4 I paid for it.

Lesco Vintage Wooden Tray For Sale Ads

I'm not planning to sell, but it's nice to know that my decision not to do it over leaves that as an option. 

Fabulous!

Hey before you go, it's time for another fun hop full of more crafty DIYs. This month we have some new friends joining us and I know you won't want to miss what they have to share.

So go for a visit, gather some great ideas and inspiration for fall.

Do It Over Designers Blog Hop Graphic


  1. Great find, Kim. I'm so glad the peanut butter trick took care of that sticker. Your tray is beautiful and it has the added bonus of being sought after at a much higher price - Winning!!!

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    1. Thanks Ann!! That sticker was really on there...then I remembered your awesome trick. Amazing! And fun hop...thanks for hosting!

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  2. Such a great idea to leave this piece as is sometimes it's best.

    I have done that at times. I found a French table on FB Marketplace I haven't share yet for $30. The plan was to paint it abd I remembered a trick to get scratches out. Now she's perfect.

    Cindy

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    1. Ohh...I hope you do share it soon! I love thrift finds that don't require much!

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  3. Love that you just fixed her up a little and she is beautiful as she was originally. I never heard of that peanut butter trick. Good to know. Happy Weekend sweet friend. xoxo Kris

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    1. It worked great, Kris! So quick and no chemicals. I love that...xo

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  4. Sometimes a little "clean up" is all you need with treasured finds, Ann! Your serving tray looks quite fabulous now! And I learned a few tricks along the way using peanut butter, and using a natural furniture polish! Thanks for sharing!

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    1. Thanks so much, Gail! And so excited you’ve joined the hop. I’m a big fan!! Enjoy the day!

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  5. You're always so thrifty and clever! And I just love what you've done with that chair.
    Brenda

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    1. Thanks Brenda! And yes, I love that chair. I sit in there just to stare at it sometimes.

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  6. That tray looks so good, and yes, fits right in to your lovely cottage!

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  7. Such a beautiful tray! I'm so glad you didn't make it over....I love it.

    I've gone to a few yard sales this summer but I can never remember to watch for wooden cutting boards or trays. I only think of it when I see your blog & remember the ones you've made over.

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    1. I'm glad I left it alone, too, Jenny. It's really beautiful, it has great, clean lines, like most Midcentury pieces. And I miss yard sales and thrift stores. There aren't many things open here and I'm out of cutting boards and trays!!

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  8. Great find! I think it looks great now that you have fixed up the little imperfections.

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    1. Thanks Briana! Those markers are amazing.

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  9. It looks so shiny and pretty all decorated for Fall, it is a wonderful old piece that will be fun to use over and over.

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  10. I love this tray, I am a MCM lover so I was glad to see that it didn't get painted, it looks great!!

    Tania

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    1. Thanks Tania! I'm glad I left it alone, too...it really is a lovely piece.

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  11. Wow I love the final product! I've let things sit around for a long time, too -- sometimes that's best I think. Gives you time to really think about what you want to do with it. Love the refreshed look! xo Kathleen

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    1. Thanks so much, Kathleen! And I absolutely agree…letting it sit gave it time to tell me what it needed. xo

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  12. You are incredibly talented! I never heard of the peanut butter trick with older wood pieces. It takes a talent. Beautiful!! May you have a wonderful Autumn!

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    1. Thanks Angela! That peanut butter tricks worked like a charm. I highly recommend it!!

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  13. WOW, you certainly brought that back to life! And it is such a versatile tray! Great idea!!

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  14. It's amazing what a little love can do! It looks great!

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  15. Well, I never heard of the "peanut butter trick," but I'm gonna remember it from now on!

    Love how you refurbished the tray Kim! It looks marvelous now, and how fun to find out how valuable it is! I'm glad you didn't paint it.

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    1. That peanut butter worked like a charm, Florence, I think you should keep it in mind for all your own thrift finds!

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  16. Kim, what a great redo. The wood is so warm for the season. Great job..Stay well..xxoJudy

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    1. I agree, Judy! I love it just as it is. xoxo

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  17. That tray is gorgeous! I love all kinds of decor and enjoy mixing it up. So my home incorporates a mix of cottage, vintage, mid-century modern and modern! ;-)

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    1. They really all do work well together! And this was such a steal...I had to have it.

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  18. You found a really nice wood tray Kim. I like how you fixed it up and it looks perfect for entertaining or for fall decorating.

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    1. Thanks Julie! I love when not much needs to be done.

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  19. Kim, you are such a great writer and I so enjoyed reading this post. Love that this thrift store tray lived among you on the sidelines for six months only to show you, "hey, I'm a beaut just the way I am". Gotta love it when that happens! Sweet find also considering how much it's worth!

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    1. Marie, you just made my day! I love the DIYs, but it's really all about the stories and the writing for me, so thank you my friend...

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  20. Hi Kim,
    As always.. a fun read, I enjoy they way you share a story. And lovey tray, can I have it?
    ;-) Carla

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    1. When you finish that kitchen, let me know…and we’ll talk! 😉 xo

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  21. I very much envy people who can do awesome makeovers of furniture and other items. I keep saying if I had the knowledge and the workspace, I would jump in and try...but sady, I have neither!!!! By the way, I love, love your gingham curtains!

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    1. This was an easy one, Cheri…and I’m with you, I don’t have the patience for most makeovers. I’m in awe of those who do! And those curtains are in process…hopefully they’ll be done soon!

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  22. That's a very nice vintage piece you found! It's looks so nice the way you have decorated with it for fall. I painted right over my vintage teak candle holders - yikes! I'm off to research how much they were worth LOL.

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    1. It's crazy isn't it? I had no idea it was worth anymore than the $4 I paid for it...I hope you find out that yours weren't worth very much!! Hahaha...

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  23. I am so glad you decided to leave the board as is. It looks gorgeous and mid-century is my favorite style. Thanks for sharing the tip about the peanut butter. I didn't know that so will definitely remember it in the future.

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    1. Thanks Donna! I really like it the way it is now, too.

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  24. I love your peanut butter trick Kim. I'll remember that next time ;-) and oh my goodness, how's the prices on those surfboard trays. That's crazy. Good on you for spotting your treasure and letting her lie until she whispered to you. She looks lovely now

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    1. It's a very effective tip for sure! And yes!! Can you believe the prices?? I'm even happier that I listened and I didn't do anything to it!

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