Coffee Table Tray Decor in Coastal Colors

Coffee Table Tray Decor in Coastal Colors

When I first spotted this tray at a thrift store, I thought, “Who would donate such a wonderful wooden tray?”. Picking it up, however, proved me wrong- turns out, it wasn’t solid wood at all, but rather something man-made. Which meant it was destined for upcycling, so I decided to create some coffee table tray decor that was perfect for summer.

round tray at a thrift store

I’m still not sure what its composition is- a pressed wood/polymer combo, perhaps? Ultimately, it didn’t matter- I was already seeing it painted in my head.

round coffee table tray

Plus, I already knew which paint(s) I’d use- the same set of chalk paint that I used on my coastal coasters!

coastal coasters

So, I had the thrifted item and an upcycling plan. Now all I had to do was put it into action!

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Painting a Round Coffee Table Tray

First, I cleaned up (and dried) my tray before gathering the chalk paints that I had in coastal colors. I had purchased this set and then added a couple of additional colors: this pale blue and this sage green.

craft chalk paint in coastal colors

Next, I started by painting the outside lip in a basic cream. I also used a pointy paint brush to add cream paint to the narrow spaces in between the tray slats.

painting a round coffee table tray

Even though I planned on distressing everything, I didn’t want harsh dark lines in between the colorful slats. I figured that cream lines would look so much better- and almost go unseen, if that makes sense.

Then, I began to paint the individual slats in coastal colors.

coastal blue chalk paint

I did my best to keep a clean line between the ends of the slats and the cream-painted lip/edge. Using angular paint brushes made a HUGE difference in this process.

Finally, once everything was painted (two thin coats all the way around), the coffee table tray looked like this.

round tray for coastal decor

Finishing Touches on the Coffee Table Tray Decor

The next step was sanding it down- I had used chalk paint, after all, which requires sanding. I used fine grit sandpaper because that was all I could find, but it took a LONG time to get the kind of distressed look that I was going for.

It doesn’t usually take that long to sand- so I’m not sure if it was the mysterious composition of the tray material or if I’m just out of shape!

distressing the craft chalk paint

After sanding down all the painted surfaces until everything was smooth, I wiped it down multiple times to remove all the chalk dust. I even used the narrow tube attachment on my stick vacuum to remove the dust between the slats!

Finally, it was time to buff on some clear wax!

waxing over chalk paint

Lastly, I decided to accent my coffee table tray decor with some jute rope! Initially, I planned on gluing it to the top of the lip. But, as it sat inside the tray, I realized I preferred it around the bottom edge.

decorating a round tray with jute rope

Adding it to the inside lip of the tray would also cover up any paint blemishes from the slats. I had been extra careful while painting, but I actually didn’t need to be as precise after all!

So, I whipped one end of the rope (like I did for this pirate sign project), hot glued it around the inside of the tray, and whipped the other end before also gluing it down.

coastal tray

And that was it! My coastal tray was all done and ready to be used in our thrifted living room.

Coffee Table Tray Decor in Coastal Colors

Since the tray already had little felt tabs on the underside, I didn’t have to worry about adding them. But I would have, had they not already been there.

coffee table tray decor

Doesn’t it look great, though? Very coastal, very breezy, and a super easy makeover on a thrifted round tray.

coastal living room decor

I hope you enjoyed this repurposing idea for coffee table tray decor! Especially since none of us will ever know what that tray is actually made of- Plastic? Wood? Both??


And guess what today is? It’s Thrift Store Decor Day and my friends have been upcycling all sorts of things, too!

upcycling projects from the thrift store

1. DIY Color Block VaseDomestically Speaking

2. Three Legged Table MakeoverMy Repurposed Life

3. How to Antique an UrnPetticoat Junktion

4. DIY Aged Vase Using Coffee and Baking SodaMy Uncommon Slice of Suburbia

5. Coastal-Inspired Coffee Table Tray DecorSadie Seasongoods

6. Upcycled Vintage Nesting TablesShop at Blu

7. DIY Faux Enamelware BasinHouse of Hawthornes

8. DIY Boho Painted Furniture IdeaReinvented Delaware


If you enjoyed this coastal-inspired upcycled project, then you may also be interested in in these decorative sailboats that I created, as well!

sailboat decor from a weaving shuttle

Craft on!


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coastal colors for summer decorating

painting a coastal tray with chalk paint

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Sarah Ramberg is the owner of Sadie Seasongoods, a website that celebrates all things secondhand. From upcycling ideas and thrifted decor to vintage-centric travel itineraries, Sadie Seasongoods is a one-stop shop for anyone who loves thrifting and approachable repurposing ideas. Sarah is also the author of “Crafting with Flannel” and has been featured in numerous media outlets and magazines.


  1. Gail M Gentile says

    Love the tray and the coasters to match

  2. You’ve just coined the name of the mystery wood…PWB…plastic? wood? both?
    Love this color combo…more please!

  3. That is so cute and I love the colors!

  4. The rope around this tray is the perfect finishing touch! Thanks for sharing your ideas! Pinned 😊

  5. This turned out great! I love how it matches your coasters. You can really still see the slates and the added rope is perfect!

  6. Girl your tray is calling my name! Love it!!!

  7. Pamela Smith says

    I love the coastal look! Great project!

  8. Whatever the heck it’s made out of, it turned out cute as heck! Even though I’m miles from the nearest ocean (I don’t think Lake Erie counts as coastal), I always love a good coastal project in the summertime!

  9. Sarah,
    You never cease to amaze me with you creativity! I so agree that the rope is perfect for the lower area instead of the lip. I love the colors and how you blended them and distressed the tray. Perfect!

  10. decorativeinspirationsgmailcom says

    cutest coastal tray! I love a good thrifted project. Came out so great and those coasters! love

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