Faking a Metal Inlay in Wood on a Wooden Lazy Susan

Faking a Metal Inlay in Wood on a Wooden Lazy Susan

Every now and again, I prefer doing a “refinish” than a “repurpose” on something that needs some TLUC (Tender Loving Upcycling Care). And so was the case with this wooden lazy Susan . It was badly stained with water rings and begging for a makeover. Suddenly, I had a vision of restoring the finish and faking a metal inlay in wood by using a stencil.

wooden lazy susan

The underside was still in decent shape. And the rusty flat-head screws that connected the spinning hardware to the base told me it was, in fact, an older (i.e., better) piece.

I just needed to focus on the top with my upcycling plan of attack.

vintage lazy susan

Once I’d assembled everything I needed, I set forth to put my upcycling plan in motion!

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Restoring a Wooden Lazy Susan

The first step was to remove the original (and damaged) finish.

I hated the idea of chemical stripping and much preferred to sand it all off. I attached an 80-grit disk to my orbital sander and got to work.

sanding a wooden lazy susan

As you can see, sanding made a HUGE difference on the wooden lazy Susan! Pale and relatively clean wood greeted me underneath the damaged finish.

resurfacing a vintage lazy susan

In the end, I sanded down the entire top surface, side lip, and underside. I stopped short of actually sanding the rotating base because I honestly couldn’t imagine anyone ever seeing it!

It was also difficult to grasp which made it a safety concern for me.

removing water rings and oil spots from old wood

Once the old finish was completely removed, I quickly went over the wooden Susan again with a 120-grit sanding disk to make it smoother before using wood stain.

Now to stain the wooden lazy Susan! I decided that “Honey” by Minwax was a close match to the original finish. Plus, I still had plenty leftover after refinishing this mini set of drawers– remember that project?

Tabletop version of a vintage library card catalog
I only bring that project up because it’s another refinishing project for those of you that need a break from “paint all the things”. 

Minwax wood stain in Honey

Metal Inlay in Wood on a Modern Lazy Susan

As I had hoped, the wood stain gave the wooden lazy Susan a rich, deep color. And now that the water rings were (mostly) gone, the wood grain variations could shine through.

wooden lazy susan to be stenciled

NOW I could work on faking a metal inlay in wood! And I’d use this stencil to get the mid century modern look I was going for.

You’re probably looking at that stencil and thinking “what the heck, Sadie?”, aren’t you? 

stencil and paint for a metal inlay in wood

My plan involved using ONLY the outermost rings of the stencil. My hope was that by using metallic gold paint, I could get the look of metal inlay in wood!

Using gold craft paint, I only stenciled over the rings to transform the wooden lazy Susan into mid century modern decor. I don’t have the skills (or patience) for a real metal inlay, so a stenciled version was just the ticket.

faking a metal inlay in wood

And just like that, my idea worked! I never know how my ideas will pan out but I was SO pleased with the result.

Between the rich wood stain and the metal inlay, it had a real mid century modern feel to it.

mid century modern lazy susan

When all was said and done, I buffed on some clear furniture wax to seal and topcoat all of my hard work!

Faking a Metal Inlay in Wood with a Wooden Lazy Susan

Of course, I don’t have too much mid century modern decor in my home, but vintage home decor can be eclectic with multiple styles working together (in my opinion).

Plus, MCM furniture plays a key role in Boho decor, which y’all know I’m dipping my toes into right now

modern lazy susan

Yeesh…ignore the fact that my styling turned the wooden lazy Susan into the Pringles Man. I didn’t realize that at the time, haha!


Also, guess what day it is? It’s Thrift Store Decor Team day! That means that the best upcycling bloggers around have all created new projects to share. Click on the links beneath this collage to be magically transported to their posts.

Thrift Store Decor team upcycling ideas from the thrift store March 2019 as seen on Sadie Seasongoods

1. Rustic Pottery Barn Mirror Makeover

2. Painting Old Books

3. Mid Century Modern Makeover on a Lazy Susan

4. Repurposing a Typewriter

5. DIY Striped Serving Tray

6. Vintage Train Case Makeover

7. Wine Barrel Makeover

8. Pedestal Bowl Makeover


I hope you enjoyed this refinishing project as a nice change of pace from painting. I enjoy trying out different methods to revive thrift store finds and I REALLY love how this piece “turned” out.

Get it? “Turned out”? Because it’s a lazy Susan and it turns!

faking a metal inlay in wood with paint

And if you enjoyed this upcycling idea for retro decor, then you may also be interested in my basket wall decor with woven trivets!

Basket wall decor with Bohemian design

Craft on!


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metal inlay in wood with paint

refinishing a wooden lazy susan

stenciling a metal inlay in wood

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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. For a second there I was thinking you were going to go all farmhouse on me with that stencil 🙂 Great idea!!!

  2. Your vision came to life beautifully with this project! The gold paint was the perfect touch.

  3. Karen Benitez says

    Looks fantastic, Sarah! My hubby cringes when I tell him we need to paint this or that. He loves the wood and does beautiful refinishing. Your post is making me see it more his way, but don’t tell him! Lol

  4. It looks beautiful now! Gotta love a good Lazy Susan xo

  5. Barbara Warner says

    I love your blog because you make me realize I can do a lot of do-overs that I’ve thought may be too difficult or time consuming. I love wood so I’m glad you did not paint the lazy susan. The finish looks terrific and I love making old, stained pieces look new again. You did a great job with the stenciling – which I have yet to conquer!

    • Sadie Seasongoods says

      Thank you, Barbara! I agree, it’s nice to leave the paint behind when the piece doesn’t need it. I love to see wood grain shine though wood stain, so long as it’s the RIGHT stain. And I understand your fear of stenciling all too well!

  6. Barbara Warner says

    I have a solid pine table and chairs in the dining room and they have gotten gummy after years of me cleaning them with Old English oil conditioner. How can I clean them without completely refinishing them – although that may be what they need.

  7. Debbie Westbrooks says

    Oh, I love it!! I want to find one like this!! It looks great, that stain color is perfect!!

  8. Wow! What a great find and I just love that touch of glam added to it. Such a sophisticated look!

  9. looks great. did you put a protective layer over your finished project? thanks, deb

  10. Great restore. I always leave inspired when I visit your blog.

  11. I really enjoyed the process and result you got on this great piece. So glad you didn’t slap a saying on this classic…it’s gorgeous as is!

  12. haha Pringles man! That took me a minute. lol
    I never would have noticed.
    In any case, your wooden lazy Susan turned out soooo perfectly sweet!


  13. Marge Clymer says

    Lazy Susan is lovely; looks brand new. What satisfaction your projects must bring you!

  14. Really cute makeover, using the stencil was really smart and looks very attractive. You are so right in doing all that sanding, wow, what a nice difference. Keep up the good work!

  15. This turned out so pretty! I love the gold ring around the edge!

  16. I love how this turned out, Sarah! Very pretty!

  17. I was wondering how you painted the gold rings so nicely! I love lazy susans: a) they spin so I don’t have to use “boarding house reach” and, b) they elevate stuff just a bit so the contents look special. So glad you rescues this piece so nicely!

  18. Domestically Speaking says

    I love lazy susans and your makeover turned out so pretty!

  19. Love it! So simple, but still with impact.

  20. Cindy Kroll says

    always impressed with your creativity thanks for the inspiration Love the tray

  21. The lazy Susan turned out lovely! I love the dark stain and how you added the ring.

  22. Actually I was wrong it looks great stained and stencil border.


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