Coastal Picture Frame Serving Tray

You can never have enough trays around the house, right?  Perfect for corralling interesting objects on tabletops and dressers. They're especially handy during the summer months to carry food and drink outdoors during family BBQ's. Today I'm sharing an easy way to repurpose an old picture frame into a picture frame serving tray.  This one said to heck with winter and went to the beach!

Coastal Picture Frame Serving Tray

A few years ago I made a fun chalkboard menu to hang on our DIY Outdoor Bar|Potting Bench. We used it for a couple of summers and then I forgot to store it in the shed one winter and this happened...

Picture Frame Serving Tray Before

The challenge this month for our Thrifty Chicks group is to repurpose a Frame. I have a lot of interesting frames kicking around that I've picked up here and there over the years but nothing jumped out at me from the pile.

When reaching to get something from a shelf in the workshop my eye caught a glimpse of the battered and now very dusty chalkboard menu. What I instantly saw wasn't a warped and weathered chalkboard but a wooden serving tray to use during the summer. Now all I need is a pool or better yet, a beach.

Picture Frame Serving Tray

Before I get into the details of how I turned the battered chalkboard menu into a picture frame tray, I should tell you a little about the Thrifty Chicks group. On the second Wednesday of every month, my creative junk loving friends and I come together to transform, upcycle or repurpose a junk find based on a theme. As I mentioned above, this month the theme is repurposing a frame.

Thrifty Chicks Monthly Themed Blog Hop

Coastal Picture Frame Serving Tray

DIY Picture Frame Serving Tray

I've included a Materials list towards the bottom of this post for your convenience.

Picture Frame Prep

Inspired by the chipping paint, I decided to work with it by removing the loose paint with 150 grit sandpaper and seal the remaining paint with a stain blocker/sealer that I had on hand.

Picture Frame Serving Tray Old Chippy Paint Sealed

Dry Brush Paint Technique

Not wanting to cover the sage green and primer red chippy paint colors, I applied light layers of mineral chalk paint using a dry brush paint technique.

To do this start with the darkest color, Peacock blue, and dip just the tips of an inexpensive chip brush into the paint and dab the excess onto a paper towel, so very little paint is left on the brush. Using long brush strokes with very little pressure on the brush,  let the paint hit the frame where it may. If you get too much paint in spots, wipe it off with a damp cloth.

After the first layer dries (mere minutes), repeat the above process with the next darker color, The Gulf and then the lightest color, Sea Glass. You can see in the photo below the original chippy paint with the added layers gives the frame a rustic and textured patina.

But we're not finished with the layers just yet...

Picture Frame Serving Tray Dry Brushed Paint Layers

Layers Of Glaze

To protect the frame and add more aging, apply two layers of colored glaze.

Glaze Tip: My preference when using glaze is to dip the chip brush in water first and remove the excess water onto a paper towel so the brush is damp but not soaked. 

Dip the tips of the brush into the dark Van Dyke Brown glaze, a little goes a long way, and apply it the same way you did the paint, letting it rest in all the dips and valleys of the frame. Wipe the excess with a paper towel or cloth. Next, apply the second Whitewash glaze in the same manner.

Pine Wainscot Tray Base

Knotty pine beaded wainscot from Home Depot is used to make the base of the tray. It adds a nice slat look to the tray and it's easy to cut.

Picture Frame Serving Tray Pine Wainscot

Cut the pieces to fit either vertically or horizontally on the tray using a miter saw. If power tools aren't your thing, you can cut them with an inexpensive miter box and hand saw (I've included a link in the materials list). I cut mine vertically and lucky for me, four full pieces fit the length of the tray perfectly without having to trim the boards.

Picture Frame Serving Tray Cut Pine Slats

Paint the slats before installation using the same Peacock, The Gulf, and Sea Glass paint colors (as pictured below). Add light layers of the Van Dyke Brown and Whitewash glaze once the paint is dry.

On the underside, the slats are all painted in the color Sea Glass, also with both colors of glaze.

Once dry, apply a thin bead of No More Nails Glue onto the tongues of each wood slat and glue them all together. They bond within minutes with this amazing glue.

Once the glue is completely dry, apply two thin coats of water repellent polyacrylic so there is no need to worry about spills on the tray. My favorite go-to water repellent polyacrylic is Gator Hide by Dixie Belle Paint Company.

Picture Frame Serving Tray Painted Slats

Tray Base Installation

Apply a bead of No More Nails glue along the underside of the frame.

Picture Frame Serving Tray Base Glue

Insert the slat base and add heavy weights to hold it down while the glue sets.

Picture Frame Serving Tray Slat Bottom Glued

Here is a close up of what they look like installed. Yup, that's a real seahorse my husband brought back from Hawaii 40 years ago.

Picture Frame Serving Tray Painted Slat Top

Sisal Rope Handles

Determine where the rope handles will go on each side of the frame. Find the center and measure two inches on either side and mark the spots. Repeat on the other side of the tray. With a drill and a 1/16" drill bit, drill a pilot hole on each mark.

Picture Frame Serving Tray Rope Handle Pilot Holes

Determine the thickness of the sisal twine rope and drill a hole approximately the same size (my drill bit is 5/16").

Picture Frame Serving Tray Rope Handle Holes

Thread the sisal rope through from the top and knot it on the underside. Create a handle approximately 7-inches long, thread it through the hole and tie in a knot. Repeat for the opposite side.

Picture Frame Serving Tray Sisal Rope Handles

As promised, here are the materials used to make this coastal picture frame serving tray.

Coastal Picture Frame Serving Tray Materials

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links so you can see what products I used or recommend to complete this project. What that means is that if you click on one of the product links, I may receive a small portion of any sales at no additional cost to you to support the costs of running this site. See my disclosure policy page.

Materials List

Picture Frame
Knotty Pine Beaded Wainscot (3 1/16" wide slats)
LePage No More Nails Glue
Americana Stain Blocker|Sealer
Dixie Belle Mineral Chalk Paint in the colors Sea Glass, The Gulf, and Peacock
Dixie Belle Whitewash and Van Dyke Brown Glaze
Dixie Belle Gator Hide
Sisal Jute Rope

Tool List

Miter Saw or Miter Box and Saw Set
Pilot Hole 1/16" and 5/16" Drill Bits

Easy DIY Picture Frame Serving Tray

My hope is that I've inspired you to take a second look down the picture frame aisle at your local thrift store to give a picture frame serving tray a try. As I mentioned earlier, if power tools are not your thing, you can cut the wood slats with an inexpensive miter box and saw set. No hammer and nails required in the making of this serving tray.

Here is another Picture Frame Transformed Into A Tray that I made a few years ago. I kept the glass on the frame and added pretty paper underneath.

If you enjoyed this project please share it with a friend and/or save it on Pinterest.
Coastal Picture Frame Serving Tray Before and After

Please join me in visiting my friend's blogs to see what they did with these frames...
Thrifty Chicks Group Frame Challenge Before Photos
Update A Frame For Valentine's Day by Shoppe No. 5
Picture Frame Coastal Serving Tray (that's me)
A Frame Transformation + Vintage Button Valentine by Adirondack Girl At Heart
Upcycled Valentine Picture Frame by Little Vintage Cottage
Sheet Metal Frame by Lora B. Create & Ponder

You will find this project linked to these fabulous PARTIES.

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