{Cabinet Door} Snack Tray

We resisted letting the kids bring food up into the game room for a long time.  Then last Christmas, we added a TV to the room so the kids could watch their movies upstairs, and I wouldn’t be subjected to endless hours of “Good Luck, Charlie” or Mindcraft on the weekends.  But who can have a movie without popcorn?  Apparently, not my kids.  So when I let them start bringing food up into the game room, I was on a mission to figure out where they could put it.  I didn’t want a coffee table, because it would take up too much space.  Then I found these little guys…

Yep.  Lowe’s was clearancing (is that even a word?) them out for $2 each!  I loved them, and knew just what to do with them.  So I snagged a few, and went home to rummage around my woodpile.

About a year ago, we rescued these cabinet doors from the curbside trash.  They were water damaged, but I knew I could do something with them.  Sadly, they sat in the garage for a year.  When I brought home those cute little tulip bun feet, I knew this would be the perfect table top.

I removed the hinges from the door.  Then I took an old closet pole I had lying around and cut two pieces to fit inside the holes left by the hinges.  I glued them in and sanded them up.

When I got the feet under the table, I realized I wanted the tray a little taller.  I had some scrap 4×4 post pieces laying around, so I cut them into squares and rounded off the edges with my belt sander.  Then I drilled a hole in the middle to accomodate the screw in the top of the bun foot.

I cut the apron pieces from some scrap 1×3 (yes, I have a huge scrap pile in my garage), and attached them to the leg blocks with wood glue and pocket hole screws.  I found Ana White’s plans for her Turned Leg Coffee Table really helpful here.  There was some math involved, which initially made my head hurt, but it all worked out in the end.

Then we used glue and clamps to attach the tulip bun feet to the 4×4 blocks.  We let the glue dry overnight with the clamps on.

When it was time to put it all together, we used pocket hole screw and wood glue to attach the frame to the cabinet door.  This required some muscle because the cabinet trim was made of hardwood, and apparently my math wasn’t as good as I thought it was.  Because I didn’t check to make sure everything was completely square, it took two of us to get the top screwed on.  :-)

Now, here’s the really important part…  Sand that baby really well.  Sometimes, owners will use an oil (think Murphy’s Oil Soap or lemon oil) of some type to clean and protect their cabinets.  If there is any oil residue, it will prevent the paint from adhering to the wood.  I *thought* I did a pretty good job of this, but some of my paint peeled up, and I had to go back and sand the top again.  Don’t skimp here–even if you are using a primer which says it will stick to anything (which I did).  SAND, SAND, SAND!

Once the tray was all sanded and wiped down, we primed the whole thing with Zinsser Cover Stain.  I really like this primer, but I’ve had good results with Kilz, too.  Just be sure to use some sort of primer.  You can see the water damage in the above photo.  While the damage is still there, the primer helped to minimize it.  I sprayed two coats of primer on, sanding with a fine grit sanding block in between coats.

After the primer was dry, I taped off the center of the top and put it up on “blocks.”  Then I applied several coats of Rustoleum spray paint in Heirloom White.  If you sand in between coats, you’ll get a pretty smooth finish.

Because this tray is going in my game room, I wanted it to have a “vintage-y” feel.  I applied my favorite Ralph Lauren glaze in Smoke to the whole thing and wiped it down with an old sock.  I know, I know.  Home Depot doesn’t sell Ralph Lauren paints anymore.  I’ve had this forever, so I can’t vouch for any alternatives, but I hear Valspar makes a nice glaze, which you could probably get similar results from.

I liked the finish on my cup organizer so much, that I used the Minwax finishing wax again.  You just wipe in on with a cheesecloth, wait 15 minutes, and buff it out.  So easy, and it leaves a beautiful hard finish.

At this point, I had a bit of a paint fiasco, which I’ll detail another time.  In the end, though, I got the best results from the Rustoleum chalkboard paint in a spray can.  Make sure your surface is primed, tape off the rest of the tray, and spray it on.  It is ready to use in 24 hours.

Before you use your chalkboard for the first time, make sure to season it.  Rub the side of a piece of chalk all over your board, then wipe off all the chalk.  This will prevent your images from “ghosting” the first time you write on your board.

As I was working on my tray, I realized that handles would make it so much easier to move around.  I picked up a couple of 50% off handles at Hobby Lobby and attached them to finish the project up.

And that’s it!  I love the way it turned out.  It has the vintage feel I was going for, and it goes so well with my game theme.  You can find the tutorial for the BINGO coasters here.  It looks perfect up in the game room (although, the lighting there is not nearly as good as the backyard).

The handles make it easy to move out to the lawn for a picnic, and it can be used up in the game room for a game board or makeshift homework desk, too.

I love that I only spent $8 (for legs) on the whole thing… and I recycled something that would have otherwise ended up in a landfill.  Perfect!  :-D


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My Uncommon Slice of Suburbia | Today’s Creative Blog | Beneath My Heart | Tatertots and Jello | AKA Design | Be Different Act Normal | Not Just a Housewife | My Repurposed Life | Chic on a Shoestring Decorating | The Creative Orchard | Someday Crafts | Thrifty Decor Chick