I don't think I ever mentioned it here, but anyone who knows us can tell you that we are a gaming family. Luis is a gamer, he enjoys playing video games of all types. I am a part-time gamer, I will play or watch Luis play a game that I am interested in. We have games that we play together, and games that we play individually. It's not for everyone, but it's what we like to do. Everyone likes different things, this is our thing that we do together.
A few years ago we had a gaming related incident that involved a broken controller and a broken tray that I used in the basement to coral the remotes and controllers. These incidents are completely related.
The broken tray has been sitting in our crawlspace for years while I tried to figure out how to fix it or what I was going to do with it. I decided it would be nice to use this tray on the couch when we are having a snack so that we don't have to lean over to the coffee table. I know, first world problems. And since we have redone the basement with gaming related decor, I thought it would add a nice touch to incorporate this with the tray as well.
I thought long and hard about what I was going to put on the tray, whether it was going to be a recognizable symbol from a game or from a show. We love having game related things in our basement that most people will think is just nice decor, but people who play the game will get what it is about and appreciate it more. In the end I chose this triforce symbol because it was easy and is from a game that I love and have played many times myself. I like easy crafts, makes it that much more satisfying when you finish it quickly.
First I sanded the tray lightly, then I did a few coats of spray-paint in a glossy white to cover the finish. I was hoping that I could cover the crack with paint and not have to do anything else. Unfortunately the crack was extremely noticeable, so we had to come up with another plan.
I couldn't really get a good picture of the crack with the white paint, so I took a picture of the bottom to show you the crack and the previous finish. I couldn't find my before picture of the top of the tray, and don't mind the toddler foot. Though Braxton's foot makes this tray look huge if you thought that was my foot.
We decided to use the same kind of wood that we used for our coffee table update, but the oak instead of MDF. This stuff is fairly inexpensive and is easy to work with. I think this sheet, which we only used about two thirds of, was roughly $8.
Luis cut it to fit inside the tray and used clear paintable caulking to fill in any gaps. The inside of the tray is angled, so cutting the wood to fit perfectly was almost impossible.
Once the caulking set for a few days, I gave the tray another few coats with a semi gloss white paint. I did the whole tray, not just the wood insert and this helped blend the two paints together. The spray paint acted as a primer for the old stain colour, so it worked out perfectly.
Once the base paint was finished I traced the triforce shape onto roughly the middle of the tray. I cut out a cardboard triangle to use as a stencil, and the triforce is just four triangles. Easy peasy. I used a Martha Stewart gold paint to fill in the triforce and it took about 5 light coats to get good coverage.
The finish of the gold paint isn't flat, I chose to let the gold paint have different tones so that the triforce looked a little more metallic. It would have taken another 5 coats for the gold to be the same flatness, and I think it would have made it look a little boring. This way, it has more depth. And once I was happy with how the gold paint looked I gave the whole tray a coat of semi gloss Mod Podge. This will seal the tray against any spills or condensation from drinks.
I am so happy with how this turned out. It's nice to have the option to use a tray for snacks and drinks after the kids go to bed. Or even for entertaining, not that we do that a lot anymore. Kids are exhausting.
Hopefully this gives you guys some inspiration to update things the way you want to. It doesn't have to be the latest trend or look a certain way as long as you like it and it functions for your family. For the longest time I struggled with what I thought I should do and what I wanted to do. In the end, I need to let what makes us happy be what's in our house. We have to live with it, not anyone else.
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