I had long thought about elevating our simple, plastic boot tray into a sweet little spot in our mudroom on which to place wet and muddy footwear. Until last week, the tray was serviceable, but a little – okay, a LOT – dingy.
All it really needed was a good scrubbing, but I also wanted it to be, well, pretty too. And now that summer was drawing to a close, and as we started getting more wet and rainy days, I thought it was the perfect time to start thinking of small ways to spruce up the mudroom.
What started out as a simple little DIY project, however, turned into a craft-fail-turned-craft-disappointment-turned-I’m-gonna-make-this-work-gosh-darn-it (!) kind of project. ‘I’ve gotten this far,’ I thought… And quite simply, I was determined to make it work. Ever been there before?
In this post, I’ll show you how I arrived at the finished product – warts n’ all! So, if you’ve been itching to make a couple of small changes to your mudroom, and want to give this DIY project a try, then read on (and learn from my missteps along the way 😉 ).
- plastic boot tray
- spray paint
- acrylic paint
- artist’s paint brush
- Mod Podge (acrylic sealer)
- painter’s tape
- measuring tape & pencil
- river stones
Wash your boot tray and let dry. Make sure it is thoroughly dry before moving onto the next step.
Spray paint your tray. For this project, I chose a good quality brand – Krylon – for indoor/outdoor projects that adhere to a variety of materials, including plastic. The colour was a beautiful almond, satin finish, as you see below:
The colour and finish gave the tray a brighter, fresher look. See the before (left) and after (right) below:
Measure out the striped pattern that will surround your boot tray. On my tray, each stripe measured approximately 4 inches along the longer sides of the tray and about 3 inches along the shorter sides.
Once you’ve measured and marked off the stripes using a pencil, tape off the marked edges. For this project, the only hand painting to be done is the blue-green stripes, so make sure to place the tape where you will not be painting.
Begin painting your coloured stripes with the acrylic craft or artist’s paint of your choice. Once you’ve finished, let dry – about 20 minutes.
Remove your tape…and cue scary, screeching movie music…
Yep, that’s how it turned. Argh! So, what went wrong? A couple of things likely contributed to this near-disaster:
- I waited too long – 24 hours – before removing the tape, allowing it to adhere to the paint.
- I failed to sand the plastic before painting, thus making it all-too-easy for the paint to come off. After reading a few articles on painting plastic, it seems not everyone agrees on this point. But given the results above, I would have to say that this was a crucial step for this particular project. For instructions on painting plastic, including the necessity of sanding, see this useful WikiHow article, ‘How to Paint on Plastic.’
Regardless of the results, I was still determined to save this little boot tray from total annihilation! While I was not willing to start from scratch, I decided to forge ahead; after all it is an inexpensive boot tray that could easily be replaced if need be. At this point, I focused on salvaging what I could.
Repaint! But only the almond-colour striping along the edges of the tray. At this point I applied tape to the blue-green stripes and started painting over the almond striping using acrylic paint (instead of spray paint). This way, I could avoid the possible overspray onto my freshly-painted blue-green stripes.
Remove tape after the acrylic paint has dried – approximately 20 minutes or a little longer.
Apply mod podge acrylic spray sealer according to instructions on the can. This will prevent the acrylic from running or staining when the tray gets wet.
Now – finally! – time to add river stones to the boot tray. The river stones are both pretty and useful – they’re a great way to add some rustic charm and allow water from your footwear to drain to the bottom without showing through. And when need be, all you have to do is remove the stones to give the tray a good wash.
And viola! A pretty little boot tray for the mudroom is born 🙂
Well, it took a bit of doing, but it’s finally done and I am very happy with the result (insert sigh of relief). In spite of a couple of missteps along the way, I am very glad I decided to stick it out and salvage my little boot tray makeover project 🙂 It was well worth the effort and definitely adds a bit of ‘pretty’ to our little mudroom.
For more mudroom ideas, don’t forget to follow me on Pinterest!