Leather Butler Trays

I did a decorating project for an office some time ago, and kept the scraps and offcuts of the beautiful, leather wallpaper used. Always keep such treasures; you never know when they will come in handy. They were perfect for redecorating my butler’s trays, which, after being painted in colours inspired by the English coast, now found themselves rather mismatched in the South African countryside!

Recycled items:
butler’s trays
leather wallpaper offcuts

You will also need:
sandpaper (fine grades 200 – 300)
damp cloth
black gloss paint
silver gloss paint
small foam roller
ruler and pencil
craft knife
sponge brush
wallpaper glue
rubber roller
water-based varnish (optional)

1. My butler’s trays were in good condition and only needed a good sanding to remove the varnish. When sanding varnish from wood, use a fine grade of sandpaper to prevent the wood from being scratched. Wipe it with a damp cloth to clean off any sanding dust.
2. Paint the legs black and the trays silver. I used gloss paint and a small foam roller for a smooth finish. Apply 2 – 3 coats. Between each coat, leave the paint to dry, gently sand it with fine sandpaper and wipe away any dust with a damp cloth before applying the next layer.
3. Measure the inside base of the tray and cut the wallpaper according to those measurements. Make sure that it fits perfectly and that all the edges are straight.
4. Use a sponge brush to spread a layer of wallpaper glue on the inside base of the tray. If decorating more than one tray, do one at a time. Place the wallpaper presentation side-up in the tray. Push it firmly against the wood with your hand and use a rubber roller to eliminate air bubbles and excess glue. Wipe away any excess glue with a damp cloth. Repeat the process on each tray.
5. The wallpaper will dry overnight. I did not varnish this wallpaper due to its leather texture, but if using normal paper, varnish it with a water-based varnish

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