Furniture Makeovers

Tray and Beverage Cart Makeover in Cathedral Taupe

Hello Friends, 

Can I tell you a secret? Maybe it’s not much of a secret, but here it is.

I’m not really a very good trash-to-treasure thrifter. 🙁

OK. Sometimes I do hit the jackpot with a great thrift project, but it’s usually just an item that I stumbled over. The truth is that flea markets make me go all googly-brained with the hundreds of isles and thousands of items to sift through. Plus, they are only open certain hours on certain days. Oye! At the end of those days, I find I’m just an overwhelmed hot mess in the midst of all of those amazing steals, deals, and possibilites.

But where I make up a lot of ground is at the retail discount stores.

Blush and pink are achoring current color trends | Cathedral Taupe | #spon Fusion Mineral Paint |

Disclosure: This post is written in collaboration with Fusion Mineral Paint, but all projects and opinions are 100% my own.

 Tray and Beverage Cart Makeover in Cathedral Taupe

You know, those gloriously, fully air-conditioned discount stores that have a Starbuck’s next door. It’s totally ground zero for rockin a retail clearance, especially in stores that are open seven days a week.

But having said this, there’s really nothing magical about smart shopping the clearance rack. You just kind of work your way up the ranks by buying and trying.

Case in point is the makeover saga of an ugly tray and rolling cart.

An outdated wooden tray gets a quick and easy color update | Cathedral Taupe | #spon Fusion Mineral Paint |

Wooden Tray Makeover 

The first makeover is a heavy-duty, solid wood tray with amazing hardware made by Drexel. I just love the size and shape. And especially love the fact that cement blocks could be stacked on it and it would likely hold up like the true little accessory champ it was made to be. In my world, sturdy means something. The only problem was the color. I was like all —ugh.

But still, they (there were actually two trays) jumped in my cart and insisted on going home with me, ugly and all.

This outdated wooden tray gets updated with a new color | Cathedral Taupe | #spon Fusion Mineral Paint |

So when the Great Room refresh got underway, the little tray that had been held in a stash would finally come out of hiding. Yep, the bigger of the two trays was almost perfect as the anchor for a centerpiece in the room. The only problem was that color. That mind-numbing, orangey color. 

How to Make the Ugly Disappear

In order to make the ugly disappear, I turned to one of my favorite image (re)makers. That’s right. I’m talking about Fusion Mineral Paint in the color Cathedral Taupe. Turns out, its light, taupey-gray goodness with a slightly pink undertone is one of the best kept secrets during this whole pink and blush decor trend. 

That’s right.  Imma spilling another secret. **wink wink**

So how does this best-kept-secret work?

Neutral colors with amazing coverage bring this outdated tray back to life | Cathedral Taupe | #spon Fusion Mineral Paint |

Step 1: Clean and Prep

Every makeover starts with a good clean and prep. All this little tray needed was a good cleaning with mild soap and a damp rag. It was dusty, but not grimy so it didn’t require a cleaner like TSP or Simple Green.

Follow this with a quick sanding using a 220-grit sandpaper. This will rough up the finish a tiny bit so the paint will grab on really tight.

And the last step is another wipe using a tack cloth to pick up the dust from sanding.

Step 2: Apply Paint

Looking at the photo below, you’ll see that I was initially conflicted about which color to use. So I gave the tray a couple of swipes with both colors. Turns out, the Raw Silk was a little too white, mixing the two together was a little washed out, but Cathedral Taupe alone — perfecto!

So the tray was covered in Cathedral Taupe, allowed to dry overnight, and covered with a second coat the next day.

Sometimes lighter is better and sometimes not | See the new light taupe color with slighly pink undertones | Cathedral Taupe | #spon Fusion Mineral Paint |

Step 3: Allow to Cure

After the second coat of paint, the tray is set aside to cure.

  • If you recall, after a short while (30-minutes to an hour), Fusion Paint is usually dry to the touch.

  • After 7 days, it is dry to a soft cure, which means it can be used, but be careful.

  • And after 30 days, it is dry to a hard cure, which means the finish will wear like a tank forever and ever. Amen.

Color blending is easy when the paint has the right undertones | The paint on this tray is light taupe with slightly pink undertones | Cathedral Taupe | #spon Fusion Mineral Paint |

This little tray was able to cure to the 7-day mark before photos for the entire room got underway. This is really good because that rose-colored container is way heavier than it looks. And the edges of the apothecary vase are really sharp. Together, they could have damaged the finish.

But nope, no problem here. 

Color blending is easy when the paint contains the right undertones | #pink #blush #taupe #griege | Cathedral Taupe | #spon Fusion Mineral Paint |

Rolling Cart Makeover

The other makeover is this rolling cart. I love it because it has good bones, especially with the lace cut-outs on the sides. But the red didn’t work with my indoor decor at all. Plus, it needed to look more elegant.

A lesson in how to make the red disappear is on the blog | Cathedral Taupe | #spon Fusion Mineral Paint |

How to Make the Red Disappear

 So for a second time, I turned to Cathedral Taupe.

Neutralize red with a super taupe | Cathedral Taupe | #spon Fusion Mineral Paint |

Steps: Wipe, Paint and Cure

Only this time, the steps are even easier than with the tray makeover. All it took was a simple damp-cloth wipe, two coats of paint, and a good cure time. Because the red paint had a grainy feel, I didn’t sand before painting. This time, the paint should be able to hold tight to the surfaces.

What about bleed through?

I will tell you that I worried about the red bleeding through the Fusion paint, but it didn’t. There’s not a single red drop anywhere. Even after two months of hard service for the family. The paint is still absolutely perfect.

But even with this, if the red color was on a piece of furniture, I’d definitely seal the piece to prevent potential bleed. Wood tannins and red color can be sneaky, so for a major makeover, it’s better to be safe than sorry. Fusion makes an excellent Concealer (under this name in their product list), but suggest to check with your Fusion merchant to confirm that this product is right for your project.

The rolling cart goes from red to neutral super quick and super easy | Cathedral Taupe | #spon Fusion Mineral Paint |

What about excessive moisture?

Although Fusion dries to a rock hard finish, if the piece will be exposed to excessive moisture, Fusion makes a product called Tough Coat to apply over the paint. These two pieces will likely be exposed to rugged wear-and-tear, including some sweaty glasses, but not excessive moisture. So, at this point, I don’t plan to add any Tough Coat. Fusion’s built-in sealer should be all that’s needed.

Rolling carts in neutral colors can be used any where in the house | Cathedral Taupe | #spon Fusion Mineral Paint |

And that’s all there is to it. 

But let’s do a quick recap.

How to Snag Accessories on the Cheap

When roaming the clearance racks, consider the size, shape, and scale of the piece, but close your eyes to the color. Most of the time, color can be changed. If the piece is interesting and has good bones, let it jump in your take-home bag.

How to Change the Color

There are many different ways to change the color of a piece. For this tray and cart, I upped the look with an elegant color and created a furniture-grade finish. To make this happen super easy and fast, go straight to Fusion Mineral Paint.

Materials Needed

Remember, all you need are:

  • clean, soft rags

  • mild cleaning soap (maybe)

  • 220-grit sandpaper (maybe)

  • tack cloth

  • Fusion Mineral Paint in your favorite color

  • paintbrush

More Accessory Makeovers on the Cheap

To see a distressed look without sanding, please click here.

Learn how to distress without sanding | #spon Fusion Mineral Paint |

To see a mirror frame painted in a basecoat with highlights, please click here.

Accessory makeovers are easy as A-B-C with this layering technique | #spon Fusion Mineral Paint |

And, as always, thanks so much for stopping by!

If you would like to save this post, please…

An outdated orangey tray is easily refinished in Cathedral Taupe by Fusion Mineral Paint | #spon |


A clearance rack beverage cart gets a light, greigy-taupe makeover in Cathedral Taupe by Fusion Mineral Paint | #spon | The Chelsea Project |


  • Reply Angie ~ ambientwares July 7, 2017 at 10:05 am

    The rolling cart is extremely beautiful and the color you chose for that along with the tray are very fitting. I want a cart like that 😉 Pinned & sharing!

    • Reply theChelseaProject July 7, 2017 at 10:33 am

      Hi Angie and thanks so much! I do love my little cart now that the color is neutral. It just rolls around in the house and lends a helping hand to whatever is asked it it. I found it at TJMaxx/HomeGoods. Hope you can find one!!!

  • Reply Marie July 7, 2017 at 12:33 pm

    The rolling cart looks so classy – never ceases to amaze me what a can of paint will do to completely transform a piece. Ditto with the large tray that you styled most beautifully I may add!

    • Reply theChelseaProject July 7, 2017 at 3:53 pm

      Hi Marie and thanks! Agree with you that Cathedral Taupe is an amazing color. So soft and subtle, but blends with just about every color and finish. I’m so glad I gave it a try.

  • Reply cristina July 14, 2017 at 10:51 pm

    I love that color and its name! The rolling cart looks so good, it’ll fit any space in your home! <3

    • Reply theChelseaProject July 15, 2017 at 8:33 am

      Hi Cristina and thanks! Yes! What a great name indeed! It’s totally regal. And yes, the now neutral cart is an amazing addition to the house.

    Thanks so much for your comment!

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