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Upcycling for Good

Transform a wooden mail tray

Refresh an old fashioned mail tray with a modern new look using the Resene Whites and Neutrals range.

Resene upcycling for good with Sarah Herring - Project 50

Finished project letter rack
Finished project

You will need: 1 x testpot brush and 2 x small detail brushes, a small piece of sandpaper, painter’s masking tape, scissors, Resene Quick Dry primer undercoat (smallest size is enough), Your choice of testpots, Sarah used Resene Whites & Neutrals testpots in: Resene Villa White, Resene Double Ash and Resene Masala.

Top tip: If you don’t have enough mail to fill this tray, reinvent it as a magazine holder, spice rack or use it to hold your favourite cookbooks. Paint the front panel in Resene Blackboard Paint and use it as a handy writing space.

Letter rack before
Letter rack finished project
Finished project
Step 1 Step one
This old mail tray was still perfectly functional, it just looked a bit unfashionable.
Step 1 Step one contd.
Sarah’s aim was not to change its purpose at all, but rather update it with some on-trend colours so it could be used and enjoyed again.
Step 2 Step two
Once the primer is dry, apply two coats of your chosen colour. Sarah used Resene Masala, which would suit most neutral modern interiors, so that this mail tray could blend in on a countertop or desk.
Step 3 Step three
Once the base coats are dry mask out some uneven shapes by hand with painter’s tape. Sarah aimed for imperfect shapes, for a fun design. Once you have masked out all the shapes, paint them with two coats of Resene Villa White.
Step 4 Step four
Once dry, freehand paint some paint strokes over the top in Resene Double Ash. It gives an interesting effect when the masking tape has been removed.
Step 5 Step five
Remove all the masking tape and if necessary, clean up some of the edges with a small detail brush dipped in Resene Masala.
Step 5 Step five contd.
Place your completed mail tray on your kitchen bench, hallway table or desk for holding your mail and/or stationery items such as pens, envelopes, rubber bands etc.
Finished mail tray Finished project:
You could even use this elsewhere for storing makeup or paint brushes.

Upcycling for Good

You can find a huge range of treasures, from ornaments and picture frames, to furniture and toys at your local Salvation Army store that you can easily upcycle with a little Resene paint and some imagination.

"Our Family Stores are full of treasures generously donated by members of the public. We value these donations and try our hardest to re-purpose and sell as much as possible. We’re all about re-using and recycling, so teaming up with Resene on Upcycling for Good was a perfect match. Resene’s products and tips are a natural fit with our pre-loved furniture and accessories, which are usually great quality but could sometimes do with a lick of paint to ensure they fly off the shelves.

Each year, nationally, our stores save 16,000 tonnes from landfill. This initiative increases the value of the donated product, improves the range of goods for our customers, and furthers The Salvation Army’s mission and Resene’s community activity.” Gareth Marshall, The Salvation Army's National Family Store Manager.

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Colours shown on this website are a representation only. Please refer to the actual paint or product sample. Resene colour charts, testpots and samples are available for ordering online.   See measurements/conversions for more details on how electronic colour values are achieved.