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DIY Gold Bar Tray and How to Make it

After recently reading ‘My Formula For Styling A Bar Cart’ (I thoroughly recommend a read) by Kimberley on her fabulous award winning blog Swoon Worthy I was inspired to use her very helpful hints & tips in my own dining room makeover. Here I share my 'How To' with a fabulous DIY Gold Bar Tray. It's perfect for carrying drinks or displaying gorgeous decanters and a cocktail glass or two.

DIY Gold Bar Tray

Problem 1! I have no room for a bar cart!

Problem number 2! If I did have room son number 2 and to a lesser degree son number 3 would probably use it to ram raid the house. Or take it in turns to circuit race the downstairs rooms! Not sure which would be worse to be honest but neither are good.

Undeterred, and with Thinking Cap firmly placed on head I decided to take the essence of the idea and create a bar area instead. Not quite the same I know but I loved the compact area with  its eclectic glamour created by Kimberley. I felt could apply the same principles to a cabinet top previously used for displaying some boring old nic nacs. I think one of our French Console Tables would work perfectly too. 

This is where problem number 3 arose. I love Devon, it’s a great place to live but style capitol it is not! I’m sorry Devon! I have to be honest, when it comes to interiors my nearest city of Exeter has a handful of shops selling interior accessories and all of them are major department stores. To say the choice is limited would be an understatement.

So off I trot one Saturday morning with a list of requirements needed to create the perfect bar area after visiting every interior accessory shop and nearly all the charity shops (and that’s no mean feat) within a 20 mile radius of home. I was quietly proud of my resulting hoard. And I did manage to pick up quite a few bargains so quite rightly gave myself a pat on the back whilst driving home smugly. But, and this is a big but the most important item on the shopping list and central to the whole display was a total and utter wipe-out! In vain, I even tried my local shop famed for its laminated book of dreams!

Problem to overcome number 4! You cannot, and I mean, cannot, buy a gold bar tray for love nor money in my local area. Couple this with my inherent and slightly OCD tendency to obsess about a project until it’s finished and the desire to have things completed before I even start them you can probably understand how frustrated I was.

So, the thinking cap went back on and the internet search started but I still couldn’t find the perfect gold bar tray, it was the wrong shape or too small or too large – you get it. And then the light bulb moment hit I could simply make my own. I don’t know why I hadn’t thought of it earlier. Surely it couldn’t be that difficult to create the perfect gold bar tray and it would certainly be more personal and kinder on the purse strings.

I already had a cheap tray that would be a suitable guinea pig that I purchased from a supermarket a few years ago for a couple of pounds. I thought, lets make it fabulous! Hey ho, it cost me peanuts. What's the worst that could happen?

Honestly? I love my gold bar tray, it’s very glam, deco inspired and works perfectly with the upcoming trends for 2017. If you want to create a gorgeous, designer tray for a fraction of the price in less than an hour of your time follow my simple instructions in the third part of my dining room makeover series.

What You Will Need for a Gold Bar Tray

A Tray

Gold Spray Paint

Gold Size (Glue)

Transfer Gold Leaf (Or the colour of your choice)

DIY Gold Bar Tray

Simple Steps To Follow


  • Start by giving your tray a good clean with soapy water just in case there’s anything on it that could stop the paint adhering.


  • Whilst wearing a face mask (safety first) spray paint the bottom of the tray.  Once dry spray the top of your tray. I’m using Montana Gold Spray Paint in Gold which is my absolute fav for a gold finish. Not only does it go on really well but is has the shiniest finish that I’ve found and it dries in ultra fast time. Two hints here! Shake the can for 2-3 minutes before attempting to spray the paint to ensure the finest of mist and therefore a better finish. And secondly work quickly and evenly holding the can approximately 30 cms away from the surface to prevent puddles and/or drips.


  • Once both sides of the tray are dry apply the size.  This is a specialist glue that gets really tacky and takes a long time to dry. Firstly apply it to the base and outer sides of your tray. Try to apply it as evenly as possible and make sure you don’t miss any bits. I used water based size in this instance as it dries quicker than traditional size and won’t react with the spray paint.


  • Wait 10-20 minutes depending on the ambient temperature until the glue becomes tacky. Then working to a grid pattern place your first piece of transfer leaf onto the surface. Gently rub the backing paper with your fingertips or a paint brush to gently stick the leaf to the tray. Now carefully peel the paper back and hey presto the leaf has stuck to the tray. Repeat the whole process until the whole underside is covered in leaf. You will have loose bits of leaf at this point. It may look a tad messy but don’t despair because we are going to polish it next.


  • Using the softest paint brush you can find start to gently flick it backwards and forwards across the surface of the leaf. Slowly but surely you will start to see a deep shine develop. The tiny bits of sticky up leaf will slowly start to disappear.


  • Finally when you have worked over the whole tray with the brush turn the tray over and repeat the same steps. Polish again with your soft brush. Then apply a couple of coats of gloss varnish to really bring out the shine. Alternatively apply a thin coat of wax (I stole my husband’s very expensive pot of Swiss Wax! Ooops!! Allow it to dry and then buff with a soft, preferably lint free cloth.


I love my gold bar tray and hope you do too. Go on, give it a try one wet and windy weekend. It only costs a few pennies, what’s the worst that can happen? I owe a huge thank you to Kimberley from Swoon Worthy for her inspiration. Have you read her formula for a perfect bar cart yet? It’s a must read before styling your own bar/cocktail area. Better to know the right way to style it from the off rather than learning from your mistakes. Soupy Twist!!

DIY Gold Bar Tray

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