Finding Flips: Wood Tray and Rose Lamp

Inspired by HGTV and TikTok, two roommates test their luck at flipping furniture on Facebook Marketplace. Follow along as Lila and Addi tackle the best Central Iowa has to offer. 

Flip #3

Our third flip was a two-parter. First, we flipped a wooden tray from the Goodwill of Central Iowa. Second, we revamped a small lamp with a rose laser cut into the side. We paid less than $4 for the tray and $8 for the lamp. 

While Lila has primarily taken the lead on searching for Facebook Marketplace finds, like the lamp, the tray was my labor of love. The roles were reversed—I, Addi, saw the tray and knew it would be perfect with my flamingo contact paper. Although, it took time and creative convincing for Lila to agree. 


The vision for the lamp was quite simple. We knew that with a fresh coat of paint that wasn’t an ugly, dated yellow, it would be ready to go. As for the tray, we originally had planned to paint the handles black, use marble contact paper on the body, and resin on top of the contact paper.

For both of these projects, we used the following: 


By the time we started our third project, we were in the groove. After the chicken wire and bullet catch debacle of our medicine cabinet flip, we were ready for a fresh start. Luckily, the tray by nature required less time and attention. It was in relatively good shape when we found it, so prepping didn’t take long. 

Without even sanding it, Lila hit the tray with leftover black spray paint from a previous project. Three coats were applied with 30 minutes in between. One issue that was slightly concerning: the paint seemed to come right off when run over by a paper towel. Like any master crafters, we decided to ignore that and save our panic for later. 

After chalking our first minor road block up to tacky paint that needed another coat, we repainted the handles. We must have been right about something because after the addition of more paint, it was fine. Things were going more smoothly than the other two flips, until, of course, something went awry. 

The marble contact paper that Lila had ordered on Amazon was cancelled. While the resin came the same day the contact paper was supposed to, the order had “failed.” On deadline, we had to think on our feet and pivot. I was rather excited that I might be able to finally get some use out of my flamingo contact paper. Lila, however, was not having it. 

Knowing that I am more of an assistant and Lila is the head crafter, I tend to let her take the lead. This time, though, was different. I was willing to go down fighting for these flamingos. Once she got up close and personal with the contact paper, she agreed that it would suffice. 

Using an exacto knife and my student ID card, we cut the paper to size and smoothed it down evenly onto the tray. Not to boast, but I thought it looked pretty cute. Lila had to admit she liked it too. The next step was to add resin. 

After studying the instructions, we figured it couldn’t be too hard to figure out. Lila poured equal parts of the A bottle and B bottle together and got to mixing. Pouring the resin into the tray, she used a popsicle stick to smooth it across evenly. Unfortunately, we did not have a blowtorch, so to take care of the small air bubbles, Lila just used a small lighter.

Pro tip: Small lighters will get extremely hot if you try to use one for a larger project. Save your thumbprints and use a blowtorch or bigger lighter. 

Resin can take anywhere from 6-24 hours to harden, so we decided to leave it alone for the rest of the day. We had taped the bottom just in case any resin seeped out through the bottom. It looked like just a smidge was trying to make a run for it, but overall it went much better than we had expected. 

Once the resin was dry, we noticed just a few tiny scuffs near the edges and handles. Some contact paper had taken off bits of paint. Rather than chancing it and covering the small marks with acrylic paint that could possibly not match, Lila sprayed the black spray paint into its cap to paint it on with a brush. 

To finish off the tray, we coated it in sealant twice. The final product looked good and seemed like it went by faster than our other two flips. However, we still had the lamp to refinish. We probably should have sanded it just a little, but we were too eager. The soft, baby pink was the perfect fun, yet muted, color for this project. After the first coat, the spray was a little uneven.

Pro tip: Don’t try to spray paint when it’s extra windy out because it may affect the coverage of your spray. 

Three coats did the trick though. The final product was whimsical and chic. With two more projects done, it was time to list them on Facebook Marketplace. 


Totaling up our first two projects, we quickly realized we did not make as great of a profit as expected. The black and gold entry shelf sold for $40, and the medicine cabinet sold for $58. While that was near the ballpark we had listed the items for, we cut it close. 

Still, there was money in our pockets at the end of the day. To try to build our winnings, we decided to up the ante and be ambitious with the lamp and tray. The lamp was listed for $30, and the tray table was listed for $25. We spent significantly less on these projects, so we hope to make a greater profit. 

Has it sold?

The tray was listed on Facebook Marketplace on Nov. 13, but it has not sold yet. 

As of Nov. 13, the lamp has only had four views since being listed Nov. 4. It doesn’t seem like anyone is in the market for a lamp, so we renewed the listing and lowered the price to $25, hoping to draw in more attention.

What’s next? 

Our fourth flip is going to be a bread box. We’ll also be posting smaller DIY projects on TikTok at @urbanplains.