This is a job that has been driving me crazy for way too long and I tackled the other day. 
You see I have this really pretty tray.
Looks great doesn’t it?
Not up close.
The finish started lifting soon after I got it but long enough that I couldn’t take it back.
With 20 seconds of sanding this is what it looked like.
Grrr…don’t worry though, this has a happy ending.
I’ve got a can with leftover chaulkboard paint and after seeing a really cute idea at thepicketfence I even had an idea.
I wanted a heavy coating and didn’t care how long it took to dry so I just poured it on.

A day later I got a nicely redone piece for literally nothing.
And last night I was able to use it as a pretty, swank cheese tray.
I’m going to cheat today and put two posts into one.
I was asked not to long ago to give a quickie ‘class’ on what makes a good cheese tray.
Here’s the basics with some bias in there of what we like.
Rules of thumb:
1)  Something semi-soft: Brie, camenbert, cambanzola…
2)  Something creamy:  Chevre, flavoured cream cheese or a creamy blue
3)  Something hard: parmesan or an aged cheddar
4)  Something salty: spiced nuts, seeds (sunflower are nice), olives…
5)  Something sweet:  red pepper jelly or a fruit paste or a sweet nut is great
6)  Something crunchy:  crackers, crostini…
What do I have on mine?
1)  Brie:  take it out of the fridge a good hour before you want to eat it to let it reach room temperature and be deliciously gooey
2) Chevre: I formed mine into balls and rolled them in chopped dill.  Also really nice? Chopped chives, poppy seeds, sesame seeds or crushed nuts.
3)  Three year old cheddar:  not a fan of strong cheese?  Put the type you like best.
4)  Quince paste: Amazing sliced and on chunks of cheese.  Not easy to find so grab it when you see it-it lasts forever.
5)  Salted nuts
6)  Rosemary Crackers
(oh. and maybe a bit of chocolate ‘fell in’)
Bread on the side since everybody in this house is a carb fiend these days.
Looks pretty, tastes even better and is less of a recipe than a compilation.