However, sometimes a polishing works only on part of the item and does little or nothing for some areas, because wear and tear has eroded the silver plating or it has sustained some damage. You might feel the only option is to discard the piece. Before you throw out one of these treasured pieces, maybe you can salvage it by giving it a whole new look.
Case in point is this silverplated tray which has been in our family for decades. Cleaning and polishing did restore some of its luster, but unfortunately, the plating is worn down to a copper core and there are also marks left by whatever was stored on this tray for years.
This is still a very usable tray. Sure, it doesn’t look like it should and no amount of cleaning and polishing will restore its original beauty. However, it’s still a good tray, just not so pretty in the flat area. The handles are built-in, so still very sturdy and the trim looks awesome.
A quick fix for this silverplate is to use an insert to hide its blemishes, so it can once again be a serviceable tray. That way, this decades-old family heirloom can still be enjoyed, albeit with a minor modification.
The placemat shown with this tray is an ideal choice for a removable insert. It is extremely affordable (dollar store), can easily be custom trimmed with rounded corners and it can be wiped as needed.
It even has a rubberized non-slip nature, which is perfect for a tray and lays flat without the need for an adhesive. Other insert choices could be to add a paper or fabric doily or napkin. The insert should be placed in the flat area only, to allow the beautiful edge trim to be admired.
If you need a serving tray, don’t rule out a flea market or yard sale find like this tray. You can usually get one with blemishes for very little, but you can deck it out to look like an expensive piece of silver serving ware. And nobody would be the wiser.
Silverware is highly collectible and gathering various pieces is a great frugal way to set a lovely formal table without breaking the bank.
For more about cleaning and polishing silverware – check out my article and reviews on About.com: