Projects: Chalkboard Tray

Hi everyone!  I hope you are enjoying winter. I know even though it has been mild this season in my area, I am eagerly awaiting the spring buds... looking forward to playing outside with my kids and returning to our daily walks in the the park.  Truth be told we are going a bit stir crazy around here.  Getting a bit tired of staring at my walls... so it is time to start some projects to spruce things up.

We live in the house my husbands grandfather built.  I love out sweet little home,  after being here together for 5 years, we are still slowly updating it and making it our own.  The best part of living here is that I am always unearthing little treasures.

{sunbeam wooden tray}
  My latest find was this wooden serving tray, i'd say from the style of it it is from the 1930's or 40's.  I knew as soon as I saw it that it would make a lovely and unique chalkboard.  I have seen this done before in my Pinterest surfing and I have just been waiting for the right tray!  Before I did any thing to my tray I checked around the internet just to make sure I wasn't about to destroy anything valuable... The most I found one for was about 50.00.  Mine was in pretty lousy condition so not worth that much and I was excited to give it a second life.

Here are the tools I used to make this project:
wooden tray
foam sanding block
a respirator or mask that is made for fine particulate
paper towel
a sponge paint brush or roller
a paint stir stick
chalkboard paint {i like the valspar brand}
a metallic gold or silver paint marker {optional}


Before you paint over any finished wood surface you need to sand the surface a bit to give it a "tooth" or slightly rough surface so the paint has something to adhere to.  When sanding, you want to use a fine grit sanding block in the direction of the wood grain.  After you have finished wipe it off with a damp paper towel or sponge to remove any dust and give it time to totally dry.

Now you are ready to paint! Make sure you stir the paint really well before using it so it gets good coverage.  The first coat will be pretty streaky, but remember to paint along with the grain, it will look more natural.

{tray after one coat}

Most importantly let each coat dry fully before applying another, about 30 minutes to an hour between coats. I painted my tray with a total of 4 coats of Valspar chalkboard paint. I lightly sanded the surface before I did the final coat.  After the final coat was completely dry I edged the entire tray with a gold paint marker.

This is the finished tray displayed on my buffet in the dinning room.  I hand drew a word I took from a sign I saw in the Pottery Barn catologue. There is a DIY knock off project here, of my inspiration.  But I am looking forward to using this tray to write my menu on for my next dinner party.