DIY: Make A Chalkboard From A Vintage Silver Tray

Do you remember the vintage “silver” tray I showed you recently in 100 Days And Junkin Finds?

silver metal tray southern lady magazine junkin finds


I said I had plans for it, and finally, here is the reveal.  I first saw this great idea over at Laura’s blog, Sunday View.  I then saw it in an antiques mall, where a vendor was using it for a “20% off” sign.

Materials List

  • old silver-tone tray
  • painter’s tape
  • chalkboard spray paint
  • Exacto knife or similar knife
  • regular chalk or chalk pen

Here’s The 411

#1.  If you don’t already have a cheap, old silver-tone tray, you’ll have to go junkin! Mine was $2 at a thrift store.

I wouldn’t spray paint a real sterling silver tray, because it would devalue it, but that’s up to you, of course.


#2.  Cover the edges that you want to remain silver with a good painter’s tape.  I used Frog Tape for the first time, and I have to say I was very pleased with how sharp and crisp the edges came out.  That “paint barrier” they claim it makes really seems to work.

vintage silver tray chalkboard spray paint frog tape


#3.  Using your fingertips, press down on the tape so you can see the impression of the curving edges where you’ll want to cut away the painter’s tape.  This will be the outside edge of the chalkboard area.

Then, using an Exacto knife or similar knife, cut along that curving border on your tray.  I used a scrapbooking tool I had called a Circle Cutter Swivel Knife.  This was great because the blade actually swivels as you go around curves, but I think a regular Exacto knife would be fine.

vintage silver tray chalkboard spray paint frog tape


#4.  Once you get the edges cut all the way around, carefully remove the excess tape. You may have to tweak a few spots.

vintage silver tray chalkboard spray paint frog tape


#5.  Now you’re ready to spray it with chalkboard spray paint, which I found at Lowe’s in the spray paint section.

Wear a mask!  Wear safety glasses!  This paint has all kinds of weird stuff in it that you don’t want in your eyes & lungs.  Do your spray painting outdoors, also. 

Follow the directions on the can, but basically it is like any other spray paint:  short bursts side-to-side, let dry briefly between light coats.   I put on 3 coats of paint.

#6.  When the paint is completely dry, peel the painter’s tape off the outside part you had covered.

#7.  Do this step outside, and again, wear a mask and eye protection.  Sand the painted surface with a fine sanding block.   Brush away the stuff you sanded off.  Sand it enough that you have a smooth finish, but be careful not to sand all the way through.

vintage silver tray chalkboard spray paint frog tape


Writer’s Block

Now it’s time to write a message on your awesome new chalkboard!  This is where I got stuck.  What to write?  Finally I came up with a few ideas, which I thought I’d pass on to you:

  • Welcome To Our Home
  • Menu: Take Me Out!
  • Mom’s Kitchen
  • Happy Fall Y’all
  • God Bless Our Home

And finally:

vintage silver tray chalkboard spray paint frog tape


Yeah, I should have let Artsy Daughter draw the flower….

Updated to add this photo, from when I made my Two Apple Cakes for Autumn Flavor:

apple cream cheese cake praline frosting icing pecan

I hope you’re inspired to make a chalkboard tray of your own.  Please share your ideas for more messages in the Comments section, or just let me know what you think, I love to hear from y’all.

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Check out my next post, where we’re spotting antiques at the movies!  Sense and Sensibility…ah, how I love that film.  We shouldn’t have any trouble finding some antiques in that one.  Thanks for joining me, and may you be blessed!  ~Dawn

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12 thoughts on “DIY: Make A Chalkboard From A Vintage Silver Tray

  1. Hi Dawn, love the chalkboard tray! This would be a great thing in my dining room then I wouldn’t have to keep answering , whats for dinner? I could just write it on the tray chalkboard ! I bought a cake sheet pan not realizing it was to big for my oven , I could make it a chalk board thank for the inspiration! Lisa@ Sweet Tea N’ Salty Air

  2. Hi Dawn,
    Thanks for the shout out and link to my blog. Your “chalkboard” turned out great!!!! I knew nothing about Frog tape, and your idea to cut away the tape from around the curves was brilliant! Thanks for the tutorial and for linking up with Sunday View.

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