before and after · DIY · Home Depot · Painting

Trending: Tray Chic!

tray before               IMG_1677

Here are a couple of ways to update your trays to suit your decor.

The first one just requires a map or anything else paper related that you don’t mind cutting and sticking to something else – Old photos, fabric, wallpaper, wrapping paper, book pages, posters, theatre playbills…..well you get the idea. But remember, once Mod Podged, there is no going back!  If you can’t find Mod Podge, white glue that you’ve watered down to the consistency of coffee cream can be used in a pinch.


STEP ONE:  Once you’ve measured the tray bottom and cut the map to fit, take a paintbrush or foam brush and coat both the bottom of the tray and the back of the map with Mod Podge.   STEP TWO: Place the map goop to goop in the tray and smooth the map with your hand or soft cloth to push out air bubbles and to ensure a good connection. Let dry and then paint one more coat of MP to seal and “waterproof” the map. You can paper up the sides too, or leave them un-adorned. Clean with a damp cloth.

tray after


This second tray is easier than you think. It’s the hot new pattern called Chevron. Well it’s not really new, but it is trending. If I can do this with MY terrible math brain, you can too, because you don’t even need math! You WILL need Painter’s tape, a box cutter, a ruler and the paint you’ve chosen. The tray I painted is 11 x 11 so keep this in mind when you are taping, square is the easiest shape for this Chevron method. I’m hoping that between the pictures and my words, the process will be easy to understand and follow, but don’t hesitate to ask if you have questions.

STEP ONE: Tape a piece of painters tape (from Home Depot) from one diagonal corner to another. Repeat with second two corners.   IMG_1679  STEP TWO: continue taping stripes, keeping the same distance between strips as you go. This is where the ruler comes in handy or you can eyeball the space too if you are confident enough. You should end up with a grid pattern like this. IMG_1680   IMG_1681

STEP THREE:  Okay this part may seem tricky, but once you get going it’s pretty obvious which pieces of tape to cut and remove. If you mess up, don’t panic, just stick the tape back down and keep going.  STEP FOUR: rub rub rub the edges of tape down and when you think you are finished, rub some more. This step is what keeps the edges crisp and clean on the finished Chevron pattern.


STEP FIVE: paint your chosen colour. Two lighter (or 3) coats are better than heavy ones. Even if you think it will save you time, the chances of paint bleeding under the tape is greater no matter how much you rubbed those edges down! I speak from experience with lots of tears and a few choice words. It’s easier to take a little longer and do it right than to have to go back and fix your wonky edges.


STEP SIX: An IMPORTANT tip: once you have painted the amount of coats you think is good, remove the tape while the paint is still wet. It’s a little messy on the fingers, but sometimes if the paint dries before the tape is removed you end up removing much of the paint along with the tape. If for some reason you weren’t able to get to it before it dried, it pays to take a little extra time to run the box cutter along the tape edges to cut the dried paint from the tape. Whew!                        IMG_1685         The fun thing about this is you can do all kinds of colour combinations including painting each line a different colour, gloss vs matte, large vs small etc.  This looks awesome as a feature wall too if you are up to the challange and works as an art canvas also.


11 thoughts on “Trending: Tray Chic!

      1. Never seem to stop working, 9-5 day job – painting and crafting evenings and weekends. Love it!
        Ive started putting items on Facebook for a couple of days at a reduced price then if not sold listing on ebay. Working well so far! Im currently doing commission work, Ive had an order to paint quite a few items, so working my way through those steadily. I’ll post as I do them 🙂 x

      2. Hope it works out for you, I recently requested dropping a day & was turned down, so going to start looking elsewhere. Been there 12 years so it feels stressful applying for different jobs, but I need more time to devote to Uk vintage chic. Want to open a shop someday 🙂

  1. Wow, I’m impressed. Again. I’m going to get a tray from K-Mart (I know exactly where they are, as I’ve been ogling them for ages), and make my own Tray Art. Maybe with Washi tape…hmmm ideas! 😀

      1. I’m not one for making a mess, only because I can’t be bothered to clean up afterwards. I was going to use lots of different coloured and designed Washi tape and just stick together some deliberately random design, then varnish to seal the whole shebang. Lazy me :D!

  2. Ha. wish i’d come across this tutorial last night for making the chevron! My kid wanted Chevron on the cork board we painted but the measuring and half-ing was giving me brain ache. We ended up with diagonals, that i’m fine with but this is a great reference. Thanks.

    Also I have an old tray with christmas print, thinking it’s time to show it some loving.

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