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Tutorial-How To Make A Chalkboard Tray

Dear Fellow Bloggers,

Pictured below is a big silver-plated tray my friend Harriette bought for $2.99 on our last thrifting expedition. You may recall this tray from a previous post Treasures-Some Lost, Some Found.  It came home with me. It had a loose handle, which I reattached with a little screw in the back where the old screw had fallen out. 

Today was the first day for a while when it wasn't rainy or windy or both here. I took advantage of the better weather this morning to convert this tray into a chalkboard for "Smokin Stacks." Harriette, her son and her husband participate in barbecue competition in several states and Smokin Stacks is the name of their team. The idea is to use the chalkboard to write down their menus during competitions.

You probably know this, but I will say it anyway. I didn't invent the idea for making chalkboard trays. You may have seen any number of them in different shops and on blogs. That being said, the following is a little tutorial on the how to make a chalkboard from a tray.

The process used for this tray might be a little different, but it is most likely similar to some of the others out there. When I prepare one of these trays, I examine it to see what needs to be done to make it look good. I decide on the best means to accomplish that end, which sometimes might involve some unconventional methods and using things that are on hand. I play around sometimes to see what works best. This tray had a little build-up of gunk on the back, which didn't come off when in my first attempt to clean it. It also had a few little scratches on the front, so before painting began, it was first buffed out on front and back and rinsed and dried well. This was used to do the buffing:

This is a little tub of Turtle Wax Rubbing Compound. It has been in my garage since the time my front fender and bumper collided with a corner wall which juts out into the garage. There was some crazing on the fender and bumper. The compound did a good job in getting the garage paint off the car's fender and bumper and it has been used for a few other projects. It handles a multitude of surfaces and takes only a small amount, so a tub of it lasts forever. It worked great for buffing the crud off of this tray, too! Wonder if the Turtle Wax Company knows this.
Note: Use Good Painter's Tape Or It Will Fall Off Like This Is Doing

Next, an attempt was made to apply painter's tape to the outside decorative edges and handles of the tray. You will note the word "attempt." The two or three rolls of good painter's tape(Duck brand works good) in this house could not be located. A lofty goal of mine is to someday be so organized as to know what is here and where it is! 
So, hoping to find the good and expensive tape later and not wishing to spend yet more money on the good stuff, a quick trip to the Dollar Tree was made and a roll of painter's tape was picked up. Now, I love Dollar Tree as much as anybody. However, a word of warning, do not buy their painter's tape. The only thing it will stick to is your fingers, which it does, all too well. That might be a good thing for you, if body-painting happens to be your thing, but it simply will not stay on a tray. 

These are the paints that were used for painting the tray:
White Krylon Indoor-Outdoor Spray Primer and  Black Krylon Chalkboard Spray Paint
Note:  Chalkboard paint can also be purchased in a regular paint container, so it can be brushed onto a surface, but it is my preference to use the spray paint for trays.The spray formula leaves a much smoother and even surface and looks better, as you won't have the brush strokes showing. It is smoother to write on, as well. Chalkboard paint also comes in some other colors as well.

Two even coats of primer were first sprayed onto the surface of the tray, allowing a few minutes between coats for drying. 

Thin layers of Chalkboard paint were then sprayed onto the surface. You can see below that Primer paint was still showing through after the first layer was applied.
Three additional,fairly thin, coats of Chalkboard paint were applied, allowing a few minutes in between coats for drying. When the last coat of paint dried, the painter's tape was removed.
 And this is the finished product.
I hope Harriette will like it. She did not know I was planning to work on it today. Harriette, if you drop by my blog, you're the best of friends and I hope you like what I did, especially for you! 

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