Friday, March 26, 2010

Chalkboard Tray

So, my sister and I were checking out the bargain section at Target a few weeks ago (which we seem to do several times a week to make ourselves feel like we have lives) and I saw this plastic tray.

I'm sure you guys have seen it too if you frequent Target.  Cute, right? I love love love the shape of it and although I love pink, it just wasn't gonna work with my decor.  I didn't buy it, even though I was totally drawn to it, because I wasn't quite sure what to do with it. Then wouldn't you know that an idea hit me right as I pulled into my driveway? So I went back to get it and there was only one left. Score!! Now, before I start going over the process of what I did, let me just say that I pretty much did everything wrong.  I knew I wanted the outer edge to be painted white with chalkboard paint in the middle, but I figured I would save money by using the chalkboard spray paint that I already had, which was mistake #1. I *highly* recommend using the kind you paint on!

Since the tray is plastic, I used some steel wool to lightly scratch the surface.  I'm sure a fine grit sandpaper would work as well, but I didn't wanna take my chances with scratching the surface too much.

Everything was still going well at that point. Next I sprayed primer on the tray. Then came time to decide how I was going to use spray paint to paint the edges and chalkboard spray paint for the middle...and this is where things got tricky.

I decided for some very odd reason that I would spray paint the edges first (please don't ask me about my thought process because it doesn't even make sense to me somtimes). So I spray painted the back and edges and all was well til it came time to spray paint the middle with chalkboard paint. I tried taping the edges off with painter's tape, but it just doesn't hug the curves too well. Onto Plan B: finding flexible painter's tape.  I've heard it existed, but neither Home Depot nor Lowe's carries it and really, I didn't want to spend any more money than I had to. So, I got a genius idea that I would trace the back part of the tray onto some newsprint paper and cut the center out and then I could apply it to the edge with spray adhesive so that I could paint the center. Are ya still with me? 'Cause I'm confusing myself as I write this =)

To make a long story short: it didn't work too well. Then I decided I would just paint the whole thing with chalkborad paint and test the very back with regular latex paint to see how it did. Ahh, finally something that worked! But let me just say that it was quite a pain in the butt to paint the edge where the paint meets the chalkboard paint. I did several coats and had to use a tiny little brush, but it was worth it and I ended up with this.

It looks pretty cute as is, but I like all things old and thought it needed a little aging. Enter Dark Walnut stain. I also added some little doohickeys to the back so that I could hang it with some twine.

I chose to hang it vertically because I just thought it looked more pleasing that way, but it's really up to personal preference. And now for the final product. Drumroll please..........I hope the suspense isn't driving you mad! Ta-da!!

This would work great hanging by the front door with a little note for your loved ones or you could prop it up against the wall. You could even hang it in the kitchen to let your family know what's on the menu for dinner. So many possibilities!

Please excuse the lack of 'props' in my pictures, but most of my stuff is packed away for the big cross-country move =) Anyway, I hope you enjoyed and can find some inspiration to make your own. Considering I only had to buy the tray for this project, I would say it's not too shabby for $2.50!

Funky Junk's Saturday Nite Special


Low Tide High Style said...

What a wonderful idea, and all of your hard work and trial and error turned out it!

Kat :)

Marie@PoutyPinkPrincess said...

This is such a great idea! It looks awesome! ;)

Tiffany said...

I admire your tenacity! This is what sets us apart (besides the fact that I am about as creative as a rock). Once you set your mind to an art project, you don't give up until you're satisfied, whereas I am easily discouraged and just throw my hands up LOL. Good job!

Kendra Joyner said...

That looks great...I always try to stay away from plastic because of having to spray paint it...but this looks really good!!

Meg said...

This is so great. I go to Target every single day, and I NEVER saw this or the potential! Darn. Where did you find those hangy-thingys on the back? Those could come in very useful! Great job!

Ali@Honey and Maple Syrup said...

Thanks for all the comments!
Kendra - I usually avoid plastic too, but I decided to just go for it and I'm glad I did!
Meg - I raided my dad's garage and found the things to hang it with. He said they sell them at hardware stores. I can definitely see myself using them again! They seem to hold very well.

Kim said...

It's very cute! I love the lines of the tray.

Amanda said...

Nice!! I have some chalkboard paint too, gotta think of something to paint now LOL!

1 Funky Woman said...

I just found you through Jessica Leigh and I love your blog! This tray turned chalkboard is fabulous and I love the starfish pictures! You are really talented and a thinker outside the box! You've got a follower here!

Stop on over to my blog, I am having my 1st ever giveaway, a $50.00 gift certificate to CSN stores!

Stacy of KSW said...

I'm so bummed I'm only seeing this tut now :( I picked these trays up every time I went to Target because I loved there shape but I just couldn't justify another tray in the house ... a chalkboard though .. would have been devine. Great job, I love it! Wish I was that creative

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