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DIY Chalkboard Serving Tray

Chalkboard Serving TraySince we moved into our house last year, I have been looking for a nice serving tray that would be able to carry a ton of stuff back and forth from the kitchen to the dining room or outside to the patio.  I looked high and low, but never found anything that really fit the bill.  Then, one day I was browsing one of my favorite DIY blog, Shanty 2 Chic, and came across a genius do it yourself idea of making a serving tray, and having it be partly chalkboard so you can label whatever is on it, if needed.  I had to make it!

I literally ran out to Home Depot the same day, and picked up my supplies…

Now, most of this stuff I actually had at home, which was nice.  I only ended up purchasing the scrap wood piece, the chalkboard spray paint, and the handles.  All in all this put this project around $16, which I consider a steal.

What to do….

First up you need to sand your wood and make sure you get all the edges and sides smooth.  You definitely don’t what sharp edges or shards of wood sticking out to poke people (or your furniture).  Once smooth, use a small paint brush (an old one preferably), to saturate your wood piece with whatever stain you choose. Make sure to cover all the corners and sides (I didn’t do the bottom).  I wanted my wood very dark, so I put on a very heavy coat, waited about 30 minutes, then wiped it down.  Then, I applied another coat and repeated the wait/wipe down.  I left it overnight to dry.

Next, I used ScotchBlue Painter’s Tape to section off the area of wood that I would spray with the chalkboard paint:

DIY Chalkboard Serving TrayAfter the tape was in place, I used the chalkboard spray paint to fill in the exposed area.  I did 2 coats in all, and that seemed to give great coverage.  I let the chalkboard paint dry for about an hour, and then I prepped the board by running the side of a piece of chalk side to side, covering the entire painted area.  Then erased.  This gets the surface ready to be used.  I have seen lots of chalkboard projects online, and then people get upset because the paint ‘doesn’t work’, when it is probably the DIYers that aren’t following the instructions on the can!  Read the instructions and follow them!

Next, I removed the painters tape and got some wax ready.  I used the wax on the stained wood ONLY (do not use on chalkboard paint), to seal the stain in.  **I actually did this step last, because I noticed that when I wiped the chalkboard surface off, there was chalk residue on the wood. I didn’t like it, so I wanted to seal the stain to prevent this from happening again**  If you haven’t use wax before, it’s really easy to work with. I use it on all of my furniture once I am done painting etc.  All you do is ball up a paper towel or old rag, and then dip it in the wax. You want to smudge it around in there so you get some wax on the towel.  Then wipe that wax onto the wood. Even though it’s clear you should be able to tell where the wax is.  Once you cover all the stained wood with wax, let it sit for directed amount of time (usually 10-30 minutes).  Then use a clean towel and start rubbing the wax ‘off’.  You will notice it starting to shine a bit, and it will be smooth to the touch.  If it feels tacky or sticky, you need to keep buffing.

Next up I screwed on my handles.  I loved the look of these chunky gate handles.  They are huge and angled, and they stole my heart right when I saw them.

DIY Chalkboard Serving Tray

And it was done!   I took tons of pictures of this, because I really wanted to capture every angle!  Using this as a taco bar was perfect!

DIY Chalkboard Serving TrayDIY Chalkboard Serving TrayDIY Chalkboard Serving TrayDIY Chalkboard Serving TrayDIY Chalkboard Serving Tray

The options for this serving tray are endless! It would be adorable with cheese, fruit, and nuts, like Shanty 2 Chic modeled.  Or you could do things like using it to serve drinks, dessert bar, hot dog/hamburger dressing station, make your own salad, make your own burrito bar, ice cream serving station…..the list goes on and on and on and on….get it?!

Even when I am not serving anything on it, I have it sitting on top of my farm style dining room table.  I put my plants on top of it, and I just love it!DIY Chalkboard Serving TrayI highly recommend getting a Chalk Ink Markerfor writing on this.  Regular chalk is messy, and this marker makes it super easy to write, and clean up!

Do you love it as much as I do?!


  1. Allyson, I love this tray – what a wonderful idea and it turned out beautifully! Thank you so much for sharing, pinning and have a wonderful Tuesday!

    • Thanks so much, Cindy! I really love it too (as if you didn’t notice), and it was such an easy project! Thanks for coming by!

  2. I absolutely love that!

  3. Love it — I need to make myself one of these!!

  4. This is great! I love the look and style of it, plus its super functional! #addictedtochalkboard

  5. Super cute! Love it.

  6. Clever :)


  7. This is so so awesome Allyson! Like, I am in love and want one!! Pinning and sharing!

  8. justagirlabby says:

    This is SO cute! I want one! Pinned! Thanks so much for sharing, Allyson!

    ~Abby =)

    • Thanks, Abby! You should totally make one, it was SO easy! I have been using it as the backdrop for all my food photos too (lol)!

  9. Such a lovely tray! Love your place setting with those pretty placemats too!!

    • Thank you Anjana! I am in love with the tray and using it for everything lately! It also looks great as a backdrop for blog photos! Thanks for stopping by!

  10. Cute idea!

  11. This turned out beautifully – I love it!


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