Old Metal Tray Repurposed with Chalk Paint (Menu Chalkboard)

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Creating a chalkboard out of an old metal tray, like this metal tray repurposed, is perfect for a note or menu board!

Old Metal Tray Repurposed with Chalk Paint artsychicksrule.com

Happy Friday Friends!

Today I thought I’d share with y’all this old metal tray repurposed.
Well, it’s a chalkboard now but it started out as a $1 thrift store find…and an old metal tray. :)

Old Metal Tray Repurposed with Chalk Paint artsychicksrule.com

I painted it a few years ago and turned it into a “menu” chalkboard for my sister in law.
I had never shared it here with you guys and recently came across the photos.

I wanted to share it because it’s just another great example of taking old thrifty finds and reinventing them.
I love doing that and I love creating something new and pretty, or new and useful, out of something old and “left for dead”.

Like this old metal tray repurposed with Chalk Paint…(which are a dime a dozen at the thrift store)

Old Metal Tray Repurposed with Chalk Paint artsychicksrule.com

I can find these kinds of trays all day long! (and I’d bet you can too!)

I cleaned it well and then painted it first with Old White Chalk Paint.

(this is one coat)

Old Metal Tray Repurposed with Chalk Paint artsychicksrule.com

I did 2 coats.

Front and back (this is 2 coats)

Old Metal Tray Repurposed with Chalk Paint artsychicksrule.com

Great coverage.
And Chalk Paint works so well on almost any surface, even metal.
You can see all the things I’ve painted with Chalk Paint in this post here –> Chalk Paint – It’s Not Just For Furniture.

Next I used Graphite Chalk Paint for the circular center.

Old Metal Tray Repurposed with Chalk Paint artsychicksrule.com

The “chalkboard”…..

Old Metal Tray Repurposed with Chalk Paint artsychicksrule.com

Several coats for good coverage and durability.
Then I lightly sanded it to smooth it out.
Don’t seal the chalkboard portion but do seal the rest.
I used Minwax Polycrylic to seal the Old White portion of the tray.

Next I used this graphic from The Graphics Fairy.

I printed it out and then rubbed white watercolor pencil on the back…..

Old Metal Tray Repurposed with Chalk Paint artsychicksrule.com

Then I placed it where I wanted it to go (at the top) and traced it to transfer the white watercolor onto the chalkboard.

Old Metal Tray Repurposed with Chalk Paint artsychicksrule.com

Then I “painted” it in with a Chalk Pen. (although I do believe this was a permanent type of pen)

Old Metal Tray Repurposed with Chalk Paint artsychicksrule.com

Old Metal Tray Repurposed with Chalk Paint artsychicksrule.com

All prepped and done and ready for a real menu to be written below!

Old Metal Tray Repurposed with Chalk Paint artsychicksrule.com

Super easy makeover that anyone can do!

Old Metal Tray Repurposed with Chalk Paint artsychicksrule.com

Like I always say…don’t pass up those thrift store finds!
You can see a few more examples of reinvented thrift store finds here, here and here.

So remember, look past what you see, what they are right now, and try to envision what they can be.

PIN this old metal tray repurposed to save it!

Old Metal Tray Repurposed!! So EASY with Chalk Paint! artsychicksrule.com

Want to see even more ideas on simple updates with Chalk Paint (that aren’t furniture??) 
Check out this post, here!

Happy “treasure” hunting!! :)

Have a great weekend friends!!


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  1. Great job! Honestly, I don’t think I would ever come up with this idea from an old metal tray. Love the “Menu” transfer!


  2. I love your tray ~
    Actually I think I have something similar in my garage
    What a great idea ~ I have never worked with chalk paint ~ I think I might give this one a try.

    Thanks for sharing.

    1. Aw that’s so great Terri! Yay!! At least it’s thrifty (which what I always tell my husband too! ;) )

  3. Your repurposed thrift store tray makes a fabulous chalkboard. :) I love the color.

    thanks for sharing at Catch as Catch Can.

    catching you!


  4. So pretty! Did u tape off the round center or just paint slowly? I’ve been working with home made chalk paint on benches and other furniture. Thanks so much ;-)

    1. Hi Pam,
      Thanks! and nope, I just hand painted it following the circle of the bottom. It’s not perfect but not terribly noticeable! (and adds to the charm, right?) ;)


  5. Love this project – super cute! Did you do anything to make the middle smooth (I noticed it was engraved), or did the paint just fill it in and smooth it?

    1. Thanks Leesa! :) Nope, I just painted right over top of it!
      The paint filled it in a bit but you can still see it just slightly.

  6. Did you season the chalkboard part at all by rubbing chalk on it and then wiping it off? Mine is almost done. :) Thanks so much!

    1. Oh yes, I always do that. This is an older post, I’m sorry if I forgot to add that detail in there! :)
      But yes, that is always good to do! xo

  7. Love how your faux silver tray turned into gorgeous chalkboard, great re-do. You seem to have a good eye for re-purposing items, turning them into something even prettier and purposeful.
    I was looking around our living room the other day and noticed how many items in our living room alone were thrift store finds repurposed, prettied up. Was surprised to see how many had accumulated. I enjoy my thrift store redos as much as brand new things (or more actually) which I rarely buy. More fun to me and enjoy item more after fixing up
    Whenever our daughter comes over she looks around to see what have redone lately. Got her to buying thrift store/garage sale furniture, then her hubs stains, fixes up. She bought a 50’s dining set at our local thrift store, her hubs sanded it down, used gel stain and it is gorgeous. she put new fabric on chair seats. She paid $30 for that set,6 chairs and table maybe 9-10 yrs. ago. Wouldn’t get it that inexpensively now.
    We gave them a little English antique commode he also gel stained they have in their dining room.
    To me redoing furniture, even accessories is the fun of buying thrift/yard sake items, what a wonderful treasure to have in your home.
    Enjoy rest of week

    1. Hi JaneEllen! Thank you so much for the sweet words. :)
      I love to hear that you also love to redo thrift store finds and it makes up most of your decor. And yes, much more fun, I agree!! Plus, they mean something in such a way that something just bought off the shelf would not. I love that your daughter comes looking to see what you’ve done lately! Sounds like my family!! ;)
      Hope you have a wonderful weekend! xoxo

  8. How did you get the coverage of chalk paint not to show the engraving below it? Did you fill them with something?

    1. Hi Karen,
      No I didn’t fill it with anything, it was very lightly engraved so it didn’t take much to fill it in. :)

    1. Hi Vi, I used Graphite in Annie Sloan Chalk Paint for the “chalkboard”. I’m not sure what you are asking me about the pen and paper. I printed out the “menu” graphic from the link I shared and then I took a white watercolor pencil and shaded the back of the paper where the graphic was printed(again, opposite it). And then laid it in place and traced it to transfer the image onto the chalkboard. Then I used a “chalk pen” or white paint pen to color it in. You can find those at Michael’s and art supply stores. :) Hope that helps!!

    1. Hi Kim,

      I shaded the backside of the paper with a white water color pencil and then traced it so the white transferred onto the chalkboard. You can also use chalk for this or (aff link) this paper works well too. Hope that helps! xo

    1. Oh gosh, that’s been years ago so I’m not sure! BUT…any type of brush will work or even a small foam roller. If you get brush strokes, just lightly sand in between coats to smooth. :)

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