Vintage-Inspired Chalkboard Tray


A plain tray takes on new life as a Vintage-Inspired Chalkboard Tray, ready for service in a variety of ways from stand-up menu to centerpiece.

Hey there, Kenarry readers! It’s Sondra Lyn from Sondra Lyn at Home bringing one of my favorite make-overs to you today – a vintage-inspired chalkboard tray!

Vintage-Inspired Chalkboard Tray

A Simple IKEA Hack

On one of my infrequent trips to IKEA, I scored this serving tray, the KLACK tray, which is very sleek and European. I happen to like sleek, and it was fine like it was, but I really like ‘vintage’. So I decided to remake the tray with chalk paint and chalkboard paint to make that sleek new tray look old!

How to Make a New Tray Look Vintage

These steps will walk you through how to make a brand new IKEA tray look vintage.


  • IKEA KLACK Tray or similar
  • Krylon Chalkboard Spray Paint
  • Annie Sloan Chalk Paint
  • Sandpaper
  • Cloth
  • Wax


Here are the directions. Feel free to read through them and modify them for yourself. The best part about these trays is that you can make them look exactly how you want them.

1.) Find a Tray

First, you need to find a tray to destress. I’ll use my KLACK tray from IKEA in my examples.

This is how it looked before:

Ikea KLACK Serving Tray

2.) Disassemble the Tray

If your tray can come apart, take it apart. It’s easier than taping for painting. If not, buy some painter’s tape and tape the sides and edges.

Rather than doing a lot of taping, it seemed like a good idea to see if it could be disassembled for painting. There were screws in each end, so it was easy to take apart!

3.) Paint the Bottom of the Tray

The next step was to paint the bottom of the tray with chalkboard spray paint. I gave it 3 light, but good, coats and let it dry for 24 hours before seasoning the board with chalk.

Vintage-Look Chalkboard Tray Collage -

4.) Paint the Frame of the Tray

While the chalkboard tray bottom was drying, I painted the frame of the tray. The first coat I gave it was Annie Sloan chalk paint in ‘Versailles’, which is a lovely, sage-y green. When that coat dried, I topped it with AS ‘Pure White’.

Chalkboard Tray Paint Colors-

5.) Distress the Tray

When the paint was dry, I distressed with sandpaper. Part of the distressing takes the finish back to the original, while part goes just to the green.

Chalkboard Tray Detail-

6.) Finish with Wax Buffing

After painting, sanding and wiping down with a soft, damp cloth, I finished with wax, buffing to a silky smooth finish.

7.) Reassemble the Tray

Finally, after seasoning the chalkboard, I reassembled the tray.

Vintage Tray Decor Ideas

Now I have a vintage-inspired chalkboard tray that can be used as a traditional tray or a stand-up sign. I can see it used as a cheese tray where I can name each cheese with chalk and serve several different kinds of cheese on small plates at one time! Or I can simply create a back-to-school centerpiece for my dining room table:

Vintage-Look Chalkboard Tray - - -
Vintage-Look Chalkboard Tray

I hope you love this tray as much as I do. Since I already had my supplies, my cost was limited to the $7.99 I paid for the tray itself! And that’s another thing I love: a budget-friendly project!

Vintage-Inspired DIY Chalkboard Tray

I’ll see you in September with some fabulous fall ideas, but for now, please enjoy these other posts from Sondra Lyn at Home!


More DIY Projects

China Cabinet Chalk Paint Redo:

China Cabinet Chalk Paint thumbnail - Sondra Lyn at Home

DIY Checkerboard Wood Tray:

DIY Checkerboard Wood Tray -Sondra-Lyn-at-Home

Kitchen Table Redo:

Kitchen Table Redo thumbnail - Sondra Lyn at

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What’s Next?

Need more DIY decor ideas? Check out these beautiful projects on Ideas for the Home by Kenarry® – 

Originally published August 2015. Updated August 2018. 

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