DIY Decorative Tray

I’ve fallen in love with decorative trays recently. I am finding them the perfect way to add a pop of color to a table or other surface. They are also a great way to “frame” and provide balance around little decorative knick knacks. You can find some great trays at all price levels but they are also super easy to DIY.

Painting the tray is an easy DIY project. All you need is some primer and a can of spray paint in your desired color. For this tray I used Rust-Oleum “American Accents” in the color “Seaside”. You can find it here.

seaside paint

You will also need an open, well ventilated space to paint (I do all my spray painting outdoors). A drop cloth or large piece of cardboard to protect the surface you are painting over, and a mask to prevent paint inhalation.

Here’s what my tray looked like before I painted it:


Step 1:

Clean the tray. You want to remove all grease, dust, etc that may be on the tray. I use white vinegar and water to clean my tray.

Step 2:

Prime the tray. You don’t always have to do this but I suggest it, especially if the surface you are painting is wood. Spray and even coat or two of primer, making sure each coat is dry before you apply the next.

Step 3:

Spray at least two coats of your desired color, letting each coat dry in between. In my experience it usually takes about 30 minutes between each coat for it to be dry enough to spray the next coat.

Step 4:

THIS IS IMPORTANT! Let the tray dry FULLY before you place anything on it. This usually takes between 24-48 hours. I generally err on the safe side and let it sit 2 days before I place anything on it.

Step 5:

Put all your cute stuff in it! I put mine on the dining room table. I can’t wait to complete this space.

Processed with VSCO with a7 preset
Processed with VSCO with a7 preset


Or, if you don’t want to DIY it, here are similar items:


World Market Tray.


Crate and Barrel






Paper Source



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