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Wedding Season: Part Two
Summer is fast approaching and that means pool parties, BBQ, and good company! All of this equals up to everyone’s favorite thing – entertaining! With entertaining comes serving ware. I was actually searching for wedding gift inspiration when I stumbled upon the idea of these neat chalkboard serving trays. I decided to give it a go and make one as a wedding gift for my best friend in addition to using the tray at her bridal brunch. I definitely fell in love with the finished product and wanted to keep it for myself. 🙂 Needless to say, I will certainly be making one for us pretty soon! If you need a great gift idea this is it!
1×12 Pine Wood (at 30” long)
Staining Rag or Paper Towels
(2) Sponge Brushes
(2) Decorative Handles
(4) ½” Screws
Electric Saw (if needed)
Gloves + Mask
Wood Burning Kit (optional)
Prep + Wood Burning
Begin by either finding a piece of scrap wood in your garage, or by cutting a board to your chosen dimensions. I had managed to find the perfect size of scrap board in our garage that was left over from a previous project we had done – no cutting required! Use an electric sander to round all corners and edges of the tray. I wanted to add a unique feature to the back of the tray so I chose to wood burn my logo into the lower corner. If you would like to add a special feature of your own just follow these simple steps! Print out the image or text onto a piece of paper at the size you want. Lay the paper onto the wood and use a pencil to trace the outlines you wish to display. Press hard when tracing with the pencil to make indents on the wood. Remove the paper when you are finished and make sure all of the outlines you want are pressed into the wood. Simply trace the outlines with your wood burning kit and you are ready for staining.
Note: I recommend working in a well-ventilated space because the burning wood can get stinky! Please be careful when working with wood burning kits as they can burn more than just the wood!
Stain + Polyurethane
Select your choice of stain color and apply with an old rag or paper towels. Apply additional coats until you reach the desired color, allowing for adequate time to dry between each coat. Next, use a sponge brush to apply a thin coat of polyurethane, allowing for adequate time to dry between each coat. I decided on two coats of polyurethane to be sufficient for the tray.
Note: Read all the directions on each product before use. Remember to stir the stain and polyurethane before use, do not shake. If using paper towels to apply stain, make sure the paper towels are not too soft and leave paper remnants on the project. Always wear a mask and gloves when applying stain or polyurethane along with working in a well-ventilated space. A well-ventilated space creates a cleaner workspace to breathe in and faster drying time.
Tape + Paint
Once your tray is nice and dry, apply painter’s tape around the edges to form the area that will become the chalkboard surface. Before applying the tape, I recommend 24-48 hours drying time depending on the weather. Using the painter’s tape, create a 1” border along the length of the tray with a 2” border along the widths where the handles will be added later. Be sure to press tape down firmly around all edges to ensure the chalkboard paint will not bleed underneath.
Time to pop open your can of chalkboard paint and get to painting! I must admit this is when I walk outside, find a stick in the yard, and use it to stir my paint. 🙂 I am not too sure professionals would recommend this method, but it works for me. Use a sponge brush to apply a thin coat of chalkboard paint to your tray within the taped off work space. When painting at the tapes edge, make sure your brush is lightly soiled with paint and paint with strokes moving away from the tape, not towards. If you paint with stroke towards the tapes edge you are liable to end up with paint under the tape resulting in an unclean line after the tape is removed. When painting the length of the area, follow the edge of the tape with your brush to ensure all strokes move in the same direction. Apply additional coats until you reach the desired thickness of chalkboard surface, allowing for adequate time to dry between each coat. I chose to do five coats of chalkboard paint to build up the surface some compared to the stained surface.
Note: Read all the directions on each product before use. Remember to stir the paint before use, do not shake. I recommend wearing a mask and gloves when applying paint along with working in a well-ventilated space. A well-ventilated space creates a cleaner workspace to breathe in and faster drying time.
After your new chalkboard surface is completely dry, especially at the tapes edge, carefully remove the tape by pulling at a slight angle towards the painted surface. The only thing left is to attach your decorative handles! Mark off the locations for your screws, use an electric drill to make small pilot holes, lay the handles in place, and drill in the screws.
You’re done! Look at that beauty! Now you have a fun and beautiful chalkboard serving tray for all your summer festivities!
Don’t miss out on the other posts in our wedding season series!
Thinking about making this tray or have already done so? Leave us a comment below to share!