DIY Wood Grain Charger Plates

6 Materials
1 Day

Create wood grain charger plates using shiny plastic Dollar Store chargers and paint!!

Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays and since it's right around the corner I've already started planning for the big day!

I always start with the Tablescape because it usually involves a DIY project or two. To start this years theme of simply rustic I chose to create my own rustic chargers.

Last year I painted these plastic plate charges I bought at the Dollar Tree an antique champagne silver, and instead of throwing them out I decided to re-purpose them into rustic wood grain chargers.

The first thing I did was give each of the chargers a good cleaning and then dried them. Then I gave each two light coats of dark brown spray paint. (Dry time in between.) Once the chargers were completely dry (2-3 hours) I grabbed three different colors of craft paint to create the wood grain look.

The first color was Linen. (Any cream or off white will do). I simply dry brushed stripes of the paint using a craft brush up and down the face of the charger.

Then I dampened a bigger brush slightly with water and smudged the paint. I wiped up any excess water with a lint free cloth.

I know it looks like a total mess at this point, but stick with me!

Because once the linen paint color has dried it's time to repeat the same steps only this time using light brown and black paint.

You may have to repeat the steps a couple of times before you start to see progress, but the end result is worth it.

Once I was satisfied with the look I'd created I let the paint dry completely overnight. Then, because I plan to use my chargers throughout the holiday season, I decided to give them a coat of clear coat to protect the paint from chipping.

This was the charger I used as inspiration!! I found it online at West Elm for $15 each!! A little too pricey for my budget but since I already had the chargers and paint mine were $0. You can find the detailed tutorial along with all my tips over on the blog!!

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Want more details about this and other DIY projects? Check out my blog post!


Have a question about this project?

3 of 5 questions
  • Jojo
    on Nov 12, 2019

    What's a charger plate?

    • Mandy Brown
      Mandy Brown
      on Nov 14, 2020

      I was always told that charger plates were once used as a way to keep meals warm. In larger estates during the colonial era of the US, kitchens were often in the basement or in another building away from the formal dining room. By the time the meal was brought to the table it would have cooled so charger plates were kept very hot to warm the dinner plate and keep the food at a palatable temperature. These plates were often made of materials that would hold heat such as pottery or cast iron. Some say this is also where the use of placemats began since the heat of the chargers would scorch the tables. Mats were placed beneath the tablecloths until they became more decorative.

  • Beth
    on Nov 12, 2019

    You did a great job

  • Diane
    on Nov 14, 2020

    Can you put food on this painted surface? Just hand wash it...?

    • Pallet and Pantry
      Pallet and Pantry
      on Nov 14, 2020

      I would not put food on it unless you use a food safe paint. And yes I hand wash mine! Hope that helps!

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