Chalkboard Serving Tray

5 Materials
3 Days

A project doesn't have to be complicated to be rewarding! This is one of the quickest, easiest projects I've completed, and the end result was super fun. You only need three tools.

1 - screwdriver

2 - drill

3 - saw (and you don't even need the saw if you have the boards cut for you at the store!)

I made two different widths of serving tray on two different kinds of wood. 1 tray was made with this 8" wide aspen.

The other was made with this 12" wide edge glued pine.

Step one is cutting your boards to length. We went with 20"

Next, use painters tape to tape off the parts of the board where you want to keep a wood surface.

Everything you leave exposed will be covered with chalk paint. As you can see, we went with a few different designs. Once taped, spray it with chalk paint. I'd never used chalk paint before, but it goes on nice and easy, just like any spray paint would.

Be sure you give the chalk paint plenty of time to dry, and then flip your tape. This time, cover up the black chalkboard areas so you can treat the exposed wood with butcher block oil. You can apply a thin coat with a rag. I applied two coats.

After the oil dried, we removed the tape and coated the chalkboard areas with fresh chalk. We read that it's a good idea to do this and then erase it to ensure any writing erases more cleanly in the future.

Lastly, attach handles to the ends of each tray. We grabbed several varieties of standard handles/pulls from Menards. Drill holes and attach the handles with the provided screws. You may want to countersink the holes or add pads on the bottom corners of the tray to ensure the screws don't scratch any tables or counters.

This is how the thinner version on aspen turned out.

We gave one of the wider pine versions as a gift and wrote the "to" and "from" right on it. In the future, these can be fun for writing messages on while hosting. Sometimes, they actually leave this tray displayed out on their counter.

Or, this version might be great for labeling cheese, nuts or anything else you serve on it. These trays are incredibly easy and fun to make. In fact, we'll probably be making more soon. We gave them all away as gifts and now wish we had one for ourselves! Follow me on Instagram at     @woodyworking for more simple woodworking DIY or home improvement projects. Happy building!

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Have a question about this project?

1 question
  • Randy
    on Feb 23, 2020

    Thanks so much for this idea. I think I might try it, but can you please comment, does the chalk writing on the black paint come off easily enough so you can write new things with out it looking messy? Thanks.

    • Giselle
      on Feb 29, 2020

      If you use a chalk marker it will not rub off quite as easily as real chalk so if you used a fancy script or drew a picture it will last longer.

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