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Distressed DIY Wood Tray

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A distressed DIY wood tray is easy to make and can be used in the bathroom, kitchen, living room or as a serving tray. 

multiple images of a wood tray in use

Making your own DIY wood tray is very easy using a pre-cut round piece of wood, paint, and drawer handles. This project is great for beginners who want to try out chalk paint or a drill. You could add personality by using different paint colors or a Cricut Explore Air 2 to make a monogram or add a name. 

Round wood tray on bathroom counter with brushes, cotton balls, cotton swabs and a plant

The best thing about this DIY wood tray is how many uses there are for it in your house.  You can use it in your bathroom for those little odds and ends you use every day.

Turquoise coffee mug filled with coffee on a tray with a plant and white canister on counter

You can use it in your kitchen to hold coffee making supplies or flour and sugar canisters or maybe even a cookie jar.

wood tray on a floral ottoman with lemons, plant and turquoise canister on it

You can use it in your living room as a decoration on an ottoman or coffee table.  

wood tray on floral ottoman with a red cup of coffee and plant on it

You can also use it as a serving tray for food, condiments, or anything else. It is truly a versatile DIY project!

DIY Wood Tray Supplies:

Edge glued spruce 12" round wood circle panel

gray chalk paint and black acrylic craft paint in a person's hand

How to Make a DIY Wood Tray:

a hand sanding a wood circle with sand paper
Use sand paper to sand the wood round. Wipe clean with a dry cloth.

someone painting a wood circle black with a sponge brush

Use black acrylic paint and a foam brush to paint both sides of the wood round. Let dry completely.

a wood circle painted black partially painted gray

Paint over the black with chalk paint. A thin even layer works best. Let dry completely.

someone sanding a painted round wood circle

Use 400 grit sand paper to gently sand the chalk paint until smooth. This is where you begin to distress the tray so you can see some of the black paint underneath. Wipe gently with a dry cloth when finished.

chalk paint wax being put on a painted and distressed wood circle

Use a brush to apply wax to the tray. Let set for 24 hours to cure. If the wax is still sticky after 24 hours, wipe off gently with a lint free cloth and let set for another day until cured.

a small screw standing next to a wood circle

Once the wood tray is fully cured, attach the handles to the tray. Flip the tray over so you are working on whichever side is the bottom. You want screws that are long enough to go through the wood and into the handle. The screws that come with your handles may be too short as you can see above. 

Instead, you can use Machine Screws. The size for most standard hardware is #8-32 and then the length varies. When you buy these screws it will say 8-32 x 1-1/2 or 8-32×1-3/4. The last number is the length. So it’s 1-1/2″ long or 1-3/4″ long. We used ones that are 1 – 1/4″ long. Check your handle by bringing it with you to the store when you buy the screws. 

a wood circle with 2 drawer handles and a ruler showing where to put the handles

Once you have the proper screws, use a ruler or measuring tape and a pencil to measure and mark where the holes for the handles go on either side of the tray. 

tape measure measuring the width of drawer handles

Then mark the distance between the holes for handle screws. These were 3″ apart. 

holes being drilled into a wood tray with a drill bit

Use a drill to pre-drill into the wood on the bottom of the wood tray. We used a 3/32″ drill bit to pre-drill holes for the handle

a screwdriver screwing in screws to a wood circle tray

Once the holes are all drilled, attach the handles with a screw driver. Place the handles on the top and screw them on through the bottom. The screw heads should end up on the bottom of the tray. 

turquoise cup sitting on top of a wood tray along with a small plant and a whit cansiter

Use your wooden tray wherever you like it best – or better yet, make a few for your entire house. 

 

Yield: 1 Wood Tray

DIY Distressed Wood Tray

DIY Distressed Wood Tray
Active Time 45 minutes
Additional Time 1 days
Total Time 1 days 45 minutes
Difficulty Easy

Materials

  • 1, 12" diameter x 1" wood round
  • Black acrylic paint
  • Gray chalk paint
  • Chalk Paint Wax
  • 2 handles
  • Cabinet handle screws

Tools

  • 200 or 400 grit sand paper
  • Foam brush
  • Paint brush
  • Brush for applying wax
  • Dry cloth
  • Lint free cloth (optional)
  • Cordless Drill
  • 3/32" Drill bit
  • Ruler or Tape measure

Instructions

    1. Use sand paper to sand the wood round. Wipe clean with a dry cloth.
    2. Use black acrylic paint and a foam brush to paint both sides of the wood round. Let dry completely.
    3. Paint over the black with chalk paint. A thin even layer works best. Let dry completely.
    4. Use 400 grit sand paper to gently sand the chalk paint until smooth. This is where you begin to distress the tray so you can see some of the black paint underneath. Wipe gently with a dry cloth when finished.
    5. Use a brush to apply wax to the tray. Let set for 24 hours to cure. If the wax is still sticky after 24 hours, wipe off gently with a lint free cloth and let set for another day until cured.
    6. Once the wood tray is fully cured, attach the handles to the tray. Flip the tray over so you are working on whichever side is the bottom.
    7. Use a ruler or measuring tape and a pencil to measure and mark where the holes for the handles go on either side of the tray. 
    8. Mark the distance between the holes for handle screws.
    9. Use a drill with a 3-3/2" drill bit to pre-drill into the wood on the bottom of the wood tray. 
    10. Once the holes are all drilled, attach the handles with a screw driver. Place the handles on the top and screw them on through the bottom. The screw heads should end up on the bottom of the tray. 
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2 Comments
  • Paula
    August 13, 2020

    Hi! I wanted to know what is the name of the wax that you recommend?