Silver Tray Makeover with Spray Paint and Doily

Spray Painted Silver Tray Makeover

It’s my favorite time of the month again… time for the Thrifty Chicks project challenge.

On the second Wednesday of each month I join some very talented blogging friends for a project challenge, and with a different theme each time it’s really a lot of fun.

If you missed any of the past projects you can find them here.

Here are the befores.

Thrifty Chicks Tray Project Challenge

I’m excited to see what my blogging friends have come up with for this month’s tray challenge. You’ll find links to their projects at the end of this post. Be sure to visit and check out the fabulousness.

But first I’ll share my project with you.

spray paints for silver tray makeover

For this project I’m using a silver plate tray, but I think almost any tray would work. Everything I’m using I already had here at home in my stashes.

This tray came with a silver plate tea set that I found years ago, and it doesn’t match the set. So it’s a perfect candidate for a makeover.

When I came up with this idea I wasn’t sure that I could pull off using all three colors, but I decided to give a a try anyway.

What did I have to lose?

If it didn’t turn out I could just spray paint over it and try again, or do something completely different.

Creating the cutout of floral center of doily

tracing around doily roses with pencil to create pattern

So I decided to go for it.

In order to use all three colors on my tray I’m creating a cardboard cutout of the center roses area of the doily by tracing around it with a pencil.

cardboard cutout of doily roses center pattern

Here’s what I have after cutting out the cardboard.

It covers the roses section perfectly.

Spray painting the tray

silver tray with base coat of pink spray paint

I took my 20″ wide silver plate tray out to our portable garage and spray painted it with two light coats of pink.

This acts as the base coat and will be the color of the roses.

silver tray with coat of green paint

Then I put my roses cardboard cutout in place in the center of the tray, and used a rock to keep it in place.

I used the doily as a guide for this so I had my cutout spaced properly.

Then I spray painted over the entire tray with two light coats of a lovely pistachio green.

spray painted silver tray with pink roses section showing through

Here you can see the pink roses section of the doily.

Using the doily as a stencil

silver tray with doily used for roses pattern

Next I placed the doily on the tray, matching the doily roses with the pink section on the tray.

The doily acts like a stencil, and I while I did the next step I kept my fingers crossed.

spray painted silver tray makeover with white top coat through doily stencil

With a light coat of white paint I spray painted over the whole thing. I forgot to take a pic outside of this so I took this pic inside after the paint had dried so I could show you what it looked like.

The doily should be lifted off the tray immediately so it doesn’t stick in place anywhere.

Supplies needed for this silver tray makeover project

  • silver plate tray
  • doily
  • spray paints in colors of choice
  • cardboard
  • scissors
  • pencil

silver tray makeover with spray paint and roses doily

And magically the flowers and leaves appear because the white spray paint fills in the areas all around them.

This process is never going to get a perfect image, but that’s not what you’re going for anyway. It has a lovely faded and aged look that I love.

The pink looks much darker inside than it does outside, but I still love the way it looks. It’s funny how light can change colors.

So I think my process worked pretty well, but I do have a simpler variation below.

Easy Silver Tray Makeover Variation

photo collage instructions for silver tray makeover easy variation

If you’d like to try an easier version, here it is.

  1. Find a silver plate tray and doily that you want to use. This tray is about 18″ wide, including the handles.
  2. Give the tray a base coat in your color of choice. I chose white for the tray, and I spray painted the removable handles green.
  3. Place your doily over the tray and spray paint a light coat through it in a fun color. I chose the same hot pink that I used in the first tray.
  4. And Voila! Your finished tray is a thing of beauty.
silver tray makeover with spray painted doily stencil

The handles easily reattached to the tray with the screws. I think the green is a fun touch.

silver tray makeovers with spray paint and floral doily

And here are my two finished trays. I had several of the same doilies, and even though the pattern is the same they look quite different.

Because these trays are painted they’re meant to be used decoratively only. They’d look great hanging on a wall, leaning at the back of a china cabinet, or a shelf.

To finish them off I gave them both a couple of light coats of a spray poly, just to keep them looking good.

Using doilies as stencils is a fun way to give any tray a total transformation.

Please pin to your favorite board.

Silver Tray Makeover with Spray Paint and Crochet Floral Doily used as a Stencil

Now check out what my friends have come up with for their tray projects.

Itsy Bits and Pieces: Simple DIY Farmhouse Tray Project
Little Vintage Cottage: Upcycled Wooden Tray
Our Hopeful Home: Thrift Store Tray Transformation
Lora B: Create & Ponder: Upcycled Vintage Metal Trays into a Tiered Stand
Audrey Would!:  A Classic DIY Buffalo Check Tray
Color Me Thrifty: Silver Tray Makeover with Spray Paint and Doily (That’s mine)

Thanks so much for reading, and until next time,

keep on keepin’ on!


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  1. Debra E Hubbs says:

    What a great idea! I love these! I want to make one. I would totally use a food safe topcoat and use it. So pretty. I love them both. Have a Happy Easter. Stay healthy.

    1. Thanks Debra! You could certainly do that, but I’ve always had a problem with covering things that are pretty. You stay healthy too. 🙂

  2. Karolyn Love says:

    Love both of these, Tuula, but partial to the pink roses in the center tray! Glad you tried it cuz’ it’s something I’d like to now try!! Thanks for the inspiration as usual!!

  3. Wow, Tuula! I did not see your reveal coming, and what an awesome reveal. I love the faded, washed out look of your green, pink and white tray, and I never would have thought to create the cutout for the roses area. This is such a great makeover!

  4. I’ve always wanted to try my hand at doily stenciling. Now I’m inspired to try it! Your trays look great! xo Kathleen

    1. Thanks so much Kathleen! It’s really pretty easy to do, and with so many different doilies out there the possibilities are endless.

  5. I am again amazed by your creative mind, Every step is something I would not have thought of and they turned out great!

  6. This is awesome, Tuula! I love how both of them turned out and love them together, too. You are seriously the queen of spray paint!

    1. Thanks Lora! I do love spray painting, and thankfully I have quite the at home supply.

  7. How pretty!
    I think something like this or similar would look great as the background for coat hooks. Just have to measure for your wall studs for correct spacing or use an anchor.

  8. I love your results; pink roses are my absolute favorite and that is the color combo I would use! I need to find me some trays! Darn thrift stores are closed; think I’ll start a list of treasures I want to look for. My absolutely horrible hoard of craft supplies is standing me in good stead right now! Hope we will have my church bazaar in Nov. caz I’ve started….

    1. Thanks Kathy! I’m finding that not being able to do any thrifting is really making me dig into my stashes and use things that I’ve had for a long time. When the thrift stores open again and we can go out and about I’m sure I’ll have a long thrifting list.

  9. marilyn hull-parkes says:

    This is a brilliant idea,

  10. Great tutorial and beautiful trays. Would this technique work on a wood tray, also? Thanks!

    1. Thanks Fran! I don’t see why it wouldn’t work on wood as long as you use a spray primer first. There are some spray paint and primer combos too.