Tole Painting a Large Serving Tray for Spring Decor

Tole Painting a Large Serving Tray for Spring Decor

Now that I’m doing the right thing and staying home, I can’t breeze by a thrift store for project inspiration. Instead, I went “garage shopping” and decided that this large serving tray was ripe for upcycling. I needed a relaxing activity to calm my nerves and thought that tole painting the tray might be just the ticket.

Large serving tray at a thrift store to be given a makeover

But first, what an odd finish/paint job on this tray, right? The black and red is NOT working for me.

You’re probably familiar with tole painting, even if you don’t think you are. In fact, a lot of toleware is black with folk art painting over the black background.

But Italian toleware is often white with touches of pastel colors. This vintage chandelier I spotted while on a junkin’ journey to Charleston, SC is a great example of it.

Italian tole chandelier at an antique store in Summerville SC

So, keep that chandelier in your mind while I work on upcycling that large tray with some tole painting. Because that’s the look I’ll be going for!

This post contains affiliate links for your crafting convenience. As an Amazon Affiliate, I earn from qualifying purchases.

Transforming a Large Tray for Spring Decor

First things first, I needed to paint the entire tray white. And OF COURSE, I was low on white spray paint. But I used up a couple of cans (one in a semi-glossy and one in a satin finish) to get the job done.

Spray painting a large tray for a Spring craft

When all was said and done, I had a nice bright white canvas to try my hand at tole painting on.

Tole painting a large serving tray as a relaxing activity

Speaking of tole painting, I’ve actually tried it once before on this upcycled candle holder project.

Anyway, I gathered some craft paint in a variety of pastel colors, as well as some small craft paint brushes.

Craft paints in Spring colors for tole painting

I focused on tole painting the details of the tray, which was VERY relaxing and soothing. I also didn’t worry about doing a perfect job.

But it felt wonderfully freeing to concentrate on petals and leaves and cancel out the world for a little while.

Tole painting and relaxing things to do at home

Relaxing Things to Do with Tole Painting

I added touches of color to the pronounced flowers and a few of the leaves. When I was satisfied, this is what the large tray looked like.

Spring craft by tole painting on a large serving tray

Next, I grabbed some fine-grit flexible sandpaper and began to distress the edges. I also rubbed the sandpaper over the areas of tole painting to dilute the bright colors.

White toleware as a Spring craft with a large tray

It was looking SO much better! As if it were a cousin of that vintage chandelier that I showed you earlier!

Spring decor by tole painting a large serving tray

Finally, I sealed the entire tray with clear furniture wax. I always use Annie Sloan Soft Wax, but there are lot of other options out there.

Either way, I swirled on some wax and buffed it off until the tray was smooth as butter.

Annie Sloan soft wax over the tole painting and white toleware

Tole Painting a Large Serving Tray for Spring Decor

And just like that, I had transformed my large serving tray into white toleware with some tole painting!

White toleware as an upcycling craft project on a large serving tray

If you have any pieces in your thrift store stash that have embossed or raised details, it may be perfect for tole painting. And I hope the process is as relaxing and calming for you as it was for me.

Relaxing activity with tole painting on a large tray for Spring decor

This will be lovely as Spring decor, won’t it? I left the center plain (i.e., no stenciling) because I figure I may cover it with flowers, candles, eggs, or other Spring-y bits and pieces.

I hope you are staying home as much as possible right now, too! If you are, it’s a great time to get your garden started. And if you have any old, rusty baking pans, they work perfectly as propagation trays!

Propagation tray or seed pots by upcycling a muffin pan from the thrift store

Craft on!

S

Want to be notified when I publish my next upcycling project tutorial?

Subscribe to Blog via Email

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.


Join me on Social Media:




PIN ME!

Upcycling idea for a large serving tray with tole painting

Comments

  1. I love it!

  2. Cheryl Atkinson says

    Hi. Thank you for sharing. I have never heard of tole painting but now I know and it looks like it would be relaxing. I may have to search in my stash for something. Stay safe and stay home!

  3. That turned out so pretty!

    Tania

  4. Well this is fabulous! You would never in a million years know what this cheerful, springy tray looked like before. I’ve never tried Tole painting but can see it could be a lot of fun and can take you in so many directions. There are more than a few unfortunate pieces out there that could use this little pick-me-up! 😉

    • Sadie Seasongoods says

      Thank you, Sheila! It may not be true tole painting, but it scratched that itch during these trying times.

  5. Rebecca Payne says

    I love this idea

  6. Love your tray! I did told painting years ago and totally forgot about doing it again.

  7. That original tray was one ugly thing! You sure transformed it! I bet your tray will be a lovely “frame” stood up on a shelf to frame a springy vignette, too. Your imagination and insight never fails to amaze me.

  8. Mary Loveland says

    Nice job, “soothing” is good!

  9. Naomi Shelton says

    I love it! So Springy and Happy! It will look lovely with a candle and a jar of flowers and maybe a bunny on it. Or…some easter eggs in a little basket. Great job, “Sadie”! And thanks for the idea of seed starting in muffin tins. What a good idea!

    Stay well.

  10. I love the spring tray! Perfect for serving tasty goodies!

  11. Wow, what a beautiful transfermation. I love you work. Thanks for sharing. I will keep an eye out for something like this.

Have a question or like what you see? Please let me know!

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: