By Janet Crowther

Published on October 10, 2015

Photography by For the Makers

Toss your plain-white, everybody-has-that tray out the window. The more color the better with this bright, bold and cheerful update to a classic style. We used acrylic paint and some other simple materials to create this tray in a matter of minutes. Pick up a plain acrylic tray and grab a few old brushes to swipe on big stripes of color. Style this tray on your coffee table or put it on your entry bench for a bold entrance. Let’s get started!

Photography by Janet Crowther

Gather your tools and materials: acrylic paint in many colors (plus white and black for mixing different tones), paint brushes, painter’s tape or wide washi tape, acrylic tray, spray-on sealant, rubber bumpers, glass of water, and paper towels.

Photography by For the Makers

Step 1: Tape all around the outside edge of the tray. You don’t need to completely tape the inside of the tray as it will naturally be safe from paint and sealant due to it being turned over in the paint process. 

Photography by For the Makers

Step 2: Mix up your paint. Apply the paint in quick swoops. Try varying the direction and thickness with each stroke. Go crazy and add a little splatter for a fun effect. The more the better.

Photography by For the Makers

Step 3: Allow some of the layers to dry before adding more paint so you don’t end up mixing all the colors together. Keep painting until you’ve covered the entire bottom of the tray. Let the paint dry completely before moving on. With the tape still on, spray the bottom of the tray with sealant and let dry. Once the sealant has dried, remove the tape and add rubber bumpers on the bottom of the tray to prevent it from getting scratched as you use it on tables and surfaces.

We love this tray used as an entryway catchall. Store your keys and small wares. It will make quite a colorful statement and exudes personality right at the entrance of your home.

Photography by For the Makers