How to Spray Paint a Wood Tray (or any wood decor)!


Hi, I'm Zoe

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April 1, 2021
Zoe Hunt




< 4 Hours



This post was sponsored by Krylon. All opinions are my own. This post also contains affiliate links for your convenience (which means if you make a purchase after clicking a link, I may earn a small commission, but it won’t cost you a penny more)! Click here to read our full disclosure.

how to update a wood tray text overlay on image of teapot sitting on black and gold wood tray

Raise your hand if you’ve ever bought something for your home just because it was cheap. Maybe you said…oh I’ll refinish it! I’ll turn it into something beautiful!

Well today’s the day to grab out all of the cheap, ugly things you’ve purchased with the intention of updating or upcycling them. Today’s the day that we’re taking them out of the junk closet and turning them into everything we knew they could be.

For me, it’s a wood tray I bought on clearance almost 5 years ago. Yup, I said it. 5 years I’ve been hoarding a tray I bought for $4… and today, it finally gets to become decor that I actually use!

Alright, let’s start DIYing! 

Pssssttt….if you have some old vases you’re looking to modernize, check out this post with all the vase-painting ideas.

What You’ll Need

How to Spray Paint Wood

New to DIY? Download our free 5 Steps to Getting Start with DIY guide!

before and after of spray painting wood tray


If you’re using Krylon Fusion All-In-One, you actually don’t need to sand the wood before spray painting, but we’re going to sand ours down with 220-grit sandpaper because our tray had some texture and a paper finish in the center that we wanted to smooth out and remove.

I knocked out the majority of my sanding with my orbital sander, but I needed some help getting the paper off the edges and corners.

sanding wood tray with orbital sander

I used a scraper to remove the majority of the paper. Then I used a sanding block to sand these sections smooth.

scraping off paper in wood tray

Once everything was sanded, I wiped the surface with tack cloth to remove any dust. Now we’re ready for some paint!


There’s no quicker way to make something feel more luxurious than by adding some shine with metallic spray paint. For this project, I’m using Krylon Brilliant Metallic in Gold Leaf because I’ve always loved the way this spray paint catches the light.

Whenever you use spray paint, it’s important to really shake it up before spraying.

I applied 3 light coats, waiting 1 minute between each coat. I spray painted the top edge of the tray and the inside of the handle holes. The best part? I  barely made a dent in the spray paint can, so I have plenty left for future projects!

spray painting wood tray

I waited 1 hour before moving onto the next step.


Now that the gold has dried, I’m covering any areas that I painted gold with tape. I added the tape and then flipped the tray over. Using my utility knife, I scored the tape along the edges of the tray and removed the excess.

cutting tape with exacto knife

Before moving onto the next step, I pressed all of the tape down firmly to ensure there weren’t any areas that the black paint would creep under.

Free download wood sizing cheatsheet


Because I have a dalmatian that aggressively sheds and a garage that always has sawdust in the air no matter how much I clean, I wiped my tray again with tack cloth to make sure the surface was nice and clean.

I applied 4 very light coats of Krylon Fusion All-In-One in Matte Black to the entire tray, waiting 1-2 minutes between each coat.

Whenever you spray paint, focus on lots of really light coats, don’t try to cover everything in one sweep. The great thing about spray paint is that you only have to wait a minute between coats, not hours!

spray painting a wood tray black

Like the Brilliant Metallic, I still have more than half the can to use on future projects.

After about 10 minutes, I removed the tape, finishing my black and gold tray transformation!

a black and gold tray sitting on leather bench

Woohoo! After just 2 hours, the cheap tray that’s been collecting dust for nearly 5 years is finally DONE. It’s pretty embarrassing to think that I put off such a simple (and quick)  project for so many years.

Lesson learned: buy the ugly thing and then refinish it within the same week…not 5 years later. All it takes is a little creativity and spray paint!

For more spray paint inspiration and project ideas, visit

overhead shot of black and gold wood tray
black and gold spray painted tray sitting on couch with before image of wood tray in the corner
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  1. annie says:

    Hi Zoe, okay, this tray is just about as cool as trays can be! I would never (even on my best day) thought of doing this kind of chic paint treatment on a basic tray. It looks fabulous and $$$. Thank you. I have 3 plain hum-drum trays in my storage room waiting to be beautiful!

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