DIY Polka Dot Wood Tray

Learn how to transform an unfinished wood tray into a stylish multi-use serving tray.

Make an affordable and stylish wood tray for your home! Click through to learn how to transform a plain wood tray into a cute polka dot tray.

Polka dots are one of my go-to patterns. I love them on dresses, glassware, and even doors. You just can’t go wrong with something covered in cute dots! In fact, I use the pattern so much that I pretty much consider it a neutral, perfect for mixing with florals and stripes.

So what on earth could I possibly put more polka dots on? A wood tray of course! I’m paired up with DecoArt and some of my favorite blog friends to share how you can DIY one thing five ways. We each started with the same exact unfinished wood tray and created 5 completely different, easy to DIY, looks.

Americana Multi-Surface paint is the perfect paint for creating a polka dot wood tray. It covers so well!

Time: 1 hour + drying time
Supplies: Americana Multi-Surface paint in Shrimp and Cotton Ball / wood tray / wood stain / foam brush / foam pouncer

Use dark walnut wood stain to transform a plain unfinished wood tray into a new stylish polka dot tray.

Step 1: Apply wood strain in any color you like (I used dark walnut) using a foam brush. Paint the stain on in the direction of the wood grain. This part can be pretty messy so make sure you cover your table top and I’d recommend wearing gloves.

Use a paper towel to remove excess wood stain immediately after applying it. Click through to see the full polka dot tray tutorial.

Step 2: Remove the excess stain using a paper towel. Allow the tray to dry completely.

Use a foam pouncer to create perfectly round polka dots on a wood tray or any surface.

Step 3: If you want to make the same coral blush colored dots as I did, mix equal parts of Cotton Ball and Shrimp Americana Multi-Surface paint on a paper plate or tray. Then place the foam pouncer (I used the 1.5″ one) in the paint and cover the bottom of the sponge with an even layer of paint.

A foam pouncer creates perfectly round circles without having to use a stencil or paint brush.

Step 4:  Lightly press the foam pouncer onto the tray and turn it left and right slightly to create a solid polka dot. Be careful to not press too hard because the paint will bleed and the edges of the circle will be uneven. You can apply the dots in a random pattern, like I did, or you can apply them in more of a grid. Once you finish, you may notice some spots are uneven. That’s no problem—just apply the paint again in the same way once the first coat of paint has dried. You can also touch up a few areas with a tiny paint brush. Once the paint is completely dry your tray is ready to be used!

Love this DIY polka dot wood tray! It's such a simple project that can be used for serving food, on a bedside table, or even on a coffee table.

Note: This is optional, but if you plan on using your tray a lot, I recommend sealing it with a clear varnish once the paint is completely dry. This will help prevent the paint from chipping and make the wood water resistant.

Check out the other ways to DIY a wood tray:
A Bubble Life
Oleander + Palm
Pars Caeli
The Crafted Life

Want to DIY your own tray? We’re giving away a $50 Amazon gift card so you can buy all the supplies you need to create your own tray. Enter below to win!

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Love this polka dot wood tray! Click through to see 4 other ways to DIY a wood tray.

This post was created in partnership with DecoArt. Thanks so much for supporting the brands that keep this blog going!


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