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DIY Gold Trimmed Painted Wooden Tray

A painted wooden tray is a project that has been on my list of things to do for a few months. I finally painted this tray and love the end result.

Now I have a painted tray that I can use for decor in any season!

Wooden tray painted white with edges of tray and handle painted gold.

I’m sharing my DIY Gold trimmed Painted Tray for this month’s Thrifty Style Team project hosted by Julie of Redhead Can Decorate.

You’ll find links to all of the projects shared this month at the end of this post.

How to Paint a Wood Tray

This project started with a $7.49 unfinished wood tray from Target.

Unpainted wooden tray from Target

You can’t beat the price of this tray. It’s sturdy and perfect to use in so many spots in a home. If I were to do this project again, I would choose this tray from Amazon because I like its handle detail better.

I plan to use mine for seasonal decor but its 16″ x 12″ x 2″ size makes it handy to use in many areas of the home. It would be great for:

  • Corraling beauty items on a bathroom counter
  • Organizing kitchen essentials on a kitchen counter
  • On a desk to organize containers of pens & pencils

Kids or teens would love to paint a tray as a craft project. They could have fun painting it to reflect their personality!

Supplies to Paint a Tray

Painting a wood tray is an easy project, it just takes a bit of time since it requires multiple layers of paint and each layer needs proper drying time.

Prime the Tray

When painting a wood tray with raw wood, be sure to prime the wood before painting. This will prevent darker sections of the wood from showing through the paint.

Kilz3 Premium used to prime a wooden tray from Target.

Caulk the Tray

After the tray was primed, I noticed gaps in the wood. To close these gaps, I used caulk.

Wooden tray before caulking

I used caulk leftover from installing the window trim and baseboards in our lake house family room since it was already loaded in our caulk gun.

The bowl of water was used to dip my finger in for smoothing out the bead of caulk.

Caulking a wooden tray

After caulking all of the seams where the wood pieces fit together are smooth with no gap.

Wooden tray after being caulked

Paint the Tray

After the tray was primed and caulked, I painted it with this paint in Smoky White.

Painting a wooden tray with Behr Ultra Scuff Defense Paint and Primer in One

After two coats the tray looked like this. It looks great all white but I gave it some pizzazz with gold metallic paint.

Wooden tray painted white

Tape the Tray

My plan was to paint the edges and handle of the tray with gold metallic paint. The next step was to tape the tray with Frog Tape.

Taping a wooden tray with Frog Tape

Then I used an X-Acto knife to cut the tape away from the handles.

Using an exacto knife to cut Frog Tape

Crafting with a view was a nice way to spend a summer afternoon! See more of our lake house patio and its view in this post. Don’t miss touring my lake house!

Taping a painted tray with Frog Tape in preparation for painting the handles and edges gold.

Now the tray is taped up and ready for its gold trim.

Tray painted white taped to accent the handles and edge with gold paint

Add Metallic Gold Paint

A small craft paintbrush was used to add three coats of DecoArt Glorious Gold metallic paint.

Trimming a painted white wooden tray in gold accent paint

Remove the Frog Tape

In all the painting that I’ve done over the years, I’ve had the best success with Frog Tape. I always pick it over the blue kind.

Removing Frog Tape from wooden tray painted white with gold edges

This painted wooden tray looks much better with the addition of the gold paint.

Wooden tray painted white with the edges and handles accented in metallic gold paint.

Painted Wooden Tray Styled for Fall

One the painting was complete, it was time for the fun part, using the tray for fall decor. See more of this room’s fall decor in this post.

Wood tray painted white and gold styled for fall with dried gourds, acorns, mini pumpkins, an orange candle accented with acorns, and a blue chinoiserie vase

This painted wooden tray is the perfect size to use to decorate my coffee table for fall.

I love how the gold trim adds color and interest to this previously plain wood tray.

Dried gourds, pumpkins, acorns, and a blue and white chinoiserie vase used to style a tray for fall.

My coffee table, end table, and lamps are all part of a set of furniture that my mom and dad purchased when they got married in 1968. Mama still has the matching sofa, recliner, and side chair! Don’t miss my dad’s 1960s stereo!

Fall coffee table vignette with a wood tray painted white with gold accents decorated with dried gourds, acorns, mini pumpkins, an orange candle accented with acorns, and a blue chinoiserie vase

Orange Plaid Blanket Scarf

I followed the rule of three when decorating my tray for fall. The candle, chinoiserie vase, and group of gourds are the three items.

It is recommended when decorating to always use an odd number when displaying items.

Wood tray painted white and gold styled for fall with dried gourds, acorns, mini pumpkins, an orange candle accented with acorns, and a blue chinoiserie vase

Last fall when we were on vacation in Vermont, I picked the pods from plants growing beside a pond. They traveled back to Virginia, dried over the past year, and now are being enjoyed in my fall decor.

The vase was a gift from my teaching friend and former occasional tennis partner, Becky.

Chinoiserie blue and white vase filled with seed pods on a tray painted white with gold accents.

The candle is from Hobby Lobby and smells great. To add interest to it, I surrounded it with faux acorns.

Wood tray painted white and gold styled for fall with dried gourds

Every year I buy so many gourds, I can’t help myself. I use this hack to make them shine, then when fall is over, I dry them. I’ve been drying gourds for years and now have a huge tote filled with them that I use for fall decor.

The largest gourd in this display was grown by my dad and he died in 1997, so you can see that a dried gourd is something that you can enjoy for years to come. See more of my dad’s dried gourds that my mom is still using in this post!

These unfinished wood trays would be perfect to use for this project

These Stained Trays Would Be a Great Addition to any Home

More Thrifty Project to Enjoy

Now it’s time to enjoy the projects that the rest of the Thrifty Style Team is sharing today. Click on the links below to see each project.

Redhead Can Decorate – Mini DIY Pumpkin Patch
The Painted Hinge – Upcycled Fall Wreath
DIY Beautify – The Easiest Fall Centerpiece Ever
2 Bees In A Pod – Revamped Vintage Clorox Bottle
Postcards From The Ridge – DIY Pedestals From Thrifted Candleholders
The How To Home – DIY Pretty File Folders
The Tattered Pew – DIY Cane Armoire Makeover
Sweet Pea – DIY Gold Trimmed Painted Wooden Tray
What Meegan Makes – Vintage Bicycle Wreath for Fall
Cottage At The Crossroads – Paint a White Pumpkin
I Should Be Mopping The Floor – 5 Vintage Vanity Mirror Tray Uses
The Creek Line House – Inexpensive Faux Board and Batten Wall

12 Thrifty Projects to Refresh Your Home


  1. Your tray is pretty, I love myself some gilding. I’m was happy to read about the gourds. I have preserved acorns and dehydrated fruit but didn’t know about gourds, thanks for sharing the link.

    By the way, your crafting view is beautiful!


  2. Paula, you did such a professional job on this tray! I like how you added the steps of caulking the seams. It gives the tray a very finished look. I think I have that same gold paint, so you’ve inspired me to think about using it for fall! You styled it so nicely on your coffee table. Pinning!

  3. Hi Paula! Iā€™m so happy you joined in this month! The tray is gorgeous and the caulking brilliant. I would have never thought of that finishing touch, but should!!

  4. This turned out so beautifully. I love a simple but classy makeover! I’m sure I need to steal this idea for our house sometime soon! It will be a feature over at Handmade Monday later today šŸ™‚

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