How to Stencil a Tray
Dress up a wooden tray with a painted stencil design, creating a one-of-a-kind accessory.
- wooden tray
- paint in two complementary colors
- sanding pads, medium and extra-fine grit
- painter's tape
- tack cloth
- small artist brush
Select tray, stencil design, paint colors and additional materials. Tip: Consider using a stencil featuring a single damask motif or other pattern to center on tray surface.
Remove protective finish from tray surface, using medium-grit sanding pad, to allow new paint to adhere. Tip: Begin with unpainted tray to eliminate this step.
Apply primer to all surfaces of tray with brush. Let dry two hours.
Using an extra-fine-grit sanding pad, sand away any rough spots prior to painting. Wipe tray clean with tack cloth.
Apply selected paint color to all surfaces of tray with brush. Let dry four hours.
Sand Tray Between Layers of Paint
Sand away any rough areas or brush marks using an extra-fine-grit sanding pad. Wipe tray clean with tack cloth.
Apply Second Coat of Paint
Brush on second coat of paint to all surfaces of tray. Let dry four hours.
Center Stencil on Tray
Position stencil design on tray. Measure placement to ensure design is centered. Secure in place using painter's tape.
Paint Design With Stencil Brush
Paint design onto tray with stencil brush using a dry brush method to ensure sharp paint lines. This is done by dipping tip of brush into paint and removing excess paint on paper towel.
Fill in Stencil Design
Dry brush stencil cut outs with paint using a stippling method, which is tapping the brush repeatedly over stencil opening. Press down stencil while stippling to prevent paint seepage.
Run Stencil Design to Tray Edges
If using a design that will run up to edges of tray, bend stencil at tray edge and hold in place while stippling.
Complete Stencil Design
Use small paint brush to fill in any unpainted sections of stencil design. Let paint dry four hours prior to applying protective finish.
Cover Tray With Protective Finish
Apply protective finish to entire surface of tray with brush. Let dry two hours.