Chalkboard serving tray DIY for your kitchen

Chalkboard serving tray DIY for your kitchen

Chalkboard serving tray DIY for your kitchen

Learn how to build this DIY chalkboard kitchen tray with this step by step photo and video tutorial. This pretty tray should be a weekend build for you!

Hey guys, this is Susan. So, Reginald's mom wanted a chalkboard serving tray for her kitchen and we decided to make it for her in our home workshop.

Check out below the full step-by-step video of how we built this tray!

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Things you need for this build



Drawing of the build

chalkboard tray drawing
chalkboard tray drawing

How to build the serving tray

Step 1: First I took the 1/2 in x 10 in board, measured and marked it to the size (1/2 in x 10 in x 16 in) I wanted the tray to be.

measuring wood using tape

Step 2: Then we clamped a piece of wood as a fence for the circular saw and cut the board.

fence using wood

Step 3: Then we took the lumber for the frame(3/4 in x 1-1/2 in) and cut it down to two sizes ( 3/4 in x 1-1/2 in x 12 in and 3/4 in x 1-1/2 in x 18 in), i.e a pair of each size.

Step 4: We used the first piece as reference for cutting the other frame piece for both.

measurement using another piece

Step 5: We then used the miter saw to cut a 45 degree miter on both ends of the frame pieces.

cutting using miter saw

Step 6: We then dry fitted the frame pieces to check if the miters join correctly.

dry fitting the pine wood board

Step 7: We then routed all the 4 pieces of the frame using a router to create a mortise. Then we used a roundover bit to create a rounded smooth edge for the frame. You might need to take multiple passes to get a smooth finish.

routing wood pieces
routed wood pieces

Step 8: We then started the sanding of the frame pieces with a 120 grit sandpaper. We sanded down all sizes of the frame and then went another round with a 220 grit sandpaper for a smooth finish. In retrospect it was not necessary as it was going to be painted anyway. We then sanded the board piece as well in the same manner to get a smooth finish. You should aim for a really smooth finish as it is a chalkboard serving tray to be used in your kitchen.

sanding the frame
sanding the frame
sanding the board
sanding the board

Then we went for the glue up of the frame. We applied titebond II premium glue and spread it evenly on the inside of the frame pieces.

gluing the frame
gluing the frame pieces

Step 9: Then we joined them and clamped it using my quick grip Irwin clamps. We used the pneumatic nail gun to put a couple of nails in the frame pieces for added pressure until the glue fully sets.

nailing the frame pieces
nailing the frame pieces

Step 10: Once I was done with the frame, I dry fitted the board piece to check fit.

board dry fit
board dry fit

Tip: if the board and the frame are not level, you can sand the entire back side of the tray using an 120 grit sandpaper to make it level before applying the finish.

Step 11: We applied glue (titebond II) on the inside of the frame and fixed the board inside the frame. We then used the clamps for clamping pressure until the glue fully cures.

gluing the board onto the frame
gluing the board onto the frame
clamping the board after glue up
clamping the board after glue up

Tip: The glue takes 1 hour for initial strength and 24 hours for full strength.

Step 12: We then sanded the entire piece once more before applying the final finish. After sanding we used a wet cloth to wipe off the dust.

sanding the board after the glue cured
sanding the board after the glue cured

Tip: it's best to use a tack cloth to do this. Since we didn't have one at hand we used a wet rag.

Step 13: After this we went for the painting. We spread a sheet of plastic on my work table to prevent spills and paint marks. At this point, we were in half a mind to leave it as it is because we liked the grain pattern, but we finally decided to paint it anyway. We applied wood primer on the entire board to prime the wood before painting.

applying primer on the tray
applying primer on the tray

Step 14: After one side was done and dried, we applied the same thing on the back side of the board. After the first coat dried, we used a sanding sponge to lightly the sand the piece to remove minor imperfections. After this we applied two more coats of primer giving a 6-8 hour drying time between each coat. This could take longer if the weather is cold.

Sanding the tray after priming
Sanding the tray after priming

Step 15: After this I applied the chalkboard paint on the inside of the tray. You can also use spray paint if you are comfortable with it. Using a brush brings in the hassle of having to clean it afterwards with mineral spirits. After that dried I applied one coat of white paint on the frame.

applying chalkboard paint on the tray
applying chalkboard paint on the tray

Step 16: Finally, I applied one more coat of chalkboard paint and white latex paint to finish the painting part of the project.

chalkboard serving tray after painting
chalkboard serving tray after painting

Step 17: Lastly, I fixed a couple of cute cabinet pulls and voila you have your chalkboard serving tray for your kitchen!

Completed chalkboard serving tray
Completed chalkboard serving tray
Chalkboard serving tray with fruits

If you liked this post, please pin this photo below to your DIY/Home Decor/Kitchen DIY/Woodworking pinterest board.

serving tray with handles
Kitchen Serving Tray with Chalkboard Paint

Chalkboard serving tray DIY

Active Time: 2 hours
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Additional Time: 10 hours
Total Time: 12 hours 30 minutes
Difficulty: Medium
Estimated Cost: 25 dollars

This is a tutorial for making a DIY chalkboard serving tray using scrap wood lying around in your house.


  • 1/2 in by 10 in board
  • 3/4 in by 1-1/2 in lumber
  • Wood Glue
  • Cabinet Pulls
  • Wood Primer
  • Chalkboard Paint
  • 1 inch Brad Nails
  • Sandpaper


  • Circular Saw
  • Miter Saw
  • Router
  • Nail Gun
  • Paint Brush
  • Clamps


  1. Cut the board to the right size for the tray
  2. Cut the frame pieces using circular saw or miter saw cutting the boards
  3. Miter the edges of the frame pieces mitering the edges
  4. After checking for dry-fit, route the mortise and round the edges using a router routing the pieces
  5. Sand the frame pieces and the board sanding the boards
  6. Glue the frame pieces together and use brad nails for added strength
  7. Glue the board on the inside of the frame
  8. After the glue cures,sand the entire tray down
  9. paint the board using a wood primer and then paint the frame pieces white and the center part with black matte chalkboard paint.
  10. Fix cabinet pulls for the handles

About V Susan

Hi! I'm Susan. I am passionate about DIY projects and dark chocolates! Welcome to MellowPine. We play around with basic woodworking projects, home improvement ideas, and decor for you to try out.


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