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Easily Paint and Age a Silver Serving Tray

Today, we’re sharing how to easily paint and age a silver plate serving tray!

As this season inches ever closer to the next, I find myself checking our home goals list to make sure we’re on track.  The list is mostly meant to be a guide of makeovers and tasks we would like to complete this year. However, we understand from the get-go that things come up and our priorities will probably be dictated by our busy schedules. 

I’m currently waiting on my Dad’s schedule to settle down a bit so we can finish the bigger projects on our list of goals. In the meantime, though, I’ve started crossing off the smaller more decorative projects that can be finished in an afternoon.  That way, by the time the bigger projects are underway we don’t have to wait on the more menial tasks to be completed.

Crossing Items Off Our Home Goals List…

One of those tasks is styling the bookshelves in my office.   Earlier this summer, we decided to change my home office back into a bedroom and the bedroom into my office.  Thankfully that project is close to being finished. 

Last month, my Mom came over to style the office bookcases and we decided one of the shelves needed something large in scale like a platter. But it needed to be bigger than a standard ironstone platter or plate.  We also need something that had a bit of age or patina on it.  

Searching for Just the Right Piece…

For several weeks we searched our favorite antique malls, charity shops, estate sales and big box stores to no avail.  I finally decided to search my inventory stash and found a silver-plated serving tray we had picked up at a charity shop years ago. 

The serving tray had beautiful curves and was the perfect size too.  It also had been well loved over the years and had started to rust in a few spots, so I didn’t mind giving it a bit of DIY love at all.  

This project is a quick and easy project that can be completed in no time, let me show you how….

Painted and Aged Silver Plate Serving Tray Supplies:

  • Serving Tray (this one was a thrifted find for a few dollars)
  • Spray Paint (color of your choice)
  • Proper Safety Gear for Spray Painting
  • Dark Furniture Paste Wax
  • Clear Furniture Paste Wax (optional)
  • Wax Brush
  • Fine Grit Sandpaper (optional)
  • Tarp (to protect surfaces)

Painted and Aged Silver Plate Serving Tray Steps:

Make sure your tray is completely clean and free from dirt and debris.  Using caution and care, in a well-ventilated area, spray the tray with your choice of spray paint. 

I prefer to spray multiple thin coats of paint whenever I’m doing projects like these.  The biggest key is to remember is you need to allow the paint to completely dry in between coats.  You can read our spray painting 101 tips and tricks post here if you’re new to spray painting or need a refresher.

We used Rust-Oleum in Heirloom White with a satin finish.  I would say it’s more of an off white than a true white though so keep that in mind if you decide to use the same color. 

Once the silver plate serving tray was dry, I applied a coat of Annie Sloan dark furniture paste wax with a wax brush to give the tray an aged look. 

The wax brush will definitely help you get into all the nooks and crannies, especially if your tray has a lot of detail work like this one does.  You can learn how to clean your wax brush here.

My best advice is to work in small sections and in a circular motion.  Also, if you mess up and the color is darker than what you had originally envisioned, you can always apply a layer of clear furniture paste wax as it will act almost like an eraser of sorts.

Creating Additional Patina…

If you want to age your tray even further, you can lightly sand with a fine grit sandpaper. 

Allow the wax to harden or cure as per the directions on the can of wax before handling or using your silver plate serving tray as a display piece.  I think it goes without saying this tray is not food safe.

Displaying a Painted and Aged Silver Plate Serving Tray…

Honestly you guys, you can use a tray like this in so many different places from a bookcase to a vignette or even on your coffee table.  White is my absolute favorite color and I love layering aged patinas with everything from ironstone to old books. 

I’ll be pairing this painted and aged silver plate serving tray on my bookcase with several other ironstone tureens. 

But I couldn’t resist using the tray as a backdrop for the aged book pages we made 

and with the milk glass inspired cake stands we created too.

What we love about this project is that it can easily be customized to fit the décor you already have in your home in just an afternoon.  It doesn’t require a lot of materials or even special skills.  The only thing you really need is some spray paint, wax, a block of time and inspiration.

Are you guys crossing small projects off your home goals list yet? We love to hear what you guys are working on! Until next time, I’ll see you on Instagram, Facebook and Pinterest.

Many blessings,


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  1. This looks great Coco. I like it both with and without the wax. It’s nice to have options. I’m glad you showed the rust spots because I dont think I would have the nerve to spray paint a piece like this without some sort of damage.

    1. ha ha that’s what I was thinking too, Sarah! I needed two trays for the bookcases and we were lucky enough to be able to find 2 that were rusty. It really does help add height and dimension to shelves and shows off the ironstone too which is nice. You know we’re all about the quick and easy projects. Especially, this summer. Hugs, CoCo

  2. I really like quick and easy projects like this Coco, thanks

    1. Thank you, Terri, we do too! There’s already a lot going on during the summer months so we’re always looking for any and every way to knock out simple projects like this one. Even though it’s crazy hot here so we’re excited about getting all our projects completed so we can welcome Fall. Hugs, CoCo

  3. Great project and your images are stunning. Do you use a program to get all your images looking the same?

    1. I really appreciate that Anita, thank you! I’m always working to try and improve my photography skills. Right now, I don’t use anything to edit other than Pic Monkey. I usually use it just to resize the images and sometimes to brighten a tiny bit. I’ve also found using a good tripod and a camera remote helps for the times the light indoors is low or when the sun is behind the clouds for the day. This area of our home normally has lots of natural light and of course the white shiplap wall really helps as well 🙂 Hope your day has been a happy one, CoCo

  4. Love your blog/website. It is very tastefully done.

    1. Such sweet and kind words, Pam, thank you! I really appreciate it. Hugs, CoCo

  5. I loved finding this idea where can I find the milk glass cake plate. Snd yes. I’ll be following!!! Thx so much

    1. Thanks so much, Nancy! We actually made that milk glass inspired cake stand from thrifted finds and it was super easy too. I’ll be sure to link to the post for you. Hope your weekend was a fun one, CoCo

    1. Thanks so much, Lovely, I really appreciate it!

  6. I love this Coco. Not only is it beautiful, but it saves an old piece, Definitely a win-win. xo Laura

    1. Thank you so much, Laura, I really appreciate it! Quick and easy projects like this are always so much fun. Hugs, CoCo

  7. This is truly beautiful! Saw your link over at Laura’s. I pinned one of the vignettes here to my board on Pinerest. Perfectly aged!

    1. That is so sweet of you, Brenda, thank you so much! I really appreciate it. Hope you’ve had the best day, CoCo

  8. The tray is gorgeous Coco. Love it against your ironstone tureen. You have an eye for great design. Happy weekend. Thank you for sharing your handiwork at Love Your Creativity. Hugs

    1. Thanks so much, Linda, I really appreciate it. It’s always fun to take old things and give them new life. Especially, with easy projects like this one. Hope your week has been richly blessed, CoCo

  9. Coco,
    What a lovely transformation!! I LOVE it!! Thanks so much for stopping by!! I appreciate your sweet comments!!
    Say safe, healthy and happy!!

    1. Thanks so much, Debbie, I really appreciate it! Hope your week is filled with all good things, CoCo

    1. I really appreciate it, Nancy, thank you so much! Hope your week has been a special one, CoCo

    1. Thank you so much, Sydney! This project was super easy and we use these trays all the time. Hope your week has been a fun one, CoCo

  10. I noticed the tray at first had a pattern on the main serving area. I have a tray that has a monogram from someone else on it. Will the paint cover that monogram?

    1. Thanks so much for the extra time answering this question, Christy! You can still see the pattern that was on the tray before I spray-painted it. It’s very light but once I applied the dark furniture paste the wax settled into the grooves and etching. I’ll definitely be on the lookout for a tray with a monogram or writing on it so I can try this technique again and update the post in case someone else has a similar situation. Hope your week is filled with all good things, CoCo

  11. Coco,
    The tray came out looking so beautiful!! I love it!! Thanks so much for stopping by and for your sweet words!! Merry Christmas!! Stay safe, healthy and happy!!!

  12. This is such a great makeover for a damaged tray. Even though it can’t be used for food anymore, it’s beautiful on display!

  13. What a great tutorial, CoCo… the tray is so gorgeous, and the DIY aging process turned out amazing!! You always have the best ideas!!

    1. I really appreciate it, Heidi, thank you so much. It’s always fun to give old pieces fresh life and to find new ways to use them. Hope your week is filled with all good things, CoCo

  14. Lauralee Deros says:

    I have the same tray. I painted it with waverly chalk paint in plaster. Then applied a iOD transfer on it. Then put a coat of clear wax then applied a coat of antique wax. Then took a soft rag and dipped it in clear wax and removed most of the antique wax off . It really made the details pop. I love the way it turned out. I’ve got a smaller tray that I am going to do like yours. I think yours turned out beautiful. I love it.

    1. That sounds really beautiful, Lauralee! I’m always amazed at the power of paint and wax. It’s such a pretty and budget-friendly way to give old things new life. Hope your week is off to a great start, CoCo

    1. Thanks so much, Josiah, I really appreciate it!

  15. CoCo, first that is a beautiful tray, but painting it was genius.
    Reminder: Last year you visited Marge’s Specialities in Orlando. Don’t forget Christmas in July is the last Sunday in July.

    1. You are so sweet to send this reminder, Myrna, thank you so much. I’m always completely amazed at Marge’s creativity and how many beautiful things they are able to pack into their buildings. It’s like an early Christmas dream come true. Big hugs, CoCo

    1. Thanks so much, Stacy, I really appreciate it! Hugs, CoCo

    1. Thanks so much, Susan, I really appreciate it. Hope you day has been filled with all good things, CoCo

  16. Me again! Wanted to stop by to thank you for taking the time to visit and for letting me know by leaving such a kind comment..

    1. You are so welcome, Deb! It’s always fun to see what you’re up to and the things you’ve created from week to week. I swear you get more done in a day than most people do all week. It’s really inspiring. Heading over now, CoCo

  17. CoCo, this turned out so pretty! I have a beat-up silver tray just begging for this makeover! I’d love it if you’d share your project over at Sundays on Silverado!
    Happy Friday!

    1. That’s so sweet of you, Niky, thank you! I’ve definitely missed linking up to your party each week as we took time to travel and regroup this summer. I hope your summer season has been filled with all good things and you’re looking forward to fall. I can’t believe how quickly it all went by! Hugs, CoCo

  18. Gorgeous CoCo! I love projects like this and you have demonstrated it so well. I’m sure there will be a run on trays at the local thrift stores to makeover with your technique! Pinned!

  19. What a great idea! I always see well loved trays at the thrift store, now I know that they can be painted! Have a wonderful weekend Coco, I hope that you are feeling better.

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