Repurposed Charger Plate and Silver Tray Chalkboard Signs

Today I'm sharing a fun idea for making inexpensive chalkboard signs. All you need is a trip to the thrift store and/or dollar store to make these repurposed charger plates and silver tray chalkboard signs. I incorporated them into my Easter and Spring decor this year but they are perfect to use year-round. The possibilities for the painted plates are endless and they have such lovely farmhouse charm.

Repurposed Charger Plate Chalkboard

Repurposed Charger Plate and Silver Tray Chalkboard Signs

Repurposed Silver Tray Chalkboard Sign

These are the two thrift store plates I started with. The one in the background is a plastic charger plate and the other a silver serving tray.

DIY Chalkboards From Thrift Store Finds

The DIY chalkboards can be displayed on plate stands like I did in my Spring and Easter vignettes or hung on a wall in a kitchen or dining room. They are also a great gift idea too.

DIY Chalkboard Ideas For Budget-friendly Easter Decor

DIY Chalkboard Signs

How To Make DIY Chalkboard Signs

I've included a supply list with affiliate links towards the bottom of the post so you can see what products I used or recommend to make the chalkboards. As an Amazon Associate, I earn a small commission from qualifying purchases at no extra cost to you.

Step 1 - Prepping the plates for paint

Clean the silver plate with denatured alcohol and the plastic charger with soap and water to remove any grime. You can paint directly over them with chalk-style paint. But take caution that you can't brush over the same area twice before the paint dries on the silver tray otherwise the paint will bubble and you'll have a hot mess on your hands.

Step 2 - Priming the plates

I prefer priming both the silver tray and charger plate first so the paint has some bite. You can prime them in two different ways. One is to brush the plates with Zinsser Bullseye 123 Primer OR spray them first. I suggest with black spray paint if you plan on giving the top coat of paint a distressed finish like I did.

DIY Chalkboard Signs Primed For Paint

Step 3 - Chalkboard paint

To turn the plates into chalkboards you can either use black chalkboard paint OR flat black latex or black chalk-type paint. If you use chalkboard paint, there will be a long dry time between coats. I painted mine with two coats of black chalky paint.

Step 4 - Paint the rim of the plates 

I used a different paint finish on the rim of each plate as follows...

Round Silver Tray Paint Finish

I kept the silver tray black and embellished the detail around the rim with a dry brush technique. To do this dip the tips of a brush into white paint and offload the excess onto a paper towel. With light pressure brush along the edge so the bristles just hit the raised parts of the rim.

To protect the edges I rubbed clear wax over the rim ONLY, being careful not to get any on the chalkboard center.

DIY Silver Serving Tray Chalkboard

Charger Plate Paint Finish

On the charger plate, I painted the rim with Americana Decor Chalky Paint in the color Serene. With 220 grit sandpaper, I distressed the paint on the raised details only. To protect the paint on the rim ONLY, I rubbed pearl wax with a lint-free rag, making sure not to get any on the chalkboard center.

DIY Charger Plate

Step 5 - Season the new chalkboards

Before you bring out your inner chalkboard artist, it's important that you season the board first otherwise you risk getting ghostwriting on your nice brand new chalkboard. To do this you simply run the side of a stick of chalk all over the board both vertically and horizontally. Rub the chalk with a clean cloth or paper towel.

Tip for chalk typography like a pro

You can see in the photos in this post that I freehanded my typography but if you want yours to look like a chalkboard artist here's a tip on how to get that pro look.

In PicMonkey or your favorite graphic creation software, create a graphic and print on regular bond paper. Hold the paper up to a window and rub chalk onto the backside directly over the graphic. Place the chalk side of the paper onto the plate and trace over each letter with a pencil. If the chalk didn't transfer dark enough, go over the letters with a sharpened stick of chalk or a liquid chalk pen.

What you'll need to make the DIY chalkboards

Supply List

Charger Plates or Silver Trays (thrift store or dollar store)
Serene Chalky Paint
White Chalky Paint
Black Chalky Paint
Chalkboard Paint or Black Chalky Paint
Pearl Wax
Clear Wax
220-grit Sandpaper

DIY Charger Plate Chalkboard Sign

DIY Silver Tray Chalkboard Sign

I hope these DIY chalkboard signs have inspired you to look twice at inexpensive silver trays and charger plates at the thrift store.

Some of you have asked about the banner in the photos. You can see how that was made in my Vintage Style Spring Banner post.

For more DIY chalkboard ideas here is a Chalkboard Menu that I made from repurposed thrift store art. I also turned these Vintage Dresser Mirrors into large chalkboards. Or here I turned a wall in our kitchen into a Chalkboard Wall?

If you have any questions about this DIY chalkboard paint craft, please leave them in the comment section below or the Contact Me tab at the top. I love hearing from you!

If you enjoyed this repurposed chalkboard idea, I'd be so thankful if you shared it with a friend and pinned it to your chalkboard idea board or DIY sign idea board on Pinterest.

DIY Chalkboard Signs From Repurposed Finds

Easter & Spring Chalkboard Plates

I share my projects at these inspiring link parties.