DIY in a Day brings you step-by-step instructions for easy projects that will spruce up your space — within 24 hours (or less!).
The faux ceramic painting hack (originally created by Geneva Vanderzeil, of Collective Gen) has taken the crafting world by storm — and for good reason. Vanderzeil's simple combo of baking powder and paint allows creatives to make their own chalky-finish paint in seconds, and gives craft projects a ceramic-looking finish that feels authentically aged. Feeling inspired, we used this technique (plus some leather cording) to transform a plain wood tray into an eye-catching decor piece.
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Use a ruler to draw a straight, level line on the painter's tape about half an inch below the rim of the tray. Do this all the way around the tray. Then, make pencil marks along that line every inch around the top edge of the wooden tray.
If your tray has handle inserts (like the tray used in this DIY), mark your holes so that they fall in line with the handles, that way the cording wraps evenly all the way around the tray rim.
Remove the painter's tape. Sand any rough edges around the holes, if needed.
Combine the baking powder and paint in a bowl. To achieve the soft beige color you see pictured in this tutorial, we combined white acrylic paint with light brown paint. Add roughly one tablespoon of baking powder for each cup of paint you use. Stir until the paint takes on a fluffy, mousse-like texture. Don't worry if it starts to bubble up — this is just the baking powder reacting to the paint. It'll stop after you stir it a little more. You'll want a smooth yet light consistency, almost like whipped cream. If your paint feels too smooth, add a little more baking powder to give it a rougher texture when painted on.
Use a foam paint brush to coat the wood tray with the paint mixture. Do as many layers as needed to achieve a textural, matte finish that looks like ceramic or plaster. Rough is okay! Feel free to add a few darker and lighter areas of paint to your tray to make it look like natural ceramic.
Allow the paint to fully dry, then loop leather cording up and around the top of the tray rim and through the holes you drilled earlier. This will create an angular pattern around the tray edge. Finish by tying the leather cord in a knot at the end, or super glue it in place. Do this on the inside of the tray edge so it's largely hidden. Trim off the excess, if needed, then you're done!