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Striped Tray




Dress a serving tray or two in jaunty stripes. All-purpose galvanized trays from garden centers make great candidates for outdoor entertaining -- they're inexpensive and sturdy enough to withstand years of use. Bands of bright enamel paint show up against their shiny metal surfaces and won't be damaged by the moisture given off by cold drinks. Decorate a few trays to make a set.


  • Blue painter's tape
  • Enamel paint


  1. Step 1

    Wash and dry tray thoroughly.

  2. Step 2


    Cover your work surface for protection. Apply blue painter's tape, available at hardware stores in different widths, across the tray lengthwise to outline spaces that will be filled in with color (use several different colors of paint to give the tray a cheerful look).

  3. Step 3

    To prevent paint from seeping underneath the tape, use your fingers or a credit card to press it down firmly. Apply one to two coats of enamel paint as necessary to achieve vivid, opaque coverage. Let it dry thoroughly, then pick up tape.

Martha Stewart Living, August 2004



Reviews (21)

  • realhappycat 16 Jul, 2011

    OOOPS! Martha get your paint expert's advice! Enamel paint will fail miserably on galvanized surfaces. Go to your local paint store or online to research the real way to paint these cool stripes on this surface. 'Need a cleaner/prep product, acrylic primer for metal, and topcoat. Now it will last for years.

  • glassbell 24 Aug, 2010

    How about using electrical tape that comes in different colors? Therefore no paint required.

  • sarahscribbles 24 Aug, 2010

    i did a quick search and found this site:

  • Yllota 4 Jul, 2009

    I don't know about garden center trays, but I am going to use baking trays instead. Much more easy to find because they have them at supermarkets and pretty cheap since most people no longer uses this kind of baking trays because they are not non-stick =)

  • Lauriegreco 24 Jun, 2008

    Cute idea...can't say I've seen these trays in gardens centers in my ares either.

  • kilmka 23 Jun, 2008

    I have looked at garden centers all over the Boston area and they never heard of them. I even brought a picture? Cheapest I saw online was $14 plus shipping

  • lovely_cuppycake 21 Jun, 2008

    good idea and sweet!

  • pjrg1 19 Jun, 2008

    I love this idea! So pretty and summery.

  • RAGL 19 Jun, 2008

    dottikins, I love your idea of different widths of tape...lots less mess and clean up!! Now to find the trays.

  • dottikins 17 Jun, 2008

    When I looked at the tray without reading the instructions, I thought it was striped with different widths of tape. Would that be a possibility? I like the look! Great for parties. Thanks, Martha!

  • sheilaparnell 16 Jun, 2008

    I am going to make these for the big crawfish boil in Louisianna, they will be perfect! Wonderful idea! Thanks Martha!

  • torontom6S 16 Jun, 2008

    Love the idea, painted galvanized steel pails with a spring green to match some dragongflies and planted herbs, lettuce etc. in them. Did the canvas rug in pink petunias and green dragonflies and this tray would look great with the green pink and maybe a little splash of turquoise. Love it.

  • Monaliza-gypt 16 Jun, 2008

    A greative idea, its good to put your personal touch on some items that will be used often.

  • Sheilaugh 16 Jun, 2008

    This is exactly what I was thinking of doing! Now I will finish the job completely. It sure makes great conversation piece on the patio. Thanks.

  • briev 16 Jun, 2008

    try Target for the galvanized trays. Sometimes they have them in the $1 section at the front of the store.

  • TriciaJay 16 Jun, 2008

    It's cute for a beach motif

  • 83benz 16 Jun, 2008

    Great idea!!!..have never come across these trays though at any garden centers around here. Any help out there in Cleveland OH?

  • trekkiemom 16 Jun, 2008

    I really wish they'd come up with some new ideas, all of the craft and organisational ideas are from the magazine, or the little decorating magazine I got at the checkout stand. I'd like to see something new.

  • Twigger 16 Jun, 2008

    Why does one need to add the dish washing liquid?

  • lbuser 16 Jun, 2008

    If you will add a few drops of dish washing liquid to the paint, it will stick to the metal quite nicely. This is a great idea and galvanized metal pans look great in almost all decors.

  • Tanyamom 16 Jun, 2008

    Well, this has distinct possibilities!