DIY Plate Wall Tutorial

DIY Plate Wall Tutorial

Thank you all for the kind comments on last week’s happy kitchen post!  As promised, today I am sharing the secrets behind my fabulous painted plate wall.

I’ll admit that the idea for this project didn’t jump out at me right away.  It was my assistant Taylor that suggested that these spic-and-span trays from 60s could be transformed into something great.  I decided to save them from going to Goodwill and racked my brain for ideas.

They are light weight and metal so I instantly thought they could be painted and mounted easily on a wall.  At first I was thinking of chalkboard signs for my estate sale business (which I did make a few of) and then it hit me that they would make the perfect focal point in my kitchen.

Step #1: Collect Your Supplies

You will need trays or light weight plates, paint, paint brushes, and a drop cloth.  (Optional, a fun friend to help you with the project, my friend Larry helped me with mine!)

I love the look of a plate wall but I haven’t wanted to deal with mounting plates, building a plate collection, finding the right shelving, etc. etc..  If you are interested in making a plate wall of your own and don’t have access to spic-and-span trays like me, you could go to a restaurant supply store and buy pizza pans in a variety of sizes.

Step #2: Determine How the Trays will be Mounted

Instead of pounding dozens of holes in my kitchen wall I opted to use Command Hanging Strips.  They act like velcro. These turned the mounting process into a cake walk!

Step #3:  Develop a Layout

Once the trays or plates and primed and dry, determine how you would like them displayed.  My friend Larry helped me with this project.  I had him hold up the trays and we marked the walls with pencil to determine the layout.


Step #4: Attach the Trays

Once we had a general layout in mind be began to attach the trays to the walls with Command Hanging Strips. You might be asking why we hung them before we painted them.  I thought it would make more sense to have the layout down before we painted.  This way we could pull a tray down one by one and come up with a design. It was also handy to hang the trays on the wall to dry. Gotta love Larry!


This is a look at the primed trays attached before we painted.  We swapped out the big trays for the little trays and played with the design.  I love how it looks fun and structured at the same time.


Step #5: Start Painting!

Larry and I had so much fun painting the trays.  We kept the color scheme simple, yellow and antique white. We decided some of the trays should be painted in a solid color and others should have fun designs.  I left the designs up to Larry, he has the best taste!


Painting was very therapeutic.  We talked and laughed for about 2 hours.

DIY Plate Wall Tutorial

2 things about this shot…#1 I love the polka dot design Larry created, #2 I love Larry’s haircut, he cuts it himself (jack of all trades)

DIY Plate Wall Tutorial

Viola!  Here is the final product!  I absolutely love how it turned out.  I also love that I can move the trays around for a different look because of the Command Hanging Strips.  I painted most of the solid trays and the weird tray on the top row second from the left (it looks like eggs in a pan).  Larry did the rest which is why it looks so great.

DIY Plate Wall Tutorial

If you don’t have a friend like Larry let me know, he is willing to travel!

DIY Plate Wall Tutorial

Can you believe that these used to be rusty old trays, amazing!

DIY Plate Wall Tutorial

Happy Friday my friends!  If you live somewhere with snow and chilly temps I hope my happy kitchen and my cheerful plate wall warms you up!

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