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Leaf-Pattern Painted Projects

Use nature’s own patterns to make a painted tray, plate, or wall art.

Painted tray with a leaf pattern.

Project Overview

Skill Level


Estimated Time

1 day

Estimated Cost


Tools & Materials


  • Newspaper or drop cloth
  • Painter’s tape


  • Valspar spray paint, rose gold
  • Base color spray paint of your choice
  • Flattened leaves
  • Plate hangers (optional)

Items may be Special Order in some stores. Product costs, availability, and item numbers may vary online or by market. Paint colors may vary slightly from those shown. Availability varies by market for lumber species and sizes.

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Step 1

Place the item you want to paint on newspapers or a drop cloth, and apply two coats of a background color. Follow the manufacturer’s recommendations for drying time.

Good to Know

If you prefer, select an object that already has the background color you want and move directly to the next step.

Step 2

For an optional effect, mask off about a third of the item surface. Place leaves, fronds, or the objects of your choice on the item being painted. Arrange them until they form a pattern you like.

Good to Know

Flat leaves create a more defined pattern or outline. Curled or wavy leaves result in more blurred edges. If necessary, flatten the leaves in a flower press.

Step 3

Spray-painting a metal tray.

Holding the spray can directly over the work surface, spray straight down as you go back and forth. Add a second coat as needed and then remove the leaves.

Step 4

Turn garage-sale finds into wall art using your favorite paint combinations and leaves for patterns. --Lowe’s Creative Ideas

Allow the paint to dry overnight before handling or using. Trays and plates can be displayed using a plate hanger sized to fit the item.

Good to Know

Avoid allowing food to touch painted surfaces of items used as plates or serving trays.