This etched slate serving tray is one of my favorite quick and fun projects, ever. As I was reading the directions on the Etchall container for a previous Paint+Pattern glass etching project on our deck, I discovered that the product would etch surfaces like tile, granite, and more. So, I realized that it would probably also etch slate. And off I went with this idea. Look closely and you would swear there is white paint on the slate, but it is only the etched surface.
Here in North Carolina, although we don’t have a lot of slate roofs, you can find the slate pieces at Home Depot and Lowe’s really cheap. I have no idea where I got my piece, but guessing it was from a yard sale in an “I can use this for something” moment. It’s perfect because the edges are honed and nicely chippy, but not sharp.
The pieces have nail holes pre-drilled in them, so if you go shopping for a piece, just know that you probably won’t find one without holes. If you have some slate left over from a deck or garden project, you can etch it, but it may not work as well to serve hors d’oeuvres.
Isn’t this so cool? Let’s do it!
- Custom Modello, or one-time-use stencil, with a quote or design of your choice. I measured the slate and supplied my design to the Royal Design Studio artist for production. The white burnishing tool and the pick tool are included with your order and not a separate purchase
- Slate roofing tile, washed, old or new drawer pulls with a flat surface to glue to the slate
- E 6000 or any glue that will bond metal to slate, paper towels, rubber gloves, painters tape, small paint brush, Q-tips
Normally I love having little helpers, or even a kitty observer, but I prefer not to have little children or pets around during this project. Before beginning, read all of the directions here, on the Etchall and on the glue.
FIND THE CENTER OF THE SLATE AND THE MODELLO
Find the center of the slate at the top and side, mark with a pen on a piece of tape. Find the center of the Modello at the top and side and mark on the front side.
BURNISH MODELLO, REMOVE BACKING PAPER, POSITION ON THE SLATE, TAPE THE EDGES
Use the white tool to burnish the Modello on the front and back sides Slowly remove the heavy paper, making sure that none of the design comes off with the paper. If that happens, just burnish some more. Set the backing paper aside to use as a palette for the Etchall.
Carefully turn the design over and place it in the center of the slate, using the center marks you made. The paper is very sticky and you likely have one chance to position it, so take your time.
Burnish again to make sure the design is tight to the surface, so no material will run underneath. Tape the edges of the Modello and underneath to assure that you only etch where the design shows.
APPLY ETCHALL, WAIT 15 MINUTES, THEN REMOVE IT
Now the fun begins! Put on the rubber gloves. Use a stir stick to place a lot of the Etchall material on the backing paper, because you will apply it very thickly. Use the color shaper tool to pull the Etchall across the pattern. Resist the urge to drag it back and forth to get a perfect application, just get a good, thick layer over all of the openings.
Let the Etchall sit for 15 minutes.
Use the color shaper to remove all of the Etchall, which, amazingly, can be returned to the container for reuse.
Leave your gloves on and rinse the slate, with the Modello still in place, under the faucet, preferably outdoors or in a laundry sink. Remember that the Etchall is still active, and it will etch anything like your countertop, or tile before you wash it off!
REMOVE THE TAPE AND MODELLO
Now you can remove your gloves and peel off the tape and the Modello. Use the pick tool to take off the remaining pieces. Wash well again to be sure there is no remaining Etchall.
PAINT THE FEET AND EDGES OF THE SLATE AND APPLY THE FEET
Use a small brush to paint the “feet” and the edges of the slate that look chipped away.
Turn the slate over and apply glue to the bottoms of the feet, then place them in position. Remove any glue that seeps out with a Q-tip. Let dry according to directions.
Chill wine, snip a few blooms from your summer garden, and serve!
Wash by hand with soap and water.
I like this so much now that I am kicking myself for not making several for wedding and anniversary gifts this summer. Just sayin’!