How to Prepare a Cookie Sheet for Painting

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Cookie sheets make terrific canvases for painting, whether you turn them into serving trays, magnetic memo boards, or wall art. When using acrylic paints, they are pretty forgiving of mistakes -- just wipe them off with a little water and start that part again -- but you do need to prepare the surface to hold the paint in order to preserve your artwork.

Things You'll Need

  • Dishwashing detergent
  • Degreaser or white vinegar
  • Sanding block
  • Primer
  • Acrylic or acrylic enamel paints
  • Acrylic sealer

Tip

  • Nonstick cookie or baking sheets will not hold paint unless you remove the nonstick coating completely. If you are using a new sheet, it's much easier to begin with one that's untreated. Painting is also a great way to upcycle and reuse old cookie sheets that might no longer be suitable for baking.

Step 1

Wash the cookie sheet well with dishwashing liquid and water. Rinse it thoroughly to remove all traces of soap.

Step 2

Wipe the pan with degreaser and rinse well. If you prefer, use plain white vinegar in place of a commercial degreaser.

Step 3

If you’re preparing an unused cookie sheet, use a block sander to rough the surface a little. This will give the paint something to adhere to. If you’re recycling a used sheet, you can usually skip this step, although a quick sanding won’t hurt.

Step 4

Spray or brush primer on the cookie sheet. If you are only going to paint on one side, masking tape will help keep the other side clean and paint-free.

Step 5

Paint your pan with spray-on or brush-on acrylic paint or acrylic enamel paints.

Step 6

Protect your painting with an acrylic sealer.

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