How to Prepare a Cookie Sheet for Painting


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


  • 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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