Upcycled TV Tray

Upcycled TV Tray 3 - offbeat + inspired

I absolutely love garage sale, secondhand and “side of the road” shopping. There’s something about transforming what many see as junk into beautiful and functional decor. Even items that appear simple or drab can be remade into a one of a kind piece.

Upcycled TV Tray 6 - offbeat + inspired

At a garage sale this past fall, I picked up a couple of wood TV trays for a dollar each. I was pretty excited about that deal, since most comparable ones I’ve seen in stores run for about $15-$20 each. Plus, I love how these trays provide extra space for food and drinks when I’m entertaining without taking up too much room – and you can’t beat the $2 price tag! (OK, maybe if they were free on the side of the road, but $2 is pretty good!)

Upcycled TV Tray - Before and After - offbeat + inspired

I decided to transform the first tray by adding stripes and a flower design using Chalk Paint®, soft wax, painter’s tape and part of a stencil design I had on hand (used originally for this project).

I haven’t started working on the second tray yet but I’m excited to redo it with a design to complement this one. How would you upcycle a TV tray like this? I’d love to hear your suggestions in the comments below!

Upcycled TV Tray 5 - offbeat + inspired

Upcycled TV Tray 4 - offbeat + inspired

Upcycled TV Tray 11 - offbeat + inspired

Upcycled TV Tray

1. I first started by cleaning the dust and dirt off the TV tray. Don’t skimp on this step because you want to be painting the furniture, not the dirt!

Upcycled TV Tray Before 1 - offbeat + inspired

2. I then painted on a coat of Chalk Paint® decorative paint by Annie Sloan in Paris Grey. The beauty of this paint is that you don’t have to prime the piece – just slap it right on!

3. After the paint dried, I put pieces of painter’s tape in a stripe pattern on the top of the tray. Then I painted the top with Chalk Paint® in Old White. When I removed the painter’s tape, I was left with white and grey stripes.

Upcycled TV Tray Before 3 - offbeat + inspired

4. Using a small portion of a Royal Design Studio stencil (French Floral Damask) that I had on hand from another project, I stenciled a flower design on the corner of the tray using the Annie Sloan color Versailles.

5. I finished the TV tray off with Clear Soft Wax, brushing the wax on with a paintbrush and then rubbing it off with a clean rag. When using this wax, the idea is to rub it into the wood and paint like you’d rub lotion into your hands. You don’t want to leave a layer of wax on the furniture just like you wouldn’t want to leave a thick layer of lotion on your hands.

6. I gently sanded down a few spots where I wanted a bit more of a distressed look.

7. The next day, I buffed the tray with a soft cloth so that there was a little bit of a sheen finish. If you use soft wax like I did, keep in mind that it takes about 30 days to completely cure. Your furniture can still be used during this time. However, until the wax cures and therefore has its full furniture protecting powers, you’ll just need to be a little more careful about water stains, scratches, etc. The good thing is that if you do have any scratches or stains, just reapply the wax to that area to fix it!

Upcycled TV Tray 2 - offbeat + inspired

This post was originally featured by East Coast Creative.

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  1. I love this transformation! The table went from drab to fab – and the stripes make it extra interesting 🙂

  2. wow, what a great transformation – good work!


  3. I absolutely love this idea! I have thrown out so many trays like this and never thought to upcycle them. This just might be my next diy project!


  4. Makes me want to go out to get a tray myself. So unpretentious and lovely!

  5. I LOVE how these turned out. We just moved and I was going to chuck my ol tv tables but the DIY’er in me would not let me. I’m goi g to do this to mine. Great job!


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