TV Tray Face Lift

Last fall I picked up three TV trays at a garage sale for a steal… I want to say $1 a piece or something like that. Have you ever shopped for a new set of TV trays? They’re pretty pricey! I was psyched to get such a great deal. In my mind, these babies were gorgeous… they just didn’t look that way to anyone else yet. 

The trays spent the last several months in the hall closet awaiting their makeovers, but when the weather started getting nicer, I knew it was time to get started. Step one was to clean them up and sand down the old black finish.  Yuck!


I just did a light sanding – enough to smooth out the rough spots and prep the surface for paint. Then the fun began! I wanted each tray to be unique, but I also wanted to stick to the blue/gray/white kind of theme that I have throughout the house. A secondary goal was to use only supplies I had on hand, and I’m pretty pleased with the results! 

The first tray I finished involved a can of spray paint that was leftover from a previous project. Then I used a stencil from one of my first furniture overhaul projects and a paint sample that was rejected from the master bathroom project. A wash of black stain over the whole tray toned down the bright blue and gave the gray paint an almost silver hue. Pretty cool! 

I wanted the second tray to be a little softer, so I used another light gray cast off from the bathroom project as a base and painted this one by hand. I thought that might be a time consuming task, but it actually went quite well. And Charlie only tried to lick the paint off one time! Silly dog. : ) Then I used an aquamarine paint color and a stencil made on my Silhouette machine for the morrocan tile look. Painting the stencil so that it went over the side of the tray was a little tricky though! Some distressing and a coat of light stain gave this tray a nice aged look, especially with that bright white “love.”

For the last tray I broke down and bought some supplies. While hand painting wasn’t hard, spray painting was certainly easier, and I needed two cans of this creamy white to cover over the old black. I’d used an enlarged version of this birds-on-a-wire stencil on the etched window I have on the front porch, so I scaled the image down for this tray and used a rich blue/green paint color. 


If you’re in the market for some TV trays, I highly recommend garage sale-ing it! This is a super easy and relatively cheap way to add a pop of fun and functional decor to any room. 


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3 Responses to TV Tray Face Lift

  1. Nancy Clewell says:

    Love these! Very clever make over.

  2. Beth says:

    I have 3 just waiting for a visit from my extremely creative and talented niece to visit!!

  3. Nancy Kline says:

    Love them. I really think HGTV is going to call you soon!!!

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