TV Tray Makeover

When Chelsea and I first moved out, her step-dad gave us a set of TV trays. They were dirty, creaky, and old, but they were solid wood, and had a very unique shape. They sat, unused, in our basement the whole time we lived together, and somehow when we moved out into our own separate apartments, I ended up with them.

Now they're just sitting, unused, creaky, and dirty in my basement. Whoopsies.

I've seen a ton of TV tray makeovers on Pinterest, and figured this would be a good idea for these bad boys. They definitely needed a good scrub down. Some Dawn dish soap, a sponge, and a hose were all I needed to clean these up from all of the built up grease and food residue and dust.

Then came the sanding. This is where I decided to only tackle one; I wanted to figure out the best way to do everything before I committed all 4 trays to a plan. A contingency plan of sorts.

I thought about disassembling the tray for this step, but ultimately decided to wait until refinishing it for that (mistake- had to go back and sand parts again to make sure it was all even). My little Black & Decker Mouse sander was perfect for this job, and the tray was sanded down in an hour, give or take. I also used the brush portion of our broom to help get any residual dust off; this helps to make sure you have an even surface, and that you haven't missed any spots (my bad on the blurry picture).

Look at how beautiful this tray is. The wood grain is gorgeous, especially now that there aren't any rings or water stains obstructing it. Kind of tempted to simply put polyurethane over it here and call it quits, but that was a fleeting thought.

Time to disassemble. *insert groaning here*
Creaking, scraping, screeching, cursing, and a lot of grumbling later, I had this pile of wood pieces, a pile of metal hunks, and a couple of sore hands. Some of these screws took some major convincing to budge.

I had thought about refinishing them at first, then painting them, then refinishing them....My mind honestly was not made up until I was halfway through this project.

I decided to stain them in the end. After a couple of coats and a few hours later....they were hideous. Absolutely 100% hideous. Weird splotchy parts, general ugliness. So ugly, in fact, I didn't take pictures, and instead immediately sanded all the way down to the bare wood again.

I guess I'm painting them, then.
But that presented a whole new slew of options.
All of them one color?
All of them in different shades of one color?
Stencils? (Which stencils?)

UGH. Why did I decide on paint? I have a million different paint hues of blue, and grey.

Now I'm sitting here with a ton of paint, a naked tray, and endless possibilities. I guess we'll see what happens!


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