Tray Table Hack
If there’s one thing that annoys me when I’m trying to relax, it’s not having somewhere to put down my glass.
Sometimes it’s just WATER, people. No need to make jokes!
Having the right coaster is great, but isn’t it irritating when there’s no bedside table or no end table near you? I just hate having to put my drink on the floor. Inevitably, my kids end up kicking it over.
We’ve been struggling to find lots of affordable, cute little tables so that visitors to Sadler House never have their drinks kicked over. A few weeks ago, my husband hauled this tray table out of our coat closet and said “Can we just trash this?”
“Uh-uh!!!” I countered. That post-college-box-store-lived-with-me-through-my-twenties tray table? It was perfect for one or two drinks. I was going to make that table over.
Now, this tray table would be a bad subject for a traditional paint job, since it’s barely recognizable as being a wood product and also…I’m lazy. Sanding all the nooks and crannies would have been so tedious! Luckily, I had a can of Annie Sloan Chalk Paint® on hand in a soothing Duck Egg Blue.
When I turned the table upside down in the garage, I actually had to use a knife to cut away the remnants of the plastic that had once encased the table in the store. I can’t believe it had been stuck in the crevices of the table for over 15 years but, there you go. Having cut it away, I did give the table a very lazy, light sanding. I didn’t do a good job, though.
Then, I painted it.
Tray Table Hack – So Easy
It was a challenge to get all the nooks and crannies. I was able to get most of the table in one coat, and it was tricky to paint the various crevices without collapsing the table. There was comedy. Luckily, I was unobserved.
When the table had dried, I used a reusable stencil I had purchased at craftcuts.com and put my lobster on top of the table using a basic matte stencil paint and stencil sponge from the craft store. Then I waxed it with my Annie Sloan soft wax, to protect the top.
No drink left behind. We have a table, folks.
Note: Since making this first table, I’ve made numerous others using different color combinations and have sealed some of them with water-based poly instead of wax. It has worked great and they have really held up to a lot of use. Three years and hundreds of guests later, all the tables are still showing surprisingly little wear and I have not repainted them. There are now many “chalky” paints available beyond Annie Sloan as well and I have subsequently made all of my own using instructions from Pinterest! Very affordable.
Need a coffee table to go with that? Check out our beautiful and durable industrial coffee table made with plumbing pieces.