Thrift Store TV Trays Makeover

2 Materials
2 Hours

While on one of my thrifting adventures, I spotted this set of television trays at my local Goodwill.

Goodwill TV Trays

All but one tray was on the stand. The other four were leaning up against the shelf. Each was individually marked with a $5.99 price tag. I decided before I loaded them in my cart to ask the Associate to verify the price was for the SET and not per piece. They were $5.99 for the set, so I snagged them up!  

$5.99 for Set of Four

Two of the trays had seen better days. Stickers and markers everywhere!  

Stickers and Markers

Supply List:


Cricut Machine or Stencil

Waverly Chalk Paint in White


Wooster Silvertip Paintbrush

Car Sponge

220-grit Sandpaper

Shop Towels

I started by cleaning the trays and the stand with Windex window cleaner. I sprayed each sticker with the Windex and allowed it to soak for about 15 minutes. This allowed the soap to dissolve the adhesive, which made it easier to remove the sticker.

The trays would be used for my family get-togethers. My family all live within 25 miles of each other. Since the family is rather large, we have birthday dinners and include everyone who has a birthday that falls within the month. For example, I have a grandbaby that has a birthday in August as well as my mother. We get together in August and celebrate those birthdays. We have such a great time, laughing and just enjoying each other’s company. The Hubs and I have been enjoying the trays while watching our Georgia Bulldogs!

The Hubs Enjoying TV Tray

Back to the makeover. I asked the Hubs to create four words using our Cricut machine. I chose the words “Eat,” “Drink,” “Enjoy,” and “Gather.” Keep in mind if you do not have a vinyl machine, you could also use a stencil or even a self-adhesive transfer. 

My paint color choice for the trays was white. This would allow the quote to really stand out! 

I gave the trays and the stand three coats of the white chalk paint, allowing about 20 minutes of drying time in between coats.

Two Coats of Paint

I used my 220-grit sandpaper and lightly distressed around the edges and the legs.

I applied one coat of Polycrylic to all the trays and the stand. It is imperative to apply your Poly before you attach your vinyl. The transfer tape can peel up the paint if it is not sealed, trust me. I learned the hard way!

After the Poly had dried overnight, the Hubs was kind enough to apply the words to the trays.   

Measuring for Center

I then applied a second coat of Poly to protect the vinyl.

Here are the trays after the makeover. I think they look so much better! 

I would love to have you visit my blog! I am always sharing DIY tutorials and thrift store adventure post. Come on over!


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Have a question about this project?

3 questions
  • Camilledrinan
    on Oct 13, 2019

    Why add a distressed look? Through usage that will happen naturally.

    • Janice
      on Oct 13, 2019

      She distressed it because that's the look she wanted.

  • Sandy
    on Oct 15, 2019

    Love these! What font did you use?

  • Eva Snell Rubin
    15 minutes ago

    I purchased some TV trays at one of our thrift stores because they matched our existing ones. After I got home with them we realized the legs where they cross was loose and wobbly. They have brads (not sure that’s what it is called) at that intersection. Do you have a solution for fixing the wobble? Thought about trying to remove the brads and replace s screws and a washer between the legsdo u think this would work? Haven’t been brave enough go try it yet!!! Lol

Join the conversation

4 of 19 comments
  • Sharon Huneycutt Harris
    on Oct 13, 2019

    I bought some TV trays to use at church. I was tired of going to Bible study or Sunday School and having to balance my Bible and notebook in my lap. So I cleaned up two and put my contact information on the bottom of the tray. Then I took them to church and placed them behind the door in my Bible study group room and the other in my Sunday School room. When I get to my room, I unfold and use as a mini-desk.

    • Janice
      on Oct 13, 2019

      She didn't say she used contact paper......though that would probably be a great idea. She said she placed her contact information on the bottom of the tray so people would know the trays were hers.

  • Dl.5660408
    on Oct 14, 2019

    The sad trays now sparkle with personality, love them 😻🙀😻

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