How to Argyle-up a Ho Hum TV Tray!

4 Materials
2 Hours

You might say I have a slight addiction to collecting TV trays.
Not only are they super productive pieces which I use all the time, they are also easy revamps!I also love a great argyle pattern... so with that in mind, this thrift store found sleepy little TV tray didn't stand a chance...
While this finished project may appear complicated, it's far from it... in fact, thanks to a stencil, it couldn't be easier to get this look!
Now that's a complication I can handle... and here's how I did it!
Whenever I rummage through a thrift store, my eyes dart towards solid wood TV trays that are sturdy.
This picture shows how the TV trays are typically found. Usually with a coating of varnish, with a blonde wood-tone underneath.
Let's wake it up!
This particular tray started off the same way, however I painted the legs black, then ran a palm sander across the top to remove the existing finish.
So much better already... but let's get into the real fun next!
I desired to stencil the top of the tray in a rustic argyle pattern. It sounds complicated, but it isn't if you have the right stencil on hand!
Argyle is a 2-part stencil. There's a sheet of diamonds, and then a sheet of thin lines so you can truly achieve a true argyle effect with paint!
The Argyle stencil is from Funky Junk's Old Sign Stencils HERE
Every other diamond was painted in black, then the remaining were painted in white.
This was the result. It's cute already!
Once the sheet of thin lines were painted on top in a light grey, the top truly resembled a full-out argyle effect!
But there was one more step I desired to take, since I desired the top to look more rustic than new.
Once the paint had dried, the entire top was stained, then wiped back... reveal a wonderful, rustic finish, perfect to chime in with my own personal style!
Isn't it the coolest?!
This little argyle-styled TV tray spends a LOT of time in the TV room, but I also love to bring it into this spare bedroom when guests stop by.
The wonderful thing about Argyle is the fact that you can use your own chosen colours and finishes to suit your own home!
What would you put Argyle on? And what colours would you use?
Be sure to visit the original blog post HERE so you can view a short video of the process!

Suggested materials:

  • Funky Junk's Old Sign Stencils - Argyle Large  (
  • Fusion's Paint in Coal Black, Casement, Pebble  (
  • Fusion's Stain in Cappuccino mixed with Golden Pine  (
See all materials

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Want more details about this and other DIY projects? Check out my blog post!


Have a question about this project?

3 of 4 questions
  • Jacquie
    on Jan 9, 2020

    Beautiful project. I noticed Fusion is a mineral paint, but will acrylic paint have the same outcome? Thanks for sharing, I have a set of 4 trays I don’t use because I never thought about vamping them up.

    • Hi Jacquie! As long as the paint you select is made for wood, it should be fine. I like using furniture paint because it's made for this type of thing. But I've used plenty of acrylic craft paint for smaller stencil details in the past and it holds up extremely well.

  • Megan
    on Jan 15, 2020

    Love it! Turned out great!

  • Margie Hood
    on Jan 27, 2020

    Ok LOve the tray BUT....Where did you get that BEAUTIFUL ANTIQUE Twin bed or head board.. its gorgeous and looks to have a story to tell. Very interesting.

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