An Easy DIY Upgrade to an Old Set of Tray Tables

See this paint chip? 

It caught my daughter's attention in Home Depot.  It earned my approval while viewing its diminutive three-square-inches in the natural light of her bedroom.  Then I took the plunge, bought a gallon, and painted her entire room.

Cue that moment when you realize that a paint chip has cruelly tricked you.

Instead of washing her bedroom in a refreshing, soothing aqua, the paint drowned the walls and cast an unnatural glow, as if an overzealous beach house accidentally had vomited in her bedroom.

We returned to Home Depot and selected an entirely different hue: this time, a light lime green.  It's both cheerful and fresh, and her bedroom is now the perfect location to set one of the tray tables that I recently refinished.

You see, a set of old tray tables has been gathering dust in our basement for years, but then I stumbled upon this tutorial at DIY Inspired and immediately thought, I can do that.  Because I'm idealistically confident that way. 

The result?  Tray tables that once looked like this:

now look like this:

I feel happy just looking at them.

(For those of you who are interested in the details, the stencils are from Martha Stewart.  I bought them at Michaels with a 50% off coupon, and I got the paint for free at Lowes thanks to coupons for Valspar paint samples.  If you're short on supplies, using any leftover wall paint that's sitting in your basement or garage also would work nicely.)

To think that these tables were languishing in my basement all along!  Their potential has finally been revealed, which continues to support my assumption that there's something about painting -- about turning something drab into something delightful -- that's good for the soul. 

So, what do you think about the tables?  Have a favorite color combination?

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  1. Stephanie Catich HershbergerJuly 28, 2013

    These are fantastic! What a creative idea!

  2. Oh my goodness! These are the cutest trays ever! I love how colourful they are! Fantastic work!

    Wishing you a lovely day.

  3. Thank you so much! I'm really pleased with how they turned out!

  4. Those tables are too cute! Love!

  5. Thanks, Susan! Your tutorial on the color wheel was instrumental for me when picking colors. :)


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