Smells Like Team Spirit: Decoupage TV Trays

Writer’s block is a terrible thing!  I have been inflicted with a horrible case, which explains my lack of posts in the month of October. Despite my loss for words,  I have still managed to stay busy and continue crafting. It has been the healthiest and most productive stress reliever for me to date.  I am always searching the crevices of my brain for new ideas, and it keeps me going.   Quite surprisingly it is the familiar ideas that get revisited most often due to popular demand.  One such project is the decoupage TV Trays. The themes for these tables are endless.  I have posted various tutorials on how to make these TV tray tables more fun and decorative.    Various family members have expressed interest in having one, and I love to make others happy.    My two young nieces are involved in school sports and what better way to show team spirit than with something unique and functional at the same time?

Look familiar?  Everyone has a set of these trays, and  they make frequent appearances in thrift stores for just a few dollars.   All you need is a graphic that can be enlarged without becoming distorted, and a printer.

TV Tray before

Add some paint, apply the Mod Podge and you can create unique, spirited gifts that the other kids at school will want to have!

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Sports, Music, Art, Personalized the possibilities keep coming.  As long as there are boring TV trays left in the world, this project will live on.  How would you redesign your table?

Ghosts of Furniture Past: Refinished Drop Leaf Table

My husband has very few mementos from his childhood, so for this project the pressure was on.   This round, drop leaf table was used for just about every purpose in my husband’s family home.  It had seen better days.  It survived over 30 years of wear,  dirty hands, spilled drinks and more.  If only a little table could talk!  I could only imagine the stories it would tell!

I wanted to restore this table to its original state before all its scratches, and dings, but it would prove to be my most time-consuming project to date, and also the most rewarding.

Cleaning over 30 years of dirt and grime is not easy, but a necessary step when preparing a table for restoration.  I cleaned it throughly with a damp cloth and used a scrubber sponge for tough to clean areas.  Once clean and dry, it was time to sand it and I did so by hand with sandpaper!  This was very messy and time-consuming.  I suggest wearing a mask, and doing this in an area you don’t mind getting dirty. Completing this part of the project outside would be preferable.  All the more reason to invest in an electric sander having one would have accelerated this process.  In between other projects I worked tirelessly to get the table completely sanded and ready for staining.

Round Drop Leaf Table

I chose Minwax  Jacobean 2750 for the stain.  I wanted a dark rich color, which would contrast nicely with the sandstone colored walls.  While working with oil based paint be sure to have a proper solvent nearby for clean-up.  I use Safer Paint Thinner which is more environmentally friendly than traditional cleaners.  I applied the Minwax stain with a brush, following along with the wood grain.  Unfortunately, for me,  I applied too much stain and due to the humid summer weather, the table took over a week to dry!  At this point, I was in no rush, and it rested quietly in the craft room locked away and out of reach from curious toddler hands.

Once the table was completely dry, I sealed it with quick drying Minwax Semi-Gloss Polyurethane.  I applied two coats, for a smooth finish.

Restored Family table

Finally!  After many weeks and many more pieces of sandpaper, the family table was complete and ready for its permanent place of honor in our family home.

Before and After Drop Leaf Table:

Before and After Refinished Drop Leaf Table