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How to Dress Up a Wood TV Tray

A wood TV tray is useful for all sorts of things, from holding your laptop while you surf the internet to displaying a kitchen garden of potted herbs beneath a sunny window. If you find your TV trays to be a bit shopworn, there are things you can do to dress them up a bit and extend their lives. This also works with flea market or garage sale finds; don’t pass them up because they’re a little battered. Of course, you can use these ideas to customize a brand new set of trays, too.

  • Cover It
    A quick and easy fix: slipcovers. Take some sturdy fabric and drape it over the top of the table, then gather the loose material at the bottom and wrap it with a thick ribbon or a swath of contrasting fabric.

  • Paint It
    Paint can change the character of a piece entirely. Lacquer a wood TV tray black and use it as a chic nightstand or to hold a striking table lamp. Paint a base of blue or green, then apply white on top and distress it with sandpaper for a “found” look. You can also paint it white, then stencil or freehand a colorful design on top.

  • Paper It
    Find decorative paper that goes with your decor and decoupage it to the tray table. You can cover the entire piece or just the table top, painting the rest in a coordinating color. Use this same technique to apply luggage stickers, creating a travel-themed table.
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