I have a small area between my couch and recliner that needs a table.  Most tables are just too large for that space, but I had some old TV trays that would fit perfectly, so I decided to see how I could take one of these ugly things and transform it.

This is what I started with.  Actually, this is after sanding it a bit, forgot to take a pic before sanding, but it looked much the same.  Definitely needs some help.  My husband had left it outside, so the surface is rough from being rained on. Not a problem for what I have in mind though.

I love chalk paint, but don’t love the price, so I like to mix up my own recipe.  I usually eyeball it and it turns out just fine, but here are the dimensions for those of you that like a formula:

1 cup paint–I like flat

2 Tablespoons plaster of paris

1 Tablespoon water

Pretty simple, and it works well for me.

Some Benjamin Moore paint I had leftover from painting my living room worked perfectly for what I wanted to do.  I had Classic Gray and Snowfall White, so that is what I used.  I began with the white.

Here is my tray after the first coat of paint.  Still pretty streaky.  Personally, I have never used store bought chalk paint, so possibly it coats better than the homemade variety, but I don’t mind adding more layers since it costs much less to make, and it dries very solid.

And here it is after 4 coats.  I probably could have stopped at 3, but added a fourth.  And then I sanded it a bit.

I actually like it solid white, but since I wanted a little more character, I decided on vertical stripes.  I searched but didn’t have any painters tape handy, so I used some cheap duct tape I had laying around that didn’t have much stick to it.  I don’t recommend this, as it required some touch-up, but since it was for my own personal use, I went for it instead of dragging three kids to the store.  I started at the edge and put three strips across.  Then I removed the middle one and placed it next to the third one to measure my space.  I continued all the way across.

This is what it looked like when I finished taping it–I was surprised it was the perfect length!

I began my painting, removing the tape as soon as I was done with a stripe.  I didn’t want perfect, as I prefer my stuff on the rustic side.

This is what it looked like before I did any touch up.   Painters tape probably would have prevented this part.

And this is the after.  I took a stencil of the letter K, and mixed up some paints I had to paint it on.  It still needs a little touch up, but I was excited to post and didn’t want to wait.

After I finish all my touch up, and maybe a bit more sanding, I will seal it.  I haven’t decided what type of sealer I will use. But I love the finished product so far.

Quite a difference from the before.

Not bad for free. 🙂

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