Fixing Furniture | Home Decor

Easy DIY TV Tray Table Makeover

Today I’m sharing an upcycled thrift store find – how I turned a TV table and a checkerboard game into an easy end table. This was a super simple project with a fun transformation.

With all the Marie Kondo craze out there, it’s a great time to find treasures at the thrift store. 

Last month, I built a swing-out wall shelf to organize my paints, and today I’ll be giving a second-hand TV tray table a makeover. 

Upcycled checkerboard game and repurposed TV tray table into a beautiful rustic end table
Rustic checkerboard end table repurposed from an old TV tray table
Checkerboard end table DIY upcycled from an old folding TV tray table

How to Makeover a TV Tray Table 

One of my favorite garage sale finds was a rustic wooden checkerboard game.

I snagged it for just $5!

Immediately I had visions of using it as some sort of tabletop and went searching for a TV table.

After a quick trip to Goodwill and another $3, I found a simple DIY television table.

With a few screws and some spray paint, I made this easy DIY end table from a folding TV tray table. 

Beautiful checkerboard game turned into an end table - easy rustic DIY

Materials for the DIY TV Table Makeover

  • TV table – Thrift stores have a ton of these!
  • Checkerboard game – you could even make a tabletop!
  • Wood screws
  • Spray paint

Instructions for TV Table Makeover

This was a really simple project, with no building involved.

We usually build our own everything, so this TV table makeover was a refreshingly simple. 

Clean the Surfaces

First, I cleaned off the checkerboard tabletop and the TV tray table. I like using baby wipes to clean old furniture because they get all the dust and dirt.

Folding TV tray table before picture
Old rustic handpainted checkerboard game to be turned into an end table

Paint the TV Table

My next task in this TV tray table makeover was to try to color match the checkerboard tabletop to a paint.

Rustoleuym textured paint on a TV tray table

I used spray paint for ease of use and found a Rustoleum color that matched the tabletop pretty well. It wasn’t a perfect match, but it was very close.

The spray paint had a little texture to it, but it still worked with the rustic tabletop. 

I only spray painted the legs of the TV table and the sides of the TV tray tabletop. The checkerboard would cover the top surface.

Spray painting an old folding TV table

Attach the Checkerboard Top

With a few screws, I attached the checkerboard tabletop to the TV tray table. I had to be very careful that the screw head didn’t protrude out of the top.

I was able to use 3/4 inch screws, but it will depend on the thickness of both the top and the table itself.

You don’t want it too short or else the top won’t have a strong connection and could fall off. If it’s too long, it will poke out the top of the table. 

Attaching a new checkerboard tabletop to an old folding TV tray table

Helpful Tip: If you don’t have the perfect length screw but you do have screws that are too long, you can always place small wooden blocks underneath that will hold the excess screw.

Attaching a new checkerboard tabletop to an old folding TV tray table

That’s it!

I was able to repurpose an old folding TV tray table into a fun little end table. I love the height of the repurposed TV table – it’s perfect for grabbing the clicker or putting your glass down. Usually, end tables are quite low, so I love how it’s elbow height.

And, of course, the TV tray table still folds, so it easily can be moved or stored away.

Attaching a new checkerboard tabletop to an old folding TV tray table

Time and Cost for the TV Table Makeover

I spent $11 total! Not bad considering I’m using it as an end table in my family room 🙂 It took about 30 minutes to spray paint and put together, and then a few hours of dry time.

The TV tray table makeover was definitely one of our simplest DIYs. It was really enjoyable too. It’s always fun when you have a vision in your head, and then you get to see it through. 

When you see those $3 TV tables at the thrift store, snatch them up – and give them a fun makeover too! You could paint a pattern, stencil a design, use contact paper, or make/find a new tabletop.

Making a side table from an old TV tray table, easy DIY tutorial

So many possibilities when thrift shopping!


  1. Oh!! Such a great idea and it looks soooo good!! I have a couple of old TV tables laying around that could use a new top!

    1. Thanks so much, Christine! Yes a new top and paint can make sure a difference:)

  2. Dang! I just got rid of my TV trays. Looks like I am back at the thrift store asap. Thanks for sharing your creativity, Eileen.

    1. Awww! I’m sure you’ll come across more lol!

  3. That vintage checkerboard is an awesome find! Such a great DIY girl! I love it!

    1. Thanks, Amy! I love when I find something inspiring when thrifting:)

  4. Great vision to create such a nice table. Loved the pattern you used. Pinned

    1. Thanks so much, Marianne. It was so simple:)

  5. Pieces like this add those bots of character to a home. I love this, what a great idea!

    1. Aww thanks so much, Kenya! Yesss I love trying to add character here and there:)

  6. WOW! I would have just painted over it but your Idea of using the tray is Genius.
    Love it!

    1. Aww thanks so much, Anam! I have another one that I have to figure out what to do with now haha:)

  7. Love how this upcycle turned out, and the game table stencil addition was brilliant!

    1. Aww thanks Cindy! It was our easiest DIY for sure.

  8. This is so cute, Eileen! And I have scored some great things at the the thrift store since the Marie Kondo craze hit. 😉 One person’s trash… Great job on the table!

    1. Haha thanks so much, Amy! Right?!! So many good things there!

    1. Thanks girl! It was a fun little DIY:)

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