T.V. trays become Chess board & Art piece

So after years of using t.v. trays for the kids art tables, side tables, computer tables, oh and eating occasionally, I decided to paint them.  When I told Mr. Lewisville of my plans, he thought I should stain them.  I've been wanting to practice my staining technique for another project that's sitting in my garage, so I thought a smaller staining project would be perfect.  My thought was I could get this done in 1day. ONE.  Ha ha.  One day.  When, do I ask, do staining projects take ONE day. 
Certainly not in Lewisville.

Not One day, but I really like the way they came out!

These tables were really, really dirty.

And they had some "artistic" touches that my munchkins left behind.

My kids love to paint, draw, paint, use markers, paint.  You get the picture.

I used my sander and got down to business.

Then some touch up sanding, of course.

I used a these products to condition the wood, waited about an hour, then stained it in Dark Walnut.

Conditioning the wood gives an even coat when you stain.  Some woods really drink in the paint and stain, so conditioning helps prevent blotchy spots.  Important step- don't skip.

I used these cheapy throw away sponge brushes.

Then I was all done.  Sort of.

When I was all done staining the trays, I thought I would step back to admire my work.  I did in fact step back, looked at those trays, and said, "YUCK"!  Nope, I didn't like them at all!  Annoyed. Frustrated.  Thinking of the time I wasted. Argh. 

I gave it a day hoping inspiration would come.  I don't give up easily.  I thought about starting over or at the very least painting over it with some bright color.  Then I thought I'd just have a little fun.  Let's put on some kind of pattern...without buying a stencil.  Bright Light...Cue heavenly music....Argyles? Harlequin!  Sure, why not.

Enter Blue painters tape.

I measured 2 inches apart (1 strip of tape).  Add spray paint.  I used my all time favorite- Rust-Oleum's Heirloom White.

By the way, I used 2in. tape.  Place the tape over the white diamonds to get the argyle pattern.

Spray again. La de da....

And I decided to spray the legs of the tray too.  Why not?

Table 1.  Voila!

You know what?  I really like the way it turned out.  And you know what?  I really need to get those sprinklers turned on!  Later. 
Then I had the "BRILLIANT" idea to make a chess table for my kids.  They love to play chess and I thought it would be a fun and cool thing for them to have.  It wasn't fun though.  It took me about an hour to measure and cut the tape. 

My chess board was going to be 14 in x 14 in.  The problem was that my tape was to wide, so in order to fit 8 rows square, I had to use 1 3/4 in.wide strips, which meant I'd have to measure and cut 1/4 inch off my 2inch tape. 

Then like table 1, cover the white squares and spray again.

This table gave me a lot of trouble.  I had to do touch-ups with a small paint brush.  The details of staying withing the lines was a little difficult and time consuming.  In the end, I decided to keep most of the table dark.  It gives it a different look, but I like it also.

Both of the tables will get a coat of Polycrylic to protect the work and time I spent on them.  I thought this project would take me only ONE day.  3 days later.....they came out alright I think.  Yeah for mistakes!

Have a great weekend everyone.  Maybe, just maybe, I'll finally get those dining room chairs done! MAYBE.


 I link all my projects with some wonderful blogs.  To visit them, go to the {Link Party Love} page found at the top of this page on the {Home} bar.
Also linking to:

The Shabby Creek Cottage 
Common Ground 
The Charm of Home 
Funky Junk Interiors 
Between Naps on the Porch 
Coastal Charm
Tip Junkie
Savvy Southern Style