DIY Chalkboard TV Trays


I hate to admit that I have had these tv trays somewhere in storage for probably about 5 years.

chalkboard tv trays

Every time we have company over, I wish I had them out, but I am too lazy to go dig through my storage shed to find them.

But with football season here, I knew it was finally time to get them out and give them a much needed update.

So I made them into “chalkboard” tv trays!  You can never go wrong with chalk paint, right?  Smile

chalkboard tv trays

Here’s how I  did it…


  • tv trays
  • KILZ spray paint
  • Scotch Blue painter’s tape
  • Krylon Ivory spray paint
  • Gorilla Glue
  • Chalkboard paint
  • upholstery tacks
  • Annie Sloan dark wax
  • chalk

Step One:

Clean the trays really well. {Mine were in storage for so long that I had to clean off all the cobwebs!}


Step Two:

Spray the trays with KILZ spray paint.

Let dry, and then spray paint the trays the color of your choice.  I chose an off white color.


Step Three:

Apply painter’s tape around the edges of the tray and paint the middle with chalkboard paint.

chalkboard tv trayschalkboard tv trays

Step Four:

Use wire cutters to cut the sharp part off of the upholstery tacks.

chalkboard tv trays

Why did I do this?  Well, because I tried hammering the upholstery tacks in one by one, and it was a complete failure.

chalkboard tv trays

The tacks would bend as I was trying to nail them in and I couldn’t make a straight line with them.  It was extremely frustrating, so I moved on to Plan B.…using wire cutters to cut the sharp part off.


Step Five:

Remove the painter’s tape and apply a small line of gorilla glue down the side of the chalkboard paint.

chalkboard tv trays

Warning:  Use a very thin line of gorilla glue because it can expand and not look good.

Then place the upholstery tacks on top of the glue.  Use a ruler or a straight edge to move the line of tacks to make them even.

chalkboard tv trays

I used a small hammer to gently tap them into place to lay flat.


Step Six:

I added just a little bit of Annie Sloan dark wax to my paint to soften it a little and make it not look so white.


chalkboard tv trays


Step Seven:

Season the chalkboard with some chalk, wipe it off, and enjoy writing fun things on your chalkboard!

chalkboard tv trays


My boys love these chalkboard tv trays!

The sky is the limit as to what you can write or draw on them!

chalkboard tv trays

I think they would be a great way to entertain children when you have company over too!

Since I have four trays, it will be fun to put each of the boys’ names on them.

chalkboard tv trays


Or maybe decorate them with Cy’s favorite sports teams when he is watching the games on tv!

chalkboard tv trays

Aren’t they fun?!

Do you use tv trays very often in your home?


I completed this project as part of the Lowe’s Creative Ideas team!

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Have you downloaded the Lowe’s Creative Ideas app to your smart phone or tablet?


Be sure you do, so you can find many more exciting projects from the rest of the Creative Ideas Team!


Disclosure:  I was supplied a gift card to purchase my supplies.


  1. I don’t use them, Traci, but I should! Might be a few less spills on the sofa if I did. I have an old one I can try this on. I used a cute vintage one for my bf when he was sick and the plastic clasps holding up the legs were so old and brittle they broke. OOps. He’s not so keen on trays at the moment.

  2. I am thinking that I would put the tacks closer to the edge, giving more plate space in the middle and helping my mess-prone child keep everything “in bounds”. ;-) Now I’m thinking since I have girls that some modge podged ribbon on the edge would be cool too…. you’re stirring up inspiration! Cool!

  3. The best idea ever for TV trays! I do have one question….often our drinking glasses sweat on the bottom, will the water mark or destroy the chalk board? I know there are preventative ways. But I also know the glasses will, at some point, be set down wet! Thanks

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