Nordic tray table revamp

We’d been on the lookout for a small table – something to put drinks/candles on whilst watching movies and also as a table to put extra food on when we have people over for dinner. I found the table below on Nordic Bliss. It folds up and the tray is removable which is perfect for our little flat.

Nordic Bliss wooden folding tray table

Nordic Bliss tray table in wood

It arrived a couple of weeks ago and the colour was totally different from the listing. It was much darker and had a dirty green tinge to it. The table was a good size and wasn’t too expensive so we decided to keep it, sand it down and re-varnish in another colour.

I took it outdoors today and started to notice all the shoddy bits like the tray base and glue all over the joins! The colour wash was done badly and the wood wasn’t sanded well so it felt really rough in places. At this point I started to wish I’d taken a thorough look at it when it arrived and sent it back.

Table painted badly with glue in the joins

Poorly made tray base and sides

You can see how different the colour is from the listing in this photo. Anyway, it was too late by that point so I decided to work some DIY magic and revamp it. I sanded the wood back until it was super smooth, working from course down to fine sandpaper and hour and half later, the wood looked much better. I didn’t remove all the colour wash because I was worried the table would look too pale and new.

Sanded table and tray

Sanded tray table

After sanding I applied a beeswax balm to give the wood a little colour and bring out the grain. This worked beautifully. The balm I used (Renapur Leather Balsam) is actually for leather but it’s 100% natural and only contains beeswax and jojoba oil, which are the same ingredients used for wood butters.

Beeswax seal applied to half of tray to show colour difference.

Left: before balm application. Right: after balm application.

The bottom of the tray was in a bit of a sorry state so I covered it with brown felt to hide the messy colour wash and peeling areas of wood. I cut the felt to size, ironed it and stuck it down neatly with a glue gun.

Brown felt on base of wooden tray

Brown felt base

Et voilà

And here is the result. I love the knot in the wood at this end of the tray and the golden, slightly worn colour of the ‘new’ table.

Folding wood tray table with glass on

I crocheted a small ripple stitch mat to put inside the tray to protect it from spillages and cup marks.

Tray cable with crochet mat and candle

Cosy evening in with Easter treats

I only needed to buy sandpaper for this project, everything else I already had at home. The wool was leftover from some mittens I made at Christmas and I’ve had the brown felt kicking around my fabric stash for a long time so I was glad to finally use it for something. It’s good to finally have our table for treats and drinks and least it now looks a bit more the table we thought we were getting.


  1. Thank you 🙂 I was a bit nervous about doing it because I’d never revamped furniture before, but it turned out well. Want to do the same to something else now! Ideas ideas…

  2. Looks lovely! I have been wanting to do some furniture restoration for ages but never seem to find the time (or the weather to get outside and do it). We’ve been donated a pine dining table and chairs so I’m hoping to do something to those (yellow pine, yuck). But otherwise was going to try a small coffee table or bedside unit. I wonder how much it is to hire an electric sander??!!

  3. Thanks Sam 🙂 You might be able to get a sander from your local freecycle? Let me know what you do with your table, I’d love to see it!

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