Chalkboard Table for Kids

Sprucing up an old object that was destined for the dump or a bonfire is so fulfilling. This table was so close to being burnt in a summer bonfire that I was there in the nick of time to save it. Though it sat in the garage collecting dust for a long time before becoming something great… that matters not.

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First, this table needed a very good sanding. Ideally, it would have been best to take it all apart to sand everything down, but the table was so old that I wasn’t sure it would fit back together and I didn’t feel like wrestling with rusty nuts and bolts. So it got a good sanding with a palm sander using a rough grit sandpaper and then a hand sanding with a fine grit sandpaper.

Next I used a wood filler to fill in all the holes, dents and large scratches on the surface of the table. I wanted a somewhat smooth finish so it would be nice to draw on with chalk later.

ImageThe next step, is one you don’t want to skip. Primer. I’m not a patient person, so I’m regularly tempted to miss the priming, but it’s really what is needed to prep your work surface.

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The chalkboard paint was next. I used a spray paint version of the chalk board paint that you can find most anywhere they sell paint these days. The other day I came upon some at a “Dollar Tree” in a craft paint sized container! I did three light coats of the chalkboard paint on the top and sides. It was important to do the chalkboard paint first because I knew with the spray paint that I would overshoot it a little so I didn’t have to worry about masking any of the legs off since I was just going to paint over it anyways. Multiple light coats are best. You only have to rush a spray paint job ONCE and you won’t do it again. If you rush and put it on too thick or spray too closely to the surface you are going to get drips and pools of paint and not get a nice even and uniform finish. Follow the instructions on the can, jar, tin, etc… and you’ll do fine.

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Hahaha… After this photo, I turned the old Christmas table cloth over!

I wanted to paint the bottom a bright pink. So I had to turn the table over to do this. I put on three nice full coats to make sure I had great protection for the wood and a good smooth finish. I just used a foam roller to do this. Just as it goes with the spray paint, doing multiple light coats is better than one thick heavy coat to prevent drips and an uneven finish.

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Once thoroughly dry, I mean leave it out to dry for a minimum of 24 hours. For impatient people, this is hard… especially little ones. I had to put it out of sight until it was dry so we weren’t tempted.

Then run a piece of chalk sideways along the chalkboard surfaces to “prep them” and use a chalkboard eraser to wipe off. Then you are good to go!

Chalk away and enjoy!

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