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Crafting a Chalkboard Coffee Table


I was walking in Portland, Maine, when inspiration struck. I came across an activity table outside a boutique along the waterfront. The table was clearly meant for kids—it was low to the ground and came with two small chairs, and most importantly, the table was also a chalkboard.

Herein lies the inspiration.

A few months back I took a wood coffee table from my aunt and uncle, who were giving away furniture in preparation for their upcoming move to Florida. Staring at the chalkboard activity table, I realized that I could easily and cheaply replicate it for adults.

Unfortunately, I did not take pictures of each step, but they are relatively simple. The coffee table that I used was store-bought and finished with polyurethane. In order to make sure that the paint would properly adhere to the wood, I removed the polyurethane by using a fine grade of sandpaper; going along the grain. Upon completion, I wiped down the table with a damp cloth to remove any excess sawdust.

Next, I painted the table. I did not want the entire table to be black or a chalkboard, so I used two colors. I painted the legs an antique cream-colored paint. The top of the table received three coats of chalkboard paint (available at any hardware store).

I wanted to give the table a bit of an antique feel, so once the paint dried I distressed the table using a medium grade of sandpaper randomly scraping off small patches of paint.

The project took three days, allowing time for the paint to dry in between coats.

So, who’s ready for a game of Tic Tac Toe?




Rita October 13th, 2011

What a cool idea and looks great when you see it!

Gina DelliGatti October 14th, 2011

This is a great way to refashion one of those old coffee tables we all have around. Great for a playroom or kids room. Simple enough for anyone to make, even wanna be Martha’s ~ but sadly craft impaired (like me.). Thanks for the idea!

Dee October 18th, 2011

Ha, this is great! I like that you kept some color with the antique white legs.
I love chalkboard paint. I painted a large square of it in red on my front door to write myself notes before leaving the apartment.



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