I present to you guys my latest creation for Anna’s room, a chalkboard play table!
And check out what this bad boy looked like before! Now don’t get me wrong, I loved Disney as a kid but going back and watching those movies as an adult I’ve realized they’ve thrown in some messed up messages and I’d personally rather not portray that right in my daughter’s room.
Here’s how I got this project done! I must say it was a very long journey to get to this post! I was supposed to have this done up for you guys a week and a half ago but things just kept coming up and it took me forreeverrr to finish!
It all started 2 weeks ago when my parents were taking Anna for the weekend. I figured “Great! I’ll use this time to paint her table and it will be ready for her when she gets home!”….or not….
But let’s start at the beginning shall we? I eagerly collected all my supplies not knowing what I was getting myself into. Now don’t let me psyche you out, overall this project was super easy however I never really painted furniture before in my life so it took me a while to get a system down; the actual painting was a breeze.
For supplies I gathered some paintbrushes and a tray, my new orbital sander, some different varieties of sandpaper, 2 sample cans of paint in my green and white colours, and unsanded grout.
I then took my supplies outside and optimistically set to work.
I started by sanding everything down. I used my orbital sander for the chairs and table tops and sanded all the legs by hand. You could easily sand the entire piece down by hand but I was excited to take my sander for a test run hehe.
Once everything was wiped down and dust free I cracked open my paint can. I just love this green colour, it reminds me of mint sherbet! It’s actually Mint Truffle by CIL.
I was really confused as to how I was going to paint the chair legs so I consulted with my genius boyfriend whom constructed this epic device for me out of some scraps we had laying around! It’s simply a plank of wood with 8 holes drilled into it since the table and chair legs had a screw sticking out of them; he then made it stable with 2 thin slats. This made it soooo easy to paint the legs because then I could rotate them as I painted them!
Now let me give you a tip that almost everyone knows but for some reason I did not think applied here. Paint needs time to cure! I thought that by leaving the table and chairs outside for one night I would then be able to flip them over and paint the opposite sides. Sadly a little into that process I realized the first side I had painted was sticking to the cardboard I had laid it on and causing the paint to peel up! Considering I was going to be applying painters tape to some portions that I had already painted I really did not want to risk anymore peelage and thus had to set my project aside to cure for a few days…..this is where the project really took a downward spiral and a few days turned into over a week and a half! Either I was busy or when I wasn’t it was raining! Finally I just lugged everything inside and laid down a drop cloth and set to work.
To finish off the legs I wanted to do a sort of opposite dipped leg effect. To do this I divided the length of the leg in 3 and kept the bottom (top?) third green, and painted the other 2/3’s white.
4 coats of white paint later and tada! Some sexy table legs! There were one or two areas where I hadn’t painted the green hadn’t gone down far enough so I just used a tiny foam brush dipped in the green paint and carefully filled it in down towards the line. You could avoid this by making your calculation for how much of which needs to be painted first instead of slapping on some green and hoping for the best haha.
For the table top and the backs of the chairs I wanted to use a chalkboard paint. I first painted the entire table and chairs with 2 to 3 coats of paint before applying the chalkboard paint. Once that had set (for 2 weeks haha) I followed this excellently written tutorial by A Beautiful Mess to turn my ordinary latex paint into homemade chalkboard paint! I simply mixed together 2 tbsp unsanded grout with 1 cup of my latex paint and stirred really well.
I will make 2 notes about grout. First, it is REALLY hard to find a small can of grout. Maybe it’s just this town but I had to go to 4 different hardware stores before finding a tiny container of unsanded grout! I even discovered we had sanded grout in our basement but unsanded proved a lot harder to find! The other aspect is that this stuff STINKS! It has a really bad toxic odour so try not to breath too heavily; even once I mixed the paint together with the grout I found it all smelled a little like perming solution hahaha.
But back to the process! As noted in the tutorial there were some small lumps but it did all dissolve as I brushed it on or was practically unnoticeable once it dried. Also I ended up doing 2 coats just to ensure adequate coverage since I’m sure this table will undergo a beating. I was tempted to sand lightly in between coats and afterwards but I noticed it slightly discoloured my paint and made it look streaky. Luckily I noticed this before fully going to town! I’m not sure what caused this but just try a small area first if you do decide you want to try sanding your piece.
Once the table was fully dry I rubbed it all down with a piece of chalk to “condition” it. I’m not sure if this is necessary but I figured better safe then sorry! Afterwards I wiped off the chalk with a damp rag and let my daughter go to town! She loovvveesss her new table! I also love the aspect she can draw or write names once she can spell on the backs of the chairs!
Anyone else creating anything chalkboard lately? Any tips for painting furniture in the future??