February 11, 2013

Project: Chalkboard Kids Table

Remember the #creativetable project I talked about last week that is all over instagram? It's a hashtag that pulls together pictures of all the creative things parents and kids are doing together. It's awesome inspiration, especially when it's too cold to spend a whole lot of time outside.

We had some nice weather last week, and I decided that our kids table could use a little work. We used to have it in the kitchen as an art table, but since it was just a basic white Ikea table it was pretty much a mess after 3 years. Lots of marker and crayons (washable markers are decidedly NOT washable). I ended up chucking the table outside last fall so the kids might still get some use out of it, but our guests didn't have to look at it.

I had chalkboard paint laying around and after noticing that many smart mamas chose BLACK tables that wouldn't show the mess, I decided to get painting. The fact that we could actually draw on the table with chalk would be a nice bonus!

First step was scrubbing the life out of the table. It took an ungodly amount of all-purpose cleaner to get it looking like this. Oh, and please ignore the moving sticker. I never find all of them after a move...I'm vaguely ashamed to say that there are several pieces of furniture with stickers from multiple moves. 

After I cleaned it I started painting with the chalkboard paint. It went on nicely over the laminate, but I did need to do several coats. Here's how it looked halfway through. 

I decided to paint the top first and do the feet at the very end. This is sheer laziness on my part. I didn't have any dropcloths around and I wasn't headed to Walmart to get any when I had started the project already. Once the table had dried completely, I just popped it upside down and gave the feet a quick coating. They dried quickly, although I left it outside for a few extra hours to make sure. 

The last step with chalkboard paint is to rub chalk all over it, and then clean it off. Apparently this will help ensure that anything written on it in the future will wipe off completely. Smart people like, dear readers, will realize that this should be done outside. I, on the other hand, decided to do this part of the process on my shiny black kitchen tile. Ugh. Huge mess. (And sadly, this is not my first time painting with chalkboard paint, I knew what to expect!)

The table was ready to be cleaned up and put in place. It's the perfect place for all our creative pursuits-who cares if glue dries on it, or the boys "accidentally" draw all over it? You'll never be able to tell!

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