I’ve had my dining room table since before I had my husband, kids, or any of our pets. I bought it shortly after I graduated from college for somewhere around $300 or $400. I vaguely remember that it was maybe priced at $400, but I got a discount on it because I was buying some other furniture, as well. Since the table has lasted well over a decade, I’m pretty sure I’ve gotten my money’s worth out of it – and then some.
While I have thought for some time that the table had seen better days and was looking a little rough, I didn’t want to invest in a nice dining room table until the boys were past the sticker and glue stage. So with not much to lose when it came to my current table, I figured I could have a little fun with a DIY redo of the table. When I was reading “Rhinestone Jesus” earlier this summer the author mentioned painting her dining room table with chalkboard paint, and how great it was for little ones that had trouble staying at the table long enough to have some good family time. Then I saw a picture on Pinterest of a table with four different colored chairs. And my idea began to come together…
The first step in my chalkboard table project was to give everything a good cleaning. I just used warm water with a little dish soap and an old washcloth to scrub all the yuck off the table and chairs. Then I carted everything outside to reduce the mess inside. I used medium grade sandpaper, and gave everything a light sanding, just enough to rough up the glossy finish so the paint would adhere.
Next, I spray painted each chair. I could have done this quicker if I had wanted to use more space, but I had one tarp out and I didn’t want to dig any more out, so I did one chair at a time and let each one dry a bit before doing the next one. Once it was dry to the touch, I moved it to the back porch and did the next one. So the chairs took a little over 3 hours to paint.
I took the legs off the table and spray painted those white. Since they were dark blue to begin with, it did take about four coats of white paint. I could have probably done this in fewer coats if I had used a paint with primer and paint in one, but I already had the white paint from another project, so I wanted to use that up instead of spending more money.
Finally, I went to work on the table. I flipped it upside down and set it on saw horses. I painted the underside first, since I wasn’t as worried about perfect coverage on that side. And I didn’t paint the inside part of the underside, since no one will see that (unless they are crawling around under my table, which is probably another whole issue). Once the underside was dry, I flipped the table over. The chalkboard paint doesn’t take long to dry, so it was ready to flip in less than hour. Then I painted the top. This took several coats to get good, even looking coverage. But, as I said, the chalkboard paint dries quickly, so I was able to do several coats in about an hour.
I was done with everything by probably 3 pm, but I let it all sit outside until after the kids went to bed. Then The Coach and I brought it all in and put the legs back on the table. I then let it sit for the next day without the kids messing with anything just to make sure everything was good and dry.
The directions on the chalkboard paint were to take a piece of chalk and lay it flat on the table, running it over the entire surface. Then wipe the chalk off and the table is ready!
So far, it doesn’t stay as black as I thought it would, even when I use a wet washcloth to clean it off. You can still see a trace of chalk. But I’m ok with that, since the kids love writing on it and probably will all the time, anyway. I’m going to search online and Pinterest for tips for caring for chalkboard painted surfaces to see if there is a better way for me to clean it. Overall, I love the way my chalkboard table turned out! A totally new look and I spent one day and under $30! Here’s the breakdown of my cost to redo my old dining set into a chalkboard table and multicolored chairs:
2 cans chalkboard paint, 5 cans colored paint (it took two cans of yellow since I was painting over a dark color), 2 cans of white paint (I already had these) – 7 cans purchased at $3.69 per can = $25.83
1 package of medium grade sandpaper = $3
Total = $28.83
Total time spent = approximately 6.5 hours