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How To Make a Chalkboard Table: A Step-By-Step Guide

Updated on November 25, 2012
The final chalkboard table
The final chalkboard table | Source
The "before" photo.  Ready to get started.
The "before" photo. Ready to get started. | Source

Making a chalkboard table is actually pretty simple. It's a great way to repurpose an old piece of furniture into a functional and fun conversation piece. I'll show you step-by-step how to make a chalkboard table.


Before you get started, you should get all your supplies together. To make a chalk board table you will need the following:

  • chalkboard paint, spray paint is easiest to work with, but you can also get the brush on chalkboard paint. I used Krylon spraypaint for this project, which comes in green or black. It runs about $8 a can at the local craft store.
  • contrast paint for the legs of the table
  • a table (perhaps this goes without saying)
  • sand paper
  • a tarp or cardboard to put under your work surface
  • a paintbrush
  • safety goggles
  • paint mask

optional supplies:

  • an electric sander

Using an electric sander to prepare the surface of the table for the chalkboard paint
Using an electric sander to prepare the surface of the table for the chalkboard paint | Source

Preparing your work surface

You should start with a clean dry surface, removing any lose paint. You will also want to start with a smooth, but not glossy, surface. You can sand glossy or rough surfaces with about 220 grit sandpaper. You can use an electric sander, like we did here.

If using an electric sander, please make sure to wear the proper safety equipment, including safety goggles. All work should be done in a well-ventilated area. You should also use a paint mask to avoid inhaling any paint fumes.

Applying the chalkboard paint to the table
Applying the chalkboard paint to the table | Source

Applying the Chalkboard Paint

Once your surface is ready, shake your spray paint can vigorously for 2 minutes after ball begins to rattle. Repeat the vigorous shaking for 10 seconds after each minute of use. Hold the can about 10-14 inches from the surface of the table. Then, spray in a sweeping motion beginning off the surface and off the other side. Follow a pattern of painting horizontally first and then vertically. You must apply two coats to create a chalkboard finish.

The painted table
The painted table | Source

Painting the Table Legs

After you paint the surface of the table with chalkboard paint, it's time to paint the legs and edges of the table in a contrasting color. I love the way the turquoise color used here pops against the black of the chalkboard paint.

Let Your Work Dry

After you are done painting, you should allow the table to dry for 24 hours before initial use.

Kids playing on the finished product
Kids playing on the finished product | Source

Preparing the Chalkboard

Once your chalkboard table is dry, it's time to break in the chalkboard surface. Do this by rubbing the full area with the side of a chalk and then erasing the entire surface.

It's important to note that you should only use calcium carbonate chalk and felt erasers with the Krylon chalkboard paint, as clay chalk may scratch the surface. I am not sure if this is the case with other brands of spray paint, so please read the fine print on the paint can.

Have Fun

I hope you enjoy your chalkboard table as much as I do. We have gotten a lot of use out of the table and it's a great conversation starter. For the price of some paint and an old table, you can your family can have hours and hours of fun. I'd love to hear about your experience making your own chalkboard table.


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    • Written Up profile image

      Written Up 5 years ago from Oklahoma City, OK

      Thanks, glimmer. Glad you enjoyed it.

    • Glimmer Twin Fan profile image

      Glimmer Twin Fan 5 years ago

      Very cool written up. My daughter would love this. Great instructions too!

    • Written Up profile image

      Written Up 5 years ago from Oklahoma City, OK

      Thank you Kat. My kids are 4 & 2and its perfect. You should make one, its actually pretty simple and so fun.

    • kat_thurston profile image

      kat_thurston 5 years ago

      That is the cutest idea I've seen. I did something similar once in my girls room we was having trouble with them constantly coloring on the walls so I thought get some chalkboard paint and I painted a certain of area of their wall with that and they have written on the walls since well other than the chalkboard part. But this table idea my 3 year old would love this. Thanks.

    • Written Up profile image

      Written Up 5 years ago from Oklahoma City, OK

      Thank you, eHealer. My daughter and I actually made this one! Well, okay, my husband helped with the sanding. The kids love it and the grown ups to. It's a hit a birthday parties. I can see us using it to work out homework when the kids are older.

    • eHealer profile image

      Deborah 5 years ago from Las Vegas

      Written up, this is a great idea! Do you have one, it would be great for kids. Wish I had one when I was little, I used to get in trouble for writing on my desk all the time.,