Chalk top

23 Aug
Looking back at my last few posts, it seems the only things on my brain are eating, cooking, eating, playing, eating. We really have been doing more than just those fun things! We’ve also been doing a lot of organizing, since we’re done with all the unpacking and cleaning and bossing, now we’re down to rearranging and tweaking rooms, and looking on craigslist for storage and chairs and benches and other things! Orientation starts tomorrow, so prepare yourselves, this is going to be a long post.
Our first project started almost as soon as we unpacked in Noe Valley. Now that we have a dining room, we realized we were completely under prepared. Our kitchen table only seats two, and we needto have dinner parties! Roommate and I agree, our dream table would be old metal- a long rectangle table with a stainless steel top, maybe something from a industrial kitchen supply company, maybe some old science lab table. Maybe it would be on casters. We scouted around, and realized our dream is going to take a whole lot more money that we’re equipped with. Yeah, like thousands and thousands. Funny, right? Instead our little brains started thinking other ideas… ideas that were a little more attainable, and less steel-y. We set a budget for ourselves of $300 after doing some table research. We found a table on craigslist that seemed pretty reasonable…actually, it was dirt cheap, so we took off to Mountainview to take a look, and ultimately bring our new table home.

Yes, isn’t that finish lovely? We had our first dinner party on our new table, and then promptly said goodbye to that shiny wood finish, right after we made a craigslist ad, asking for the kind help of a friendly neighbor. The roommate laughed heartily as I typed out my ad, thinking I was a little crazy, but it worked. Here is the original ad:
We are looking to borrow an electric sander for a few short hours, so we can sand a table we purchased on craigslist. We plan to sand this varnished dining room table, then prime and paint the table top with chalkboard paint, so we can throw interactive dinner parties, where everyone can contribute a drawing, recipe, idea or mathematical equation. We are trying to finish this table without buying anything new (except for just a little primer, and paint)
 
the project: local up-cycle recycle old table without buying anything we don’t need! timeline: this weekend, please! We need: Your sander for 2 hours You want: A bunch of delicious meyer lemons from our tree? Photos of our project, from start to finish? A mention on our design blog, where we sing YOUR praises? A friendly neighborhood dog walker once in a while? we’ll pick up some Seattle coffee for you next time we go home to Seattle to visit?
 
Well, believe it or not, by morning we had TWO responses, both in our neighborhood. We met our lovely new neighbor Nancy a few blocks away, and gave her a bag full of Meyer lemons from our tree in exchange for the use of her electric sander for the day. Nancy seemed intrigued by our ad, and our idea of neighborhood sharing, and told us it was her first time with an arrangement like ours. I’m happy to say, our experiment was a great success, and took a lot less time with the use of the sander, plus it was very satisfying way to finish the project. We got to meet a neighbor in our quest for the perfect dining table, and we experimented with a new community sharing experience. Ok, so back to the project!

The Intern sanding down the tabletop, while I worked on the legs.

Priming the table with two coats of primer.
After a few hours, we started painting the tabletop with gray chalkboard paint. We waited 40 minutes, and gave it a second coat.

 

If you haven’t used chalkboard paint before, you’ll find that it is much thinner than regular paint, but it has a fine grit sand mixed in the paint. Chalkboard paint comes in two colors, green or black, but we’ve read recipes online for making your own paint, in any color you want, with the addition of powder tile grout and glazing medium in acrylic paint. We went to our neighborhood hardware store, and talked with a nice employee, who offered to add two ounces of white paint to our black pre-mixed chalkboard paint, to make the slate-gray color we were after. He was so nice and helpful and didn’t charge us for the custom color! In total, our table project cost a little over $100, so we’re saving the rest of our $300 budget for more seating, like a long wood bench to tuck under the table, or some cool end chairs to mix and match.

 

The hardest part of our project (besides battling the SF wind that came up right towards the end of our painting project) was waiting three days before we tested out our new chalkboard tabletop. We had to wait to let it cure fully, so there wouldn’t be any scratches or dents in the surface.

The night of my mom’s birthday was the first time we were able to try out the chalk.

And subsequently, we’ve been using it every night since!

We love it.

28 Responses to “Chalk top”

  1. royalbacon August 24, 2009 at 6:57 PM #

    That is amazingly fantastic. Will you make me one, too?

  2. royalbacon August 24, 2009 at 6:57 PM #

    That is amazingly fantastic. Will you make me one, too?

  3. Lola August 24, 2009 at 9:42 PM #

    chalkboard paint now comes in 24 beautiful colors with a 100 % acrylic low smell and low VOC. how come nobody though about it before , i am so happy i could make a list right now

  4. Lola August 24, 2009 at 9:42 PM #

    chalkboard paint now comes in 24 beautiful colors with a 100 % acrylic low smell and low VOC. how come nobody though about it before , i am so happy i could make a list right now

  5. Lola August 24, 2009 at 9:43 PM #

    sorry ,company for color chalkboard is hudsonpaint.com

  6. Lola August 24, 2009 at 9:43 PM #

    sorry ,company for color chalkboard is hudsonpaint.com

  7. Luke and Marissa August 25, 2009 at 12:35 AM #

    I have full intentions to copy this. Actually, I was already planning to make a table similar to this, only smaller, for Story when she is like two-ish maybe three-ish. I wanted to put it in her room as an art table. Anyway, glad you showed us how to do it and I like it a lot!

  8. Luke and Marissa August 25, 2009 at 12:35 AM #

    I have full intentions to copy this. Actually, I was already planning to make a table similar to this, only smaller, for Story when she is like two-ish maybe three-ish. I wanted to put it in her room as an art table. Anyway, glad you showed us how to do it and I like it a lot!

  9. Peggy August 25, 2009 at 5:16 AM #

    I like how you used Craigslist to borrow a tool, trade luscious lemons and meet a neighbor, who happens to be a friend of mine.

  10. Peggy August 25, 2009 at 5:16 AM #

    I like how you used Craigslist to borrow a tool, trade luscious lemons and meet a neighbor, who happens to be a friend of mine.

  11. quarterlifestyle August 27, 2009 at 1:30 PM #

    NICE!How do you deal with splatters of oil or food on the table? We used to have a chalkboard above our stove and I noticed toward the end it was difficult to clean. But maybe we just had a cheap chalkboard and the paint works better?-Anne

  12. quarterlifestyle August 27, 2009 at 1:30 PM #

    NICE!How do you deal with splatters of oil or food on the table? We used to have a chalkboard above our stove and I noticed toward the end it was difficult to clean. But maybe we just had a cheap chalkboard and the paint works better?-Anne

  13. mdcano August 27, 2009 at 1:46 PM #

    GENIUS!and i just happened to purchase a kids' table at a flea mkt!! was thinking of first painting it (and chairs) all white. then decided to leave it natural wood—–forget it!!!! i'm off to but chalk board paint. why didn't i think of this?????!!!!!!

  14. mdcano August 27, 2009 at 1:46 PM #

    GENIUS!and i just happened to purchase a kids' table at a flea mkt!! was thinking of first painting it (and chairs) all white. then decided to leave it natural wood—–forget it!!!! i'm off to but chalk board paint. why didn't i think of this?????!!!!!!

  15. Mi Piace Kate Design August 27, 2009 at 3:23 PM #

    Hi Anne,We haven't had too many issues with this just yet- we wipe the table down with warm soapy water each time we use it- it cleans up really well! I imagine with more use in the next months/years we may eventually need another coat over the top.

  16. Mi Piace Kate Design August 27, 2009 at 3:23 PM #

    Hi Anne,We haven't had too many issues with this just yet- we wipe the table down with warm soapy water each time we use it- it cleans up really well! I imagine with more use in the next months/years we may eventually need another coat over the top.

  17. denise August 27, 2009 at 5:50 PM #

    I love this idea – I just posted it on my blog little ant design – hope you don't mind.

  18. denise August 27, 2009 at 5:50 PM #

    I love this idea – I just posted it on my blog little ant design – hope you don't mind.

  19. Mi Piace Kate Design August 27, 2009 at 5:52 PM #

    I don't mind at all Denise, thanks for the comment! What's your url so we can check it out?

  20. Mi Piace Kate Design August 27, 2009 at 5:52 PM #

    I don't mind at all Denise, thanks for the comment! What's your url so we can check it out?

  21. Amanda August 28, 2009 at 4:16 AM #

    I love this. I did something similar with whiteboard paint and just didn't like the way the whiteboard paint has held up. I've been looking for the perfect chalkboard table to show my husband and convince him to dewhiteboard our table with me. Thanks for the convincing photos!

  22. Amanda August 28, 2009 at 4:16 AM #

    I love this. I did something similar with whiteboard paint and just didn't like the way the whiteboard paint has held up. I've been looking for the perfect chalkboard table to show my husband and convince him to dewhiteboard our table with me. Thanks for the convincing photos!

  23. michellejohnnie September 2, 2009 at 6:06 AM #

    I love this and how you use it!!! So much fun! I featured this on somedaycrafts.blogspot.com Grab my "featured" button.

  24. michellejohnnie September 2, 2009 at 6:06 AM #

    I love this and how you use it!!! So much fun! I featured this on somedaycrafts.blogspot.com Grab my "featured" button.

  25. Anny September 2, 2009 at 4:19 PM #

    Your green plates really pop on this table! What a cool idea and I love that you got to meet a neighbor along the way :)

  26. Anny September 2, 2009 at 4:19 PM #

    Your green plates really pop on this table! What a cool idea and I love that you got to meet a neighbor along the way :)

  27. Gavé Bon December 24, 2010 at 9:56 AM #

    Hello, I'm a french journalist et I would like to know if it is possible to take your photographies for my newspaper. Of course with your name et your site!Merry Christmas!Julie (j.dayon@maison-facile.com)

  28. Gavé Bon December 24, 2010 at 9:56 AM #

    Hello, I'm a french journalist et I would like to know if it is possible to take your photographies for my newspaper. Of course with your name et your site!Merry Christmas!Julie (j.dayon@maison-facile.com)

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