No, we didn’t get a new coffee table. We just gave an old one a much needed makeover. And did it so now it can double as an outdoor play table (somewhere in Mom-ville, I just got extra points).
Remember this bad boy? He lived on the patio area and was a super cheap thrift store find that got a couple coats of red paint.
Don’t get me wrong. I love the way it looked before. The red was my jam. Like a strawberry jam with hints of peach and vanilla. And I loved the planked look with our homemade side tables and console table. Well, apparently I didn’t inspect the table well enough before leaving it outdoors because this is what happened…
Those inner panels weren’t solid wood. DOH!
They swelled up with the rain and started breaking the rest of the table top. The rest of the table would have held up fine but those inner pieces looked like my midsection after a food truck lunch.
Yup…that’s me after a blazing burrito and maybe some blue cheese fries…
That’s LJ in there. This post started a long time ago…things just take us extra long to finish with the little guys running around. So back in March, we started cleaning up the patio. We pressure washed the rugs and cement and got it all ready for Will’s Marvel-ous party in April. But before that, we had to figure out what to do with this crumbling table….so we did what any parent of a four year old would do…handed over the mallet.
(I can practically hear the Rocky theme song here)
It was like a DIYers piñata except without the candy and just way more destruction. (There is just way too much underbelly in this post. Sorry to your eyeballs.)
After Will was finished, we knocked the rest of it apart and were left with the legs and the hardware. Legs can run about $10 to $20 a piece for nice big fat ones so these were definitely worth salvaging. We simply got some exterior 2×4’s and pressure treated plywood before our reconstruction process.
Oh and I would be wrong to not mention that Jeremy gets all the credit for sanding all the wood down. Those rounded edges are not fun. So at this point is when we decided that it should be an outdoor chalk table. We always pick up a big box of outdoor play chalk for the boys at the Dollar store but Jeremy gets irritated at the fact that there isn’t a designated spot for it to happen (chalk in mud has happened more than we care to admit). We’ve learned that designated spots mean that the boys play longer and with more focus. I had suggested an indoor chalk board area but the dust is just another thing we don’t have time to clean up….and don’t even get me started on Weston+chalk and what that equals INSIDE.
So a smooth plain table top would be just the ticket for a chalkboard area. The fact that this would be outside meant that it had to be pressure treated so that it didn’t warp or swell and it was like a bonus that it would be exposed to rain (God’s natural chalk eraser!).
The table top was cut to overhang the edges by one and half inches all the way around. Jeremy just used exterior decking screws to go directly through the plywood into the legs and sides. Then we filled the countersunk screws with wood filler and sanded it smooth.
Next came the chalkboard paint. We used the Rustoleum Specialty Chalkboard paint – the roll-on type. Did you know that you can have the specialty version of this tinted at the paint desk to a ton of different colors? It’s true. And in my store, the black top and the colored versions are exactly the same price.
We went with two coats of the color Moonstone because we thought that the black would be too dark paired with all the furniture down there.
I wanted to paint the base red again but Jeremy suggested blue so I went with that to mix things up.
With any chalkboard project, you have to season the chalkboard so that it doesn’t end up with your original words always showing through. You do this by rubbing a piece of chalk over the entire surface. I like to actually rub it in too with my hands. It’s not the cleanest project but it helps so you don’t have ghosting later.
After it was done, I told Jer that we should stage it to surprise the boys. They loved it and played for a solid five minutes (enter victory dance here). It’s moved outside now (I’ll have to get some more pictures of it out there when this rain stops. Seriously…this has been the wettest summer ever here. Is there a rain cloud that just camped out over our property or something?!)
All in all…it was a really easy project and I am loving the fact that it is so kid-friendly. And hopefully that table will help keep the kids off our death-trap of a deck. Ok ok…it’s not a death trap….but it definitely doesn’t pass Jeremy’s safety test…so we practically live on the patio under it. Have y’all been chalkboarding anything lately? Food trucking? Underbellying?