Chalkboard Coffee Table - The Surznick Common Room

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Chalkboard Coffee Table

Chalkboard paint has been around for awhile now, but it's not something I had much interest in until recently. Nick and I rent our apartment, so we can't very well paint our walls with it and I didn't really have any other use for it.

But a few months ago, I had an epiphany. By epiphany, I mean I was going through my Pinterest boards and this photo that I pinned 2-3 years ago caught my eye. A chalkboard top coffee table?! That's pretty smart. (Also, am I the only one who doesn't remember half the stuff they pin?)

Finding this pin was actually perfect timing because Nick and I had been on a hunt for a coffee table for our dining room (as you may remember from our Summer To-Do List.) Our dining room area is pretty big, but we eat at a small table and chairs, so the room has kind of morphed into a dining room/second living room/music room/workspace/library/etc. We needed a coffee table in front of our futon and we knew we wanted to find a cheap table that we could fix up in some way. None of the ideas we had were just right, but a chalkboard coffee table was perfect.

We bought this black-brown Ikea Lack coffee table on Craiglist for $10. It's a great size for our space, it's light and easy to move, plus it's cheap, so if we decide down the road that we're sick of a chalkboard top table, we'll have no guilt about repurposing or donating it.

Here's what we used!
- Rustoleum 2X Ultra Cover Paint + Primer Semi-Gloss Spray Paint
- Rustoleum Speciality ChalkBoard Paint
- Paintbrush
- Drop cloth/shower curtain
- Chalk

Here's what we did!
- First we wiped the table down so we had a clean surface to paint.
- We took the table outside and sprayed it with one coat of black semi-gloss spray paint. We didn't spray paint the top, since this is where we will be painting the chalkboard paint. One coat was enough coverage since the table was already black.
- After the table was fully dry, we brought it back inside to begin working on the top. We decided not to use painter's tape or masking tape around the edge of the table. Chalkboard paint is thicker than regular latex paint, so we weren't worried about paint running down the sides as long as we were careful.

- We brush painted the chalkboard paint onto the top of the table, careful around the edges to avoid drips. You could also roll the paint, however, we didn't want to purchase a small roller just for this project, so brush it is!

- Per the instructions on the paint can, we waited 4 hours for the paint to dry before adding a second coat. Two coats was all we needed! The table top has a slight texture and lines from the brush, however, they're barely noticeable and it doesn't bother either of us at all so we're completely satisfied with brushing instead of rolling.

- The paint needs to dry for 3 days before you can condition it for writing. To condition the table, you rub the side of a piece of chalk over the entire surface and wipe it clean with a damp rag or paper towel.
- You're done, so write away!

First of all, I LOVE the contrast between the shiny black spray paint and the matte chalkboard top. You can't see it well in the photos, but I think it's really pretty and makes the table look unique.

And of course, the reason we did this in the first place... having a chalkboard table top is so cool! I can't wait to see what our friends write and draw on it at our Halloween party this weekend! Nick also spends a lot of time in this room playing guitar and working on lessons for school, so I'm glad that he has a place where he can jot down a quick list or notes if he needs to. We obviously don't have any kiddos running around, but this table would be perfect for little ones too.

How do you think it looks?! Is a chalkboard table something you think you'd like to try? Now that we have chalkboard paint on hand, I'm already scheming up more ideas for it. My mind certainly changed a lot from the beginning of this post, huh? Oh well, inspiration abounds!

Sarah & Nick

P.S. DON'T FORGET TO ENTER OUR BLOGIVERSARY CONTEST! You could win a set of alcohol ink coasters (like the ones shown in these photos) plus other very, very awesome things! Use the Rafflecopter widget in our previous post to enter!


  1. I saw your blog comment over at Sarah Hartley that you are from the Pittsburgh area and wanted stop by and say hello because I'm from the Pittsburgh area too! lol! I love finding other Pittsburghers. Also, I LOVE this idea! I have a cheap little coffee table that this would be perfect for!! I might have to give this a try. Hope you have a great Halloween!

    1. Hi Julie, nice to meet you! I'm glad you reached out, I love finding other Pittsburgh bloggers too! Hope you have a great Halloween as well :)


  2. i just found your blog which is why im all commenting!
    i just want to say I LOVE THIS!!!!