25 May 2014

DIY Blackboard Coffee Table

I've been meaning to post this DIY on here for ages (since before I went on holiday to Egypt, which was Sharmazing!) but so much has happened April quickly went and now it's almost the end of June. 
Before I share this super easy, and hours of endless fun and hangman DIY Blackboard Coffee Table, I feel it's only right to give an outline of why I have had no time to post it. Well, our holiday was amazing, we stayed in the Old Town in Sharm El Sheikh and this was my first all inclusive holiday. We snorkelled every day, highlights included turtles, lionfish and a huge grouper fish, I'm talking almost 2 metres! But the best part was definitely the day we hired a boat and went diving, which was when Dan's brother Tom proposed to his girlfriend of 5 years Sarah. It was incredibly romantic and it was just the perfect end to a lovely day. Having returned from our holiday, we had lots of family do's and have been busy preparing (going to the hen do and stag) for Dan's other brother Oli's wedding to Tally, his beautiful fiancée, which is now next Friday!! 

I wasn't lying when I said I had no time, so belatedly let me share this DIY with you. I've had a great time with this blackboard coffee table since coming home and you may have noticed the surface in some of my other DIYs. Although, as a warning your other half, friends or family may become frustrated with you drawing in chalk on this table if they have a tendency to put their feet up. 

As a last note about our holiday, although the people we met in Egypt were generally very friendly and really wanted to please us (not just those in the tourism industry), there is a revolution and you should be mindful of this if you choose to visit.

DIY Blackboard Coffee Table
Coffee Table
Sand paper 
Cleaning cloths and soapy water
Blackboard paint
Paintbrushes (one large and one thinner paint brush for table edges)
Old Newspapers
White Chalk
Paint Thinner

Step 1. Once you find a table you want to transform there are a couple of things to do. First, wipe down the table with soapy water making sure you clean off any dirt and let it dry naturally. 

Step 2. On the floor where you want to paint the table, put a few layers of newspaper down covering underneath the table and a metre out from each side. This will avoid you splattering paint on the floor. If you are planning to do this outside you might want to put some stones down on the newspaper to weight it in place and stop it blowing it around because if you get paint on the paper it could end up blowing away onto yours or your neighbours washing. Not a good idea. Similarly, if you're going to be painting indoors make sure you have the windows open to prevent breathing in too many fumes from the paint. 

Step 3. Sand down the table top and edges using the sand paper. I used a coarse grade for the first go, just to get the varnish off my table and then used a finer grade to level it out. Even if you don't have varnish on your table it's worth doing to get a smooth finish when it's painted. Once this is done you'll want to wipe down the table again with soapy water and leave it to dry. You may want to do this twice to make sure you have no bits of dusty wood on top because these may flake away once the table's painted leaving spots of non-painted table.

Step 4. Paint the edges of your table with the blackboard paint using a thin edged paintbrush working in one direction. Then use the larger brush to paint the top of the table again working in one direction to avoid creating weird paint patterns that dry on your table. You may need to do two or three coats of both the sides and the top to get complete coverage, leave the paint to dry between coats. To clean the paintbrushes, if you're using an oil based paint use paint thinner in a bucket and rub between the bristles to get all the paint out. I would definitely use gloves for this step. I'm not aware of any water-based blackboard paints but if you do find one you can just use water to clean the brushes.

Step 5. Once the paint is dry (I left mine for 2 days) and you're happy it's completely covered, rub white chalk in one direction all over the table including the edges then using a dry cloth rub the chalk into the table, effectively wiping it off. This will mean that when you write messages and doodle on the table you'll be able to wipe the chalk away and not have messages still visible as a sort of etch.

Step 6. Doodle away!


  1. Oh man I LOVE this. I have lots of artsy friends and can only imagine how well this would go down. Also a great little gift idea. I love recycling too.

    1. Ah thanks! It would be a really fun gift idea, my best friend's just moved house and she really wants one so I'll be helping her out with that. There are a lot of ugly pieces of furniture out there just waiting for a lick of paint!