With a can of chalkboard paint, almost any surface can become a drawing station with unlimited creative possibilities. Instead of creating a wall board for a children’s room, transfer that creativity into an interactive work surface that doubles as an ordinary table.
A chalkboard table offers kids a more hands-on approach to drawing and designing. With additional storage containers for holding the creative tools, the work station may become the most interactive zone in any play area.
Painting the Chalkboard Table
Chalkboard paint is available in a variety of brands, including classics like Crayola. Available in traditional green and black, a simple recipe for making colored chalk board paint is offered by Martha Stewart Living for crafters’ convenience. The site advises mixing only enough paint for a single project, since the combination doesn’t store for long periods.
Mark off the desired chalkboard space on the table top using masking tape; then apply two even layers of chalkboard paint to the surface, letting the coats dry between application. Remove the tape and paint the surrounding frame with a second non-chalkboard color for trim; or trim with pre-purchased wood varieties in a corresponding width.
Adding Storage Space
Tables with drawers, lift-up tops, or cubbyholes are perfect for transforming into chalkboard versions. Create storage space for an ordinary table by adding a chalk tray to one side. Slice a deep, rounded groove in a piece of lumber using a table saw with the blade lowered to a one-inch groove; trim to match the table’s width and affix to one side using wood glue.
For bigger storage possibilities, create a convenient drawer space using a sliding wood veneer box or cardboard box similar to matchbox or keepsake versions. Glue the folded outside of the box below the table, flush with the edge. Glue a small knob to the box’s inner shape so it can be pulled out drawer-style. Fill the inside with chalk, game pieces, and other miniature items.
Creative Possibilities for Chalkboard Surfaces
Chalkboard tables are open to a range of creative possibilities. Draw a traditional game board design on the surface using colored chalk. From simple designs like checkers or tic-tac-toe to classics like Chutes and Ladders or Candy Land, kids can draw or design any number of game concepts. Use the storage space to keep game pieces handy.
Create a street for mini cars and houses by drawing the roads and signs with chalk; create an artistic mural or work math problems to the side on an erasable “scratch page”. Kids are unlimited in the artistic potential of a chalkboard table.
Tips and techniques for cleaning and preserving chalkboard paint surfaces are available online from a range of crafters and decorators, including Martha Stewart Omnimedia. When the paint layers wear off, the surface can be sanded and repainted to restore its function and keep kid creativity flowing with chalk designs.