Old is New Again

I am a sucker for a DIY project and summer is my time to indulge! This table was passed down to me and was once my parents first piece of furniture. I have memories of working on my homework while my mom prepped dinner, checking in to see if I needed any help. My husband and I happily took it as our first tiny “dining” table in our first tiny condo when we got married. It served us well but once we moved into our home, it never really had a place. Every teacher knows that we are in one of the only professions where we steal things from home to bring to school… and that’s exactly what happened here. I like having a piece from my childhood there in my classroom as a little reminder of where I came from every day.

Now, the table was a good fit for my room, but 30+ years of use had left it a little beat up so I made a plan… time for some summer DIY!!! This beauty of a stool was a hidden treasure. It had been sitting in a store room at school, collecting dust, just waiting to be found. When I saw it, I knew it would be the perfect DIY buddy for my table.

A sander and two cans of chalkboard spray paint, and we were in business…

BEFORE: The Well-Loved Table and Hidden Treasure


AFTER: Engineering Design Chalkboard Table and “Don’t Touch It, It’s Mine” Stool


tableAll together, this project clocked in at about three hours, including drying time… not too shabby.


First, the materials:


  • Two cans Rust-Oleum chalkboard spray paint
  • Medium grit sandpaper
  • orbital sander (optional)
  • drop cloth
  • damp washcloth
  • mask
  • Not pictured: acrylic paint

Step 1: Prep the wood. Because these items had a shiny finish on them, my first step was to rough up the surface a bit. I used an orbital sander for time’s sake, but elbow grease could get the same results. Because I choose a chalkboard finish spray paint, I just did a quick sanding of each surface.


Step 2: Wipe off sanding remnants. I cleaned the table and stool using a wet washcloth and allowed them to dry completely before painting.


You can see in this image just how minimal the sanding was… just enough to “rough up” the finish a bit.

Step 3: Prep to paint. Put down the drop cloth and place the table and stool upside down for the first coat of paint. I didn’t care about not completely covering the bottom center of my table because I wanted to conserve paint. I figured I could always go back an complete that later, but really… who’s going to know, right? You’ll also see I threw a few empty coffee containers I have been saving up into the mix… I have fun plans for these too! Reduce, reuse, recycle!

Step 4: Get a solid coat. After the first coat of spray paint dried, I flipped over each item and really covered the top surface. I also took this opportunity to find all those little spots you never realized you missed when an object is upside down. I applied two solid coats to the top surface, allowing them to dry in between. Due to my our very dry and warm summers here in SoCal (I know you see that dead grass! Hey, we’re in a drought!), this only took about 10-15 minutes.


Step 5: Have fun personalizing. I could have stopped once these were dry, but really would that have been my style? Nope! So I grabbed my acrylic paints and went to town. I envision this table as being used as an engineering design space. I provide chalk for students to brainstorm their ideas right on the surface of the table. How fun will that be?! The stool was also an obvious choice for me… I’m actually doing a “Big Apple”/NYC themed room this year (more on that later) and I thought this would be perfect. I used acrylic paint with a gloss finish which has a nice contrast with the matte chalkboard finish spray paint. I even added black glossy swirls on the legs of the stool.



I am so looking forward to getting these beauties back to good use in the classroom, and now I’m on a DIY kick! PERSONALIZE ALL THE THINGS!!!


SM Blog signature

One thought on “Old is New Again

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s