Cute Kids Chalkboard Table & Chairs

By Kate Riley May 4, 2010

My little boy has the teensy tiniest bedroom in our house and it doesn’t fit much more than a bed, his dresser and an armoire.  Nevertheless I’ve been wanting to find him a little play table for under the window for the longest time, but I wanted to spend very little since he will outgrow it in a few short years.    

I happened upon a little coffee table a few weeks ago, and some funky little chairs (at where else, a thrift store) and decided we could give them a little makeover so they would work in his room.  I paid $25 for all three pieces. 

Here’s the not-so-attractive set before (ew, yuck)

chairs and table before


And here’s what a little paint, new foam and fabric turned them into:

chairs and table after

Here’s the simple steps in their transformation. 

I stripped down the chairs as fast as possible and ceremoniously burned the fabric.  Heh heh.  No, I removed the fabric and tossed it out, yuck yuck yucky.  Then I painted the legs white and added some foam to the chairs.  

 chair with foam

Next, I sewed some simple slipcovers with this blue and white tweed for the upper and lower portions of the chairs.   I found this fabric at a second hand store that had a collection of vintage handwoven tweed fabrics.  I paid $6 dollars for three yards of it.

tweed slipcovers

Then I attached the slipcovers with a staple gun to the underside of the wood frames of these chairs.   

Chair 1

chair 2 before and after

Chair 2

chair 1 before and after


Here’s the step by step on the chalkboard table

I sanded the old coffee table by hand, then primed it with oil based primer – Zinsser in the brown can.  I gave the top two coats of primer. 

sand and prime


Then I smoothed my primed tabletop down with my sander to get rid of obvious brush strokes.  I also added a second coat of dark primer, knowing I’d be adding the deeper tint chalkboard paint on top.  Dark primer works better with medium to dark colored paints to help your paint stay true to its color. 

sand and dark primer


Then I added two coats of this ‘Deep Ocean’ paint to the top (available here). 

hudson paint deep ocean


Voila, a chalkboard table for my four year old boy ! 

chalkboard surface


He can play tic-tac-toe with his sister, doodle some dinosaurs, or he can just write “You rock Mom” which would probably look more like “u ruc” but I know what he really means . . .

chalkboard paint table top


. . .or he can draw racetracks, construction zones, and airports, you know, the important things in life when you’re four.  The chalk washes off with a damp rag.   

In a couple of years I’ll find him a sensible desk. 

 boy at table


  Meanwhile, I’ll leave him to his imagination. 




  1. This is too cute! I wish we had all of this when my boys were younger and would have really enjoyed it.

  2. Too cute!! I did not know chalkboard paint came in cute colors

  3. I love this table and chairs! I think you did a great job and i bet he’ll use that little set longer than you think!

  4. Fantastic!! Love those cute little chairs. You could just tell by the shape of them that they’d turn into something cute. :) Great idea for a chalkboard table!

  5. Replied on the givaway link, sorry. But just wanted to say that I love all the colors the paint comes in. I used to have a kitchen wall in black and the kids loved it. Thinking about stripes on the wall in tinted chalkboard paint.

  6. This is such a brilliant idea! Not just chalk but colored chalk. My toddler would love this :)

  7. If his little imagination is half as good as his Mumma’s he will go along way! This is lovely! Wish I could get to the op shops you do though! I am in Queensland Australia and we have started a little Junk Love Club on Wednesdays…… I think you would appreciate it:)

  8. Awww! He looks like he is having so much fun with his new table and chairs. They are adorable – and so is he.

  9. this is SO fantastic. you lost me at “i added foam” as a step because i am not a DIYer and that sounds awfully difficult but the chalkboard table? i’m all over that. totally a project i can undertake.

  10. LOVE LOVE LOVE it. I so wished I lived near you. If so, you would make a killing off me in a yard sale. My son is only 8 months and I would FOR SURE get that. Sigh. Guess I have to start looking for cute chairs and a small table of my own now huh? Oh the inspiration you give.

  11. You are so talented Kate, I love this great project!! Darling for kids, even designer doodling!

    Art by Karena

  12. You truly are amazing. A project like this would take me 2 months. So cool!

  13. What a genius idea!! I love the color of the chalk board, too. Not the conventional black or green. Great idea and fab job on the makeover. Another inspiration!

  14. Wow! I didn’t realize that chalkboard paint came in colors other than black or green. *good to know* You did a terrific job. I love the set!

  15. You are the best! Your son must be thrilled, love that new chalkboard paint! Yikes, I need to get my hands on some, asap! Janell

  16. Love it! Question: is there a laminate strip around the table? I have a square kiddie table just like that that has a laminate strip around the perimeter. Would I just sand and prime that, too? Thanks for sharing your projects! Love it!!


  18. I love it! I have some of that same paint (different color) and I’m planning to do the same thing with it! :) I won’t be making your adorable chairs because I can’t sew a lick, but yours are awesome!

    U ruk.

  19. Dear, dear, Kate! This is “Pam”…the one you said you “think you love”, remember? What a fab Mom you are!! And the little one is so adorable!! Look at the cute little dimples on his hand!! What a sweet boy! I grew up in New England in the 50’s/60’s in a wonderful Cape Cod home, complete w/full basement, in which there was a full-length chalkboard–about 10′ square!! What times I had down there, playing school with that and an old roll-top desk! The chalkboard also became a way to learn to write ambidextrously because of all the room with which to write on! My Mom loved antiques, and in New England, they were always to be found! She was a decorator genius in that day–she painted our dining room in a beautiful red with white, ball-fringed Cape Cod curtains adorning the windows. Now I’ve been made aware that red is a color which makes us hungry, so maybe that is why I love to eat!! We had a handmade trestle table w/ladderback chairs and a deacon’s bench on one side. In front of the picture window sat a huge spinning wheel that was probably about 6′ tall. The other end of the dining room held my prized possession–an upright Steinway piano that my parents purchased for me for $100 when they realized I was really serious about playing the piano! Well, well, must stop reminiscing and get back to work! Have a beautiful day! I love you, too!

  20. This idea is a great project! Although I dont have kids yet…. I’ll have to file this one away to use for my little cousins. :)

  21. This is the sweetest little table and chair set I have seen in a long while. I am LOVING the tweed fabric-Gorg! You DO rock!

  22. Wonderful to see a change from black chalkboards! I’m sure you have sparked many projects as a result of this ;)

  23. Wow!! This is fantastic. I love that you used blue chalkboard paint. And what
    an amazing job on he chairs. You are one talented lady. Thanks for sharing!

  24. I just can’t believe you got that set for $25!! Amazing find. I know it was really gross, but it is so hard to find a table & chair set for kids that’s made well and reasonably priced. The blue chalkboard is perfect for that table and you did an outstanding job on those chairs. Well done!

  25. This makes me want to toss her little plain table and offer her up something better! Maybe after our big move I’ll work on that. :)

  26. Your table and chairs turned out great. Your son will love his table and will have such fun playing on it. Love & blessings from NC!

  27. Super cute idea! I have a whole can of chalkboard paint and I’ve been itching for more projects :)

  28. Love the chalkboard table….what little boy wouldn’t love it? And of course he is making a racetrack out of it. I love the chairs too, but lost me at slipcover. Did you take the chair apart to put them on?

  29. Wow, what a makeover! That is such a cute set! Thanks for sharing this because I had no clue chalkboard paint came in such a variety of colors =)

  30. This is awesome! I’ve been wanting to do something like this in our playroom. When I find the right table I’m definitely going to use chalkboard paint.

  31. Hi Shauna !

    Yep, I completely stripped the chair down to its wood frame then supplied new foam. I sewed the slipcovers myself then tacked them to the wood frame with staples for a more upholstered look.

  32. First of all, he’s adorable. But that project is completely amazing. I love it and it’s so sensible and encourages them to be creative, too! He’s lucky to have a mom like you. Jane F

  33. What a great makeover! Thanks for turning me on to Hudson Chalkboard paint. They have such great colors!

  34. I love this little set. What perfect size chairs for him. They look comfy too! I love the color blue you used. Goes great with the fabric!

  35. Those blackboard tables are such a great idea. I wasn’t aware that you could get chalkboard paint for a table. I’m going to see where in NZ I can get some. Really cool blog.

  36. That is so creative! I love the colors and the chalkboard paint. The only thing I would have done differently would be to cut a few inches off all the chair legs so that the kids can sit up closer to the table without being above the table. Those pieces were a great find!

  37. what about that adorable dinosaur? is it a home craft project or a commercially available thing?

    it’s cute!

  38. I really liked the many-colored fabric of the rounded chair, actually, and the table seemed to have a really nice surface. Still, the set looks good, if not to my taste. The chalkboard table surface is genius, and based on that idea, I think I’ll try to whiteboard one.

    Seriously nice moves, Centsational girl.

  39. What a cool idea. Great job too. I love it. I’m saving this idea for our new GD who will be arriving this summer. Thanks.

  40. Love this! Also love the rug under the table. Can you share with me where you purchased it? Thanks for this amazing blog! I love all your ideas!

  41. I remember seeing this when you originally posted and it’s fun to see again. I love that you did it in blue! So cute (and so is your kiddo) ;). Thanks for linking up!

  42. This is such an awesome idea!! I was thinking about doing this but was not excited about the black chalk board paint but now I see you can do any color!! Thanks for posting this!!

  43. I’ve been inspired, once again :o) I have a table that started as our breakfast table, got it’s legs cut down for a make shift train table when we moved, now it will get new life once again as a chalk table! Great alternative to painting an area on the wall!!!

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