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One quart of chalkboard paint will cover a tabletop up to 8 feet long. Ours was only 4'x4', so there's plenty left in the can for touch-ups down the road. If you're a go-big-or-go-home type, it may be wise to opt for two quarts to ensure you've got enough. If you run out halfway through the project, you'll risk having dry lines in the finish.
If you're up for painting your base, opt for a contrasting color, or choose a high-gloss color-matched to your chalkboard paint to keep that same tone flowing from the top down to the legs.
For supplies, you'll need:
• Chalkboard paint
• Quality paint brush (if you're tempted to grab that $3 special, skip it and opt for the $9 one or face the wrath of loose bristles in your paint later)
• Medium-grit sandpaper
• Paint can opener
• Damp cloth
• Drop cloth
• Semi- or high-gloss paint for the base (optional)
Sure, you can use a roller, but our tabletop had grain running in two directions, and it was easier to simply stick with a brush.
It's unlikely that your top is already dulled down enough to take chalkboard paint without any prep. Make the entire process a bit easier by removing the top, then putting it on a flat level surface protected with dropcloths or contractor paper.
Step 1: First up, as far as prep goes, is the removal of the table's existing finish. Using medium-grit sandpaper, evenly sand the wood going in the same direction as the grain.
Step 2: Once the top is totally sanded, work on the sides of the table. While I highly doubt your kids are gonna chalk up their masterpieces within the 1-inch of surface of the sides, keeping the same color and finish through the entire tabletop looks much more sophisticated.
Step 3: With the tabletop surfaces sanded down, then wiped clean with a damp cloth, it's time to get crackin' on the paint. But here's a little trick: If you've got any flat white or black paint lingering in the garage, add a coat of that first. It will act as a primer and reduce the coats of chalkboard paint you'll need overall.
Step 4: Once the primer coat is totally dry, add chalkboard paint with the paint brush. On average, you'll need two coats. Once the second coat dries, allow 24-48 hours for the top to cure before getting down and dirty with chalk.
And when the kiddos are up and at it again the next day, let 'em go wild. A simple wipe with a sponge will bring you right back to Grownupville.
Anyone got any other creative uses for chalkboard paint?
Next: Grownup ideas for chalkboard paint
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