before and after

before & after: kate’s chalkboard table

by Grace Bonney

today’s final before & after (stay tuned for “we like it wild” next!) comes from kate leary of mi piace kate design. kate and her partner recently moved to san francisco and have been trying to blend together their two very different design aesthetics. they found this wood table on craigslist for $75 and decided they could upgrade it to fit both of their personal styles.

after sanding and priming the table, they added two coats of custom chalkboard paint and waited 3 days for the paint to cure. after the curing process was done, they were left with a fun, interactive dining table that they “can’t stop using and playing with!” the total cost? just over $100. great work you two!

[have a before & after you’d like to share on d*s? just shoot me an email right here with your images!]


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  • love it, however, probably not going to spend all that effort to make one for my kids… will buy Lolly Chalkmats instead that is already PVC free. I don’t know if chalkboard paint is pvc, bpa free?

  • We make and sell chalkboards, locally and I am going to let you in on a great big money saving secret. SHH! here it is…If you don’t mind a little bit of shine to begin with you can use black outdoor semigloss paint custom mix from wal-mart at $15.95 a gallon…Use outdoor semi-gloss have them mix Y8 or 64 part black only tint and mix…It is the EXACT same formula as chalkboard paint and you save a whole lot of money…After painting and it dries throughly…Rub white chalk all over the paint and then wipe off..This primes the finish and dulls it so it is not shiny……….We sell over 50 chalkboards a week and have never had one complaint about them…..People love them….And we can actually make money selling them wholesale with this savings……

  • I love this, but the best part about it is the story behind the process of acquiring the sander and the other materials to turn this table into the gorgeous centerpiece that it is. Great job Kate!

  • So, I was introduced to chalkboard paint about 5 years ago by my cousin. She painted the inside an old thrift store frame and we use it as a notice board in the family home. We all have to sign and date our name for when we are there. It’s cheesy, but fun. So, when I saw this I knew that I had to do it in my kitchen. I choose white chairs in high lacquer as the contrast as well. It looks amazing! I’m so happy you guys exist as a forum for creative design.

  • A lot of people mentioned being afraid of grease stains on this. I’m wondering, can you use any type of standard surface cleaner (409, etc) or will that ruin the paint? What do you guys use to clean greasy stains?

  • This is absolutely amazing! I just bought a table from Craigslist. My husband hates it, but I thought it was a pretty good price for the condition it was in. Besides, I want something that I won’t freak out over if my children happen to do a little banging. Trust me, with six boys, what isn’t wrong with the table now… will soon be wrong in the near future :0) I knew I wanted to paint my table black, but I didn’t know that I wanted a chalkboard table until I saw your blog. Thanks for sharing!!!

  • Hi love ur design I have a coffee table that I have been tring to make into the eye catcher of the spacein my den now after seeing ur idea I am sold . Chalkboard is the the way to go I’m sure :)

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