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Friday, January 07, 2011

For LACK Of A Reasonably Priced Chalk Table

What happens when you're fed up with the cheap quality, high priced, children furniture sold in stores???

You say screw it and make your own cheap quality furniture for less.

This hack came about when I tried to purchase a chalk table for my preschool art classes.  As I later discovered that these chalkboard tables can go for an obscene amount of money, I figured I could build it for less than $50.  I was DEAD WRONG because it only cost me... WAIT FOR IT.... less than $25 in materials. Even better is the fact that it took less than 2 hours to make.

Cost Breakdown:

LACK TABLE (RED)......................................... $7.99


RUST-O-LEUM CHALKBOARD PAINT................... $9.99

I could have easily used a metal bowl or tin from the 99 cent store and saved $6 but I was already in IKEA and inspired. More importantly, the lip on the IDEALISK made it easier to secure it to the table. I also used liquid nail to adhere the cup to the table which costs about $3.50 a tube as well as a $3 dollar paintbrush but I already had these on hand and are not included in the final total. I also used a cordless drill and a grinder which was needed to cut the handle off of the measuring cup but this could be done with a handsaw and a little extra time and elbow grease.

Here we go:

Measure a 5 7/8" hole dead center in the middle of the lack tabletop. This should be 3/16" smaller than the measuring cup. I used a T-Square which made life much easier. It is a great investment and saves tons of time and headaches on many projects.

I used my cordless drill and a ½" lip-and-spur-brad-point drill bit to drill out holes inside the circumference of the circle. I went all the way through the table to cut out the top and bottoms simultaneously. I then used scissors to cut the paper honeycomb skeleton inside.

A hole saw would of saved me much time but I am not aware if they come in 5 7/8".

I got a little bit overzealous and came too close to the edge of the circle while drilling. (I never stayed within the lines as a kid either!) Luckily, I had some Acrylic Latex Caulking Silicone so I filled in the chipped parts on the surface and it was back to being smooth and perfect. Next time I'll be more careful.

My favorite part of this project was taking an angle grinder to the measuring cup and removing that pesky handle. Let the sparks fly!

Test to see if the cup fits nice and snug. PERFECT FIT!!!!

Tape up the sides of the tabletop with painter's tape and then lightly sand the surface with 240 grit sandpaper.


Using a small roller brush, paint 3-4 coats of chalkboard paint on the tabletop. Let dry between coats. Obviously.

I didn't take pictures of the next step but it is fairly easy! Take Heavy Duty Liquid Nail and spread it on the inside of the hole in the tabletop and also under the lip of the measuring cup. Position the measuring cup inside the hole and then place something heavy (I used a 5 pound weight) to hold it down. Let dry for an hour. It dries after 10 minutes but I wanted to make sure there was a strong hold, plus I was hungry so a break came in nicely right around this time.

Just to serve my vanity, I spray painted my name onto the underside of the table!!!

If you haven't done so already, remove the painter's tape and then continue to assemble the table by adding the legs according to the IKEA instructions. For those of you without an engineering degree, it should go a little something like this:

Turn upright and place some chalk in the chalk holder or what was formerly known as a measuring cup. I filled it all the way to the brim for visual effect. For the parents out there that are envisioning their households completely covered in chalk and chalk dust, PLEASE LOOK AWAY NOW!!!

Enjoy watching children enjoy the fruits of your labor!