House & Home

Fix up an old outdoor table with a chalkboard tabletop

This removable 24-inch unfinished wooden tabletop, coated in chalkboard paint, can be stored inside during inclement weather. In the meantime, it awaits your use on the patio.
This removable 24-inch unfinished wooden tabletop, coated in chalkboard paint, can be stored inside during inclement weather. In the meantime, it awaits your use on the patio. Tribune News Service

In my efforts to simplify and clean up, I put my old garden table and chairs in the trash. They’re over 15 years old and are literally falling apart. But if you could see my bags of ribbon scraps and drawers of old buttons, you would likely know what comes next. Yes, I brought them back into the patio outside my studio, brushed them off and decided to refurbish them.

If I ever get enough time, I will sand them down, reglue and paint them, but in the meantime, here is what I did to fix them up a bit: I went to the nearest home improvement store and bought an inexpensive, pre-cut 24-inch unfinished wooden circular tabletop. I added a can of chalkboard spray paint and white chalk to my cart and thus began my patio up-cycle project.

Because the tabletop was pre-sanded, it was ready to be painted. Once the paint dried (in a couple of hours), I was ready to begin doodling. I discovered it works better if you sharpen the chalk with a pencil sharpener … just make sure your sharpener has the size opening that is meant for a primary pencil.

Before I began drawing, I die cut circles from poster board and used them as stencils to draw perfectly round plate circles. I also die-cut a knife, fork and spoon out of white paper. You can simply lay the paper silverware on the table (it looks like chalk) or once again, use the negative die cut to draw the utensils with chalk.

It was easy to set the wooden top over the old table for a quick fix. The chalk images are easy to erase whenever you want to change it up; however, you can add a matching size sheet of glass over the top if you want to protect the original chalk drawings.

And if you want to add a little flair, simply include a flower centerpiece — mine are made with sucker centers and paper hearts for the flower petals.

The beauty of this project is the ease with which you can erase and start over. And if the weather outside is still frightful, simply bring the top inside and store it behind a door or under the bed until you are ready for another dinner for two outside.

  Comments