Chalkboard Table




About: My name is Randy and I am a Community Manager in these here parts. In a previous life I had founded and run the Instructables Design Studio (RIP) @ Autodesk's Pier 9 Technology Center. I'm also the author ...

I can't tell you how many times I've been sitting at the dining room table and have been struck with a 'brilliant' idea and haven't had anywhere to write it down. This table, in fact, was one such idea. I thought to myself, wouldn't it be great if the table were a chalkboard and I could sketch out my ideas right there as they came to me, rather than having to get up and find my notebook? And then I thought that I could also use it to label various food dishes on the table for the benefit of the vegetarian in the household. And why stop there? I could also easily resolve issues pertaining to seating arrangements with a few simple strokes. I could save money on place mats and table settings. I could draw funny pictures of cats being eaten by octopi. And in my mind, it was decided then and there that this table was going to - no - needed, to be made.

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Step 1: Go Get Stuff

You will need:

- 3' x 5' x 3/4" board
- (x2) 3' sections of 1x2 
- Wood or craft glue
- Some sort of large weight
- Chalkboard paint
- (x2) black Ikea trestle
- Brushes, rollers, trays and drop clothes
- (x2) 6' aluminum extrusions ( PN#8427A67)
- Power drill and 1/4 and 5/32 drill bits
- (x12) Wood screws and screw driver
- Chalkboard chalk
- (optional) Chalkboard eraser

Step 2: Glue

Glue your two 1x2 wood bars parallel and on edge such that they are running length-wise to table.

Place a board over top the two bars, weight them down and let the glue dry.

Step 3: Paint

Paint the table surface with chalkboard paint. You can cover the top with your fine roller and the edges with your brush. Apply a thin and even coat and then let it dry as directed.

Place a second coat and let dry again.

It should look pretty good at this point.

(tip: to save the roller while the table dries, cover it in saran wrap to keep the paint on it from drying.)

Step 4: Prepare Chalk Holders

Cut the aluminum extrusion to the size of the table using your hacksaw. The easiest way to measure this is to simply line it up with table and make a mark where it extends past the edge.

Measure an inch in from each edge of the aluminum extrusion and make a mark. Next make marks at one foot intervals between each of these two holes.

Drill 1/4" holes a foot apart.

Step 5: Fasten Chalk Holders

Hold the aluminum extrusion up to the edge of the table. Make sure it is lined up where you want to install it and then drill 5/32" pilot holes to correspond with the center of each hole in the aluminum extrusion.

Once you have drilled all the pilot holes, attach the piece of aluminum with your screws.

Step 6: Chalk

Put some blackboard chalk in the chalk holder and you should be good to go.

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    125 Discussions


    2 years ago

    this is a definite for when i get my own place


    5 years ago

    Now THAT is a kool idea!!!

    Justin Lam

    7 years ago on Introduction

    This is definitely next on my list of home projects! It would work great on my study desk. My only concern is the smudging of chalk and dust problems... Does the chalk spread everywhere when the table is in use?


    7 years ago on Introduction

    I love this idea! I already have chalkboard paint. I love how you added chalk holders also - an awesome finishing touch!

     What you're looking for is called an "animated gif", and they're considered to be (no offence, randofo) a fairly tacky website design aspect. It's pretty 1990's.


    8 years ago on Introduction

    I not only WANT to make this... I almost feel like it's IMPORTANT I make this. And soon. We're wasting so much time NOT drawing on our chalk-board table! Time to remedy this.

    what it is hoe

    9 years ago on Step 6

    if you're worried about lead....don't be. they sell acrylic latex chalkboard paint at a few stores if you look around with absolutely no led in it. great tutorial also! my girlfriend and i have been looking everywhere for a table to buy and now im just going to make this one instead

    1 reply

    I don't think people are worried about lead paint considering it has been outlawed in the united states for over 30 years and most companies manufacture a single product to keep costs down.


    9 years ago on Step 3

    I want to paint my existing table with chalk board paint, do I need to sand my table to get the old paint off? or should it be fine if I just paint it over.

    Thanks! and a great post!

    2 replies

    Reply 8 years ago on Step 3

    you really dont need to get all of the old paint off. just knock it down and make sure its level. DONT FORGET. use a respirator!


    Reply 9 years ago on Step 3

    If you want to make something that is going to last a while, you might want to consider using a chemical paint stripper and some steel wool to really removed the finish. Or, if you don't particularly care, just slap a coat of paint over it. I try to avoid sanding painted finishes as you never know for certain what exactly is in the paint (and it also doesn't typically remove it as well).


    8 years ago on Introduction

    Love it!!! ^_^ I am definitely going to make my self one, or two... Or ten!! Make everything with chalk paint!! My walls, my entire house!!! MUhahahahaha!!!!!!!!

    Anywho thanks for the instruc-table ^_^


    9 years ago on Introduction


    But I have no room for a table... Stoopid vagrant college life...


    I just don't know on what...

    1 reply