DIY Ikea Chalkboard Activity Table

11 Materials
1.5 Days

Keeping with the Ikea makeover theme from last week's post ;) I thought I would share the DIY chalkboard activity table I recently made for my nephew. With so many options & possibilities I love that this project can easily be customized.
This project is super simple & requires only one major tool. However, it's also possible to skip the jigsaw & use a drywall knife if that's more accessible.
To get started first flip over the bucket you'll be using to hold the chalk & trace the edge onto the table. This is the widest part of the bucket & will act as the "lip/edge" that holds it in place once the hole is cut out.
Next you can drill a few holes into your outline or pierce the surface to remove the material. Like the jigsaw, the drill isn't absolutely necessary but it makes this project much simpler.
Remove the material from inside your outline & remember to take your time. This keeps you from removing too much material at once & making a hole too large for your bucket.
As you cut out the space for your bucket, periodically check the fit. The bucket should fit very snuggly into the hole to keep any tiny fingers from prying it loose.
*Optional: Once you're happy with the fit you can remove any sharp or rough edges using the sanding square.
After you've made a spot for the bucket you can move on to painting. I taped off the edges of my table with painter's tape & used Rust-Oleum's Chalkboard paint. I purchased my paint from Michael's using a 50% off coupon. Depending on your surface or your toddler you may want to use primer. I chose to skip the primer & roughed up the surface of my table using the sanding block.
Paint the first layer of chalkboard paint & take your time to give the surface an even coat. I also made sure to smooth out any areas or ridges of too much paint before they could set. Give each coat of paint about 30-60 minutes to dry before adding another layer.
Once the first coat of chalkboard paint I kept adding (giving time for each coat to dry) until I was happy with the color/consistency. After about 3 coats of paint I was satisfied with my nephew's chalkboard table & was able to put the brush down.
Before allowing the surface to dry completely I went back & slowly removed any painter's tape. This gave me clean edges & allowed my to remove any paint that may have snuck in where it doesn't belong.
Now it's time to set your chalkboard surface! I let the surface cure for over 24 hours & then used a piece of chalk to break it in. Lay your chalk sideways & complete coat the surface in a thick layer.
*Be sure to follow the instructions according to your brand f chalkboard paint.
Gently erase your newly created masterpiece but don't remove the chalk dust completely. This step is important to ensure any chalk used in the future goes on smoothly. This step also creates a lot of dust so you may need to vacuum your floors once you're done ;)
Double check the bucket is secure, add your chalk, & you're done!
I loved creating this chalkboard activity table for my nephew! He opened it on his 2nd birthday & immediately began interacting with his new chalk supply. Not only is it the perfect height but I love that it also promotes creativity & helps him build his fine motor skills as he works to hold/grip the chalk.
Coming in at $25 this project is definitely one of my favorites. It's easy, stylish/customizable, beneficial, & inexpensive!
If you'd like to see more about this project you can find the video on my YouTube channel!
Feel free to leave any questions down below & check out my other corners of the internet.

Suggested materials:

  • Jig Saw
  • Drywall Knife (optional)
  • Pencil
See all materials

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Have a question about this project?

2 questions
  • Grandmama16
    on Jan 10, 2017

    I need corner bumpers for a coffee table. What did you use?

    • Mar20519175
      on Feb 18, 2017

      I too was concerned about the sharp glad to read that you hadn't missed the danger.

  • Frances gore
    on Nov 18, 2018

    Will the chalkboard paint work on a plastic table I already have

    • Heather Moxie DIY
      on Nov 18, 2018

      Hello Frances, I would rough up the plastic surface with a light sanding. Ive heard people say you absolutely need a primer & I've also seen it on some instruction labels. But I’ve found a light sanding with a sanding block works just as well.

Join the conversation

2 of 15 comments
  • Joy Ross
    on Nov 10, 2018

    I used chalkboard paint inside club house for grandkids so they can scribble on walls like all kids try to do, only chalk is easy to clean off.! Didnt know about "pre-chalk" needed. Thanks for that tip!

  • Stella Feeley
    on Jun 8, 2020

    Love this idea but I think I will attach a plastic basket to hold chalk instead of drilling a hole in center, that way there is more area to draw On once my grandchild gets older.

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