DIY whiteboard coffee table

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I have to say, while not being the most aesthetically-pleasing of projects, this guy has to be one of my favourites, based purely on the fact that it is a raging hit with the boys.  It could actually be a very beautiful project, I just didn't have the optimal bones to start with, since I found the coffee table on the street on garbage day.  The table looked pretty solid (it was damn heavy) so I squeezed it into the back of the car while taking the kids home from school one day.


The run-of-the-mill heavy machine-turned legs are not really my style, but the price was right, as was the shelf underneath. It was in pretty rough shape, with peeling veneer, chipped and cracked paint, and creaky legs.  It looks like it was someone else's up-cycling project at one point, but they must be even more impatient than I am (I didn't think that was possible) because it definitely wasn't sanded or cleaned before the paint went on in glops and dribbles.

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I sanded the table for the better part of a weekend - next time I would definitely try to scrape off more paint before the sanding stage.  Then I filled in the cracks and split veneer with wood-filler, and tried to fill in the routed "detail" on the top.  I also hammered in some nails around the legs to secure the wobble.  It was at this point that I hit a creative roadblock - should I just leave it white?  Paint it with blackboard paint?  Get the fancy expensive white board paint?  I tweeted about my indecision and was surprised and thrilled to hear back from Steven at Smart Wall Paint.  He offered to send me a tester of their white board paint and I jumped at the chance!  When it arrived by DHL, the cost of duty was as much as the paint would have been from Home Depot, but I was excited to try it.  It was also a great chance to make use of the Scotch blue tape I had been sent.  I painted the bottom a light grey with the paint left over from my bathroom redo, and there was just enough smart paint for the top.

The paint was an interesting process - you have to mix part A with part B (much like DIY hair dye), make sure your roller passes over every section 5 times, wait 5 days, and then use.  We had to open part B with a knife as the top wouldn't come off, and it was pretty stinky stuff.  I carefully followed directions and waited patiently to use it.  I don't know if I didn't clean it off properly, but I was disappointed that the surface wasn't a smooth glossy finish - instead it has lots of little tiny bumps - but the kids don't seem to care and you can't really see it.  I call it a win.

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The table has been in heavy use since the moment I put it in the sunroom.  I had bought some whiteboard crayons a few years ago to go with a book Will had, and they work perfectly.  I also bought some washable whiteboard markers, imagining every shirt and bit of exposed skin being covered with ink, but the crayons give better colour.

We have had roads, towns, shapes, words, animals, and games drawn on the table.  My favourite was the whole zoo they made with Děda, complete with a polka-dot hedgehog!  They each have their own collections of cars and trucks - the table is the perfect height for driving - and I have been keeping them in white Ikea baskets on the bottom shelf. Looks good and functional: score!

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I do wish it had more modern lines, but all things considered, it doesn't look too bad in front of the sofa.  As a bonus, we now have somewhere to put our feet up and rest a coffee mug (when we're allowed).  So what do you think?  Have you used white board paint before?  I love that it fits in my favourite colour scheme (white and wood), and am contemplating a whiteboard wall in the kitchen...

*Thank you to Steven from Smart Wall Paint for reaching out - gotta love social media!
*Thank you to Laura Stratton for the Scotch Blue Painter's tape - it's awesome.
*thank you to Katrina at Pugly Pixel for the photoshop templates!

7 comments:

  1. brooke (pureandnoble)January 16, 2013 at 12:10 AM

    Girl! Amazeballs! I am so head over heels for this! So great. Well done friend. Well done indeed. xo

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  2. you did it! it looks great..shocked that someone would throw it away!

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  3. Great job! I've always enjoyed the thought of transforming old furniture into something new and fresh, just as you've done marvelously with your table. I've got an antique chaise longue in my attic ( got it from great, great grandpa) and I think you just inspired me to find the time to give it a makeover.

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  4. Thanks my dear! I am pretty chuffed, I must say. :)

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  5. Thanks Julia! I am constantly amazed at what people throw away, although to be fair in this neighbourhood it is another form of "giving it away" since anything worth grabbing is usually gone before the garbage truck comes.

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  6. Ooooh Rainie, dooo it! I love chaise lounges, I bet it would look smashing. Plus, there is such a great feeling of feeling of satisfaction when you up-cycle instead of buying new (for me anyway).

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  7. Great job, both Designer and Production!

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Thank you so much for your comment - they always make my day!