Rust-Oleum Projects

Make This Cheap Chalkboard Party Table from Scratch

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  • Estimated Time

    4 Hours

  • Challenge Level


  • Tools & Supplies:

    • (2) Wood Sawhorses
    • Large Piece of Plywood (For the Tabletop)
    • Sandpaper (#120, #150, #180 Grits)
    • Tack Cloth
    • Drop cloth
    • Drill & Screws (Optional)
    • Stir sticks
    • Lint-free cloth
    • Synthetic Bristle Paint Brush

When hosting a party, there’s never enough table space for all the food and drinks. Here’s a cheap chalkboard-top table that you can make in a few steps so you’ll never have to stress over table space again. Plus, when the party’s over, you can break it down for easy storage.

  1. PREPARE: Always work in a well-ventilated area and use a drop cloth to protect from drips, spills, and splatter. Sand each sawhorse thoroughly, working your way up through #120, #150, and #180 grit sandpaper. Wipe away the sanding dust with a tack cloth after finishing with each grit.
  2. STAIN: Stir or shake your Varathane Fast Dry Wood Stain in Worn Navy thoroughly. Working in manageable sections, use a lint-free cloth or brush to apply a generous amount of stain onto the first sawhorse. Let the stain sit on the surface for a few minutes, and then wipe away the excess with a clean cloth in the direction of the wood grain. Repeat this step on the second sawhorse, then set them aside to dry for at least one hour.
  3. POLYURETHANE: Once the sawhorses are dry, stir (do not shake) your can of Varathane Triple Thick Polyurethane. Use a brush to apply an even coat of poly to both sawhorses. Be sure to apply the polyurethane in the direction of the wood grain and in one thick, uniform coat. Set the sawhorses aside to dry completely for 48 hours.
  4. PAINT: Stir the Chalkboard Brush-On paint thoroughly with a stir stick. Then, use a foam roller to apply the paint to the plywood. Avoid excessive rolling and use light, even strokes for an even and smooth finish. Wait 2-4 hours, and then apply a second coat. Repeat once more, so you have three solid coats of paint on the table. Tip: Prop the tabletop up on two buckets to make it easier to paint.
  5. CONDITION: Let the chalkboard paint cure completely for three days. Then, rub the side of a piece of chalk over the entire surface and erase with a chalkboard eraser or dry cloth. This will condition the surface so it’s ready for use.
  6. FINISH: Now that the sawhorses and tabletop are completely dry, simply slide the tabletop on top of the sawhorse to complete the table. If you want to secure the table-top, use a drill and screws to attach it to the sawhorses.