Art Table Makeover

I did it! My adventures in creativity.

I did it! From cooking to crafts, I will share some of my adventures and experiments, both successful and not-so-successful. Hopefully along the way you can find inspiration for some projects of your own!   -Amy

I did it!

A few years ago I inherited a kid-sized wooden table and chairs. How perfect for all the art projects the girls do! It was in great shape and really well made, but not so pretty to look at:

old table and chairs

Yes, that is years of caked on paint, play doh, stickers, and crayon.  While functional, this set did nothing to add to the décor of our house. So I decided to give it a makeover! My plan: paint the whole set glossy white and add fun colored polka dots to make the girls happy. The 5-year-old and I headed to Home Depot to pick up our supplies: some sandpaper, primer, and lots of spray paint. I let her pick out the accent colors: purple (of course, it’s her favorite color) and a bright pink. On a beautiful, sunny Saturday (when the 5-year-old had two birthday parties to attend – perfect way to keep her out of the way during the actual painting.  No way I want her to have a can of spray paint!) I set up in the driveway.  A word of advice: if you don’t want paint on the surface you are working on, lay down a tarp! We are planning on seal coating the driveway again soon, so I didn’t bother. Here are our gathered materials:


First, I sanded the surfaces a bit to get off the crusty layers of stuff. Of course, the sanding also helps the paint to adhere, so even if the furniture you are painting isn’t in such bad shape it’s a good idea to sand lightly first. The 5-year-old got to help with this step – put those arms to work! Once the surface was sanded enough, I wiped it down with a damp rag to clean off the dust. Then I took the kid to her first party. Time for the real work to begin!

First painting step was to spray primer on each piece. This helps the paint cover better and also helps adhere it to the table just that much better. It’s definitely worth taking the time for this step. After the primer was dry (and with spray paint, it doesn’t take long!) I did the first coat of white. It’s key to use smooth, slightly overlapping sprays. This helps with even coverage. I did a second coat of white (it is sooo important to make sure the first coat is dry before you do the next coat – otherwise you can get gloppy streaks. Trust me on this) to make sure it was really well coated.  After the white was fully dry, it was time for polka dots. I had a secret weapon in my arsenal to make the perfect circles: mushroom cans. Yes, that’s right – mushroom cans. I used the mushrooms in pizza puffs, then cut off both ends, washed out and saved two cans (one per color). They were the perfect size for my circles, and I didn’t need to worry about creating a stencil. I just put the can where I wanted the dot, put the spray paint right into the top end and sprayed. Voila! Perfect circles! After everything was dry I sprayed it all with a coat of polyurethane to help protect the finish. Here is how it turned out:

finished table finished chair

I did it! I gave new life to an old set of furniture! It was actually a quick and easy job, and the girls adore their “new” art table and chairs. Try it yourself and let me know how it worked for you!


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