Masked and Painted Ikea Table

I had been keeping an eye out for a table and chair set for Myla ever since she was an infant. There are many cute sets out there… and many pricey ones too. Since I know how well young kids take care of their belongings, I figured finding an inexpensive set was the way to go - I just had to find one that didn’t look cheesy. Lucky me, I have a friend who took an Ikea table and chair set, painted it and shared her idea with me. I loved it! But of course I wanted to make it my own and started thinking what else I could add. 

I love the look of natural wood and wanted to somehow mask a design that would allow the wood to show through the paint (perhaps this is coming from my days of designing bike graphics and paint masks). Anyways, I went to Michaels and found this stencil film that you can use to make your own stencils and masks. It has a paper back lining to draw your design on and once you cut it out (Xacto knife worked just fine), you can then peel off the paper to reveal an adhesive backing - which stuck perfectly to the wood. I chose to do a three star design and used my favorite See-Thru ruler to draw it out. I used carbon paper to repeat the pattern four times - 2 sets for the table and 2 sets for the chairs. Once I cut everything out, I also decided to use the leftover stars from the inside of the outlined stars.

I began by spray painting chalkboard paint on the table top which my friend did as well. I tried spraying the reverse side thinking I could always flip it around if I didn’t like it. But silly me didn’t have it on a totally flat surface and as the paint sprayed, some black specks found their way underneath. (Lesson learned - although I haven’t tried the Magic Eraser on it yet. Hmmm.) 

Then, I primed all the wood pieces, as the table comes in true Ikea style: unassembled. Gave it two coats of bright green paint - which Myla chose from a pile of paint chips. (A darker color would show a better contrast where the stars were masked). After it completely dried, I used an Xacto knife to make a little cut in the paint along the masking and lifted it up to remove it. If you try this, make sure the paint is completely dry. Finally, we assembled all the pieces.

Myla hasn’t used the chalkboard top yet.. she’s been mostly using her table to serve tea and lunch. And the best part... she loves it!