Weekend Project: Rolling Activity Table Refurb

May 30, 2017

Dear readers,

Let’s talk about my little activity table refurb.

He was a bit of a dreary little table when I met him, shoved in between the shoe rack and the junk table at my work, but right away I knew he was meant for something more.
So I sized him up and said, “Why the hell not?!” It was free so I didn’t lose money on it, and Squeak needed a little activity table for the living room to draw on and eat a snack or two.

I’m glad I snatched it up when I did, it was such a fun project to work on with Audrey. The weather has been pretty nice as well and I’m glad we had something to do in the backyard on those sunny spring days.

I didn’t need to buy anything for this project, as I already had everything I needed in my basement, but this is the list of materials I used:

    • A little rolling table with wheels, or one that wheels can be added too
    • Krylon Colormaster White Primer or
    • Zinsser Bull’s Eye 1-2-3 Interior/Exterior Primer
    • A medium grade paint brush
    • 3M fine grain sandpaper
    • Rubber cleaning gloves
    • A rag and a bucket of soapy water
    • A four year old (joking!)
    • ColorPlace Festive 50’s Pink or any color you like… I used less than a quart.
    • A cool stencil or set of wall decals to spray paint around and make neat shapes
    • Rust-Oleum’s Crystal Clear Enamel for the finishing touch

Sanding and cleaning is always step one.

Obviously you want to clean off the entire piece with soap and water just to get rid of any dust and dirt. I always sand down every piece I refurbish, it’s just something I do. Even if the exterior looks pretty smooth, I still sand it down lightly just to get rid of any icky-ness I don’t see. Then I wipe it down again to get rid of any dust from sanding.

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I used fine grit sandpaper for all sanding from beginning to end. It’s not wood, it’s particle board, don’t go to town with the sandpaper. I think a sanding sponge would probably work really well for this project, but I’m cheap (obviously) and I used the regular old fashion sheets of 3M with a pair of rubber cleaning gloves to protect my nails. I am who I am.

The second step is priming! Yay!

I think the primer stage is my favorite. I like this stage because it’s the first step toward a new life for a piece of furniture. I think the all-white of the primer reminds me of clean slate. I used Krylon Colormaster White Primer for the majority of her refurbished activity table. However, I also used Zinsser Bull’s Eye 1-2-3 Interior/Exterior primer for the exposed particle board underneath. It just seemed like the spray-on primer soaked through the particle board and the brush-on primer stayed put. If anyone wants to tell me I’m crazy then leave it in the comments below.

After I finished a generous layer of primer, I spot sanded with fine grit sandpaper again to get rid of any paint blobs. Mind you, I do a lot of this stuff with the help of a four year old. Painting on even coats of paint are not ingrained at birth. I let her try her spray painting skills for the second time (a few months ago she thought it was a room freshener) with this project, so usually there is a little extra sanding to be done. But hey! Small price to pay for an activity in sunny weather.

The next step, and probably the most fun step for everyone, is painting on color. I like seeing my little vision come to life, even though it has probably changed along the way.

I got lucky with this project because I already had everything sitting in my basement. In fact, here is another project where I used ColorPlace Festive 50’s Pink.

I painted a few coats on the rolling activity table and let it dry for a few days in my basement, making sure it wasn’t the least bit sticky. It’s hard this time of year with all the rain in the Upper Peninsula. It gets really humid, so waiting for paint to dry seems to take longer.


I sanded it again to give it a bit of a shabby chic look and wiped it down really well.

After the painting was finished, I had to sit and think about how I wanted to make my daughter’s activity table a little bit more fun. I was thinking about Mod-Podging some decals on it, or buying some stencils and spray painting little flowers or letters on it.

Onto the next step!

Then I thought, well, why not tie in everything she has in her room. She has a lot of butterfly decals on the walls that would be perfect to incorporate. So I took a few off the wall and lightly sprayed around them. By lightly I mean I held the nozzle of the spray can at least a foot away, and pushed down at a quarter pressure at first until I liked the mist that came out. To give the butterflies sort of an airy quality, I did some areas thicker than others. I really liked how they turned out, but I do wish I would’ve added a light second color, just to make it a little funkier. What do you think?

The last two steps I took are entirely a preference on my part. I sprayed the entire piece down with Rust-Oleum’s Crystal Clear Enamel, for an extra layer of protection. Then I pulled off all the wheels and sprayed them down with what was left of my white spray paint primer. To be continued on how well they hold up, since Squeak will just be rolling her table around on carpet, I imagine we will be okay.

There you have it readers, a beautiful little girl’s rolling activity table, refurbished of course! I really enjoyed this project guys, and I hope my daughter enjoys it too. Questions or comments? Please leave them below.

I also wanted to wish everyone belated love for Memorial Day. Without the bravery of many men and women, our country would not be afforded such a holiday to grill and eat hot dogs and relax. I hope we all remember what Memorial Day really represents, and what it truly means to us as Americans.


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