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Kids’ Art Table for Only $20

Brit from House Updated needed a kids’ play table that was big enough for large coloring books, Legos, and for two kids to sit side-by-side when the table was pushed against the wall.

Her existing table was too small and had seen better days.

Brit decided it was time to make a new one to better meet her family’s needs and used a $5.99 table top from IKEA, a 2×2, and some MDF trim.

Brit says the project was really quick and easy to put together, and the whole table was done for less than $20!

kids art table for $20

What makes this project nice, aside from the simple construction and low cost, is the creative combination of different materials. Let’s take a look at each and how Brit joined them together.

Start With a Table TopTable top - kids art tableTable top - kids art table

Brit went to IKEA for hers. This is an unbeatable price at around $6. You can’t find a piece of wood, prime and then paint it for that much. It comes shipped, and you’re ready to go with it right out of the box.

Table top - kids art table

Of course, if white is not your first color choice you can paint this. The IKEA tabletop material will most likely need some light sanding and primer first.

Personally, we think white is an open and inspiring surface to work on, whatever the project or activity.

Best Way to Clean Your Kids’ White Tabletop

Okay, a white table is harder to keep “looking” clean. You’re going to see the inevitable signs of usage once your kids get to work.

Marks from pens, pencils, crayons, paint and makers will be left behind. Even Play-Doh can sometimes leave faint stains from brighter colors. Sure, you can get the washable products but every parent has been there when a permanent one gets on there by mistakes and leaves it’s mark…literally.

So what to do?

The IKEA top is pretty durable and easy to wipe off. This is good. For the tough marks that don’t come off with light soap and water or other cleaning solutions, you need a Magic Eraser like this.

Magic Cleaning Pads

Magic Cleaning Pads

This amazing little sponge uses micro-abrasion to scrub out marks and stains completely. It’s safe on smooth surfaces and really works wonders.

You’ll want these on hand in your house’s cleaning supplies if you don’t already. If you have kids, you can use it on all kinds of surfaces. For the white tabletop, it’ll be there to keep your table looking fresh and new for a long time.

Add Your Legs

Brit uses 2″x 2″ wood pieces for her legs and attaches them with a couple of “L” brackets for each leg.

These come in little plastic bags and include the screws you’ll need to fasten them on with. They’ll be ample to make your table sturdy…just don’t let the big kids sit, lay or stand on it!

Trimming Looks Good and Adds Strength

Adding trim definitely completes the look of this table. It also adds even more stability.

Brit chose MDF boards for this, but solid pine would do well too. Just measure the lengths of each side to get enough to go around the bottom of the tabletop all the way around.

To secure your trim pieces, a nail gun works well. You can either use nails that are 1/4″ longer than the width of your MDF boards, or toe-nail shorter nails.

The former option is a much cleaner look from underneath because the nail heads will go in more cleanly and be facing down to the floor side.

You could also use wood glue to fasten the MDF board to the underside of the tabletop. Then, on the ends, drive 2 1/4″ nails through the table legs into the ends of the MDF. Then just put a dab of wood putty and sand before painting.

Brit was inspired by the Carolina Small Play Table from Pottery Barn Kids.

She matched the paint of both her inspiration and the IKEA tabletop color with an off-the-shelf can at The Home Depot.

carolina small play table

For some more pics and Brit’s included tips for creating this table, check out her entire tutorial at House Updated.

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