How to customize a child's table and chair set

Miss M loves tea parties and has loved them since she got her first toy tea set when she was one year old. Last summer I came across a scuffed up wooden table at a secondhand shop for just a few dollars so I grabbed it, not really having a plan but hoping something would come to me. 

I decided to make a table and chair set for Miss M's room for her tea parties, using a Dollar Store chair I'd bought the previous summer. We had recently got a cheerful striped rug for her room and I used that for my inspiration.

Materials Needed

  • table/chair
  • sandpaper
  • various paint colours
  • painting tape
  • paint brushes
The "Before"

The "Before"

I put the set out on the grass and first roughed the table up with sandpaper. The chair was plastic so I just left that alone. Then I wiped it down with water to clear off the dust and let it dry. I used one of the leftover purple paint samples I had used on her dresser reno (you can see the dresser and the rug the table was inspired by here) and covered the whole table and chair with the paint. A few hours later I did another coat. To be honest, I would recommend spray painting the plastic chair in hindsight. The paint stuck but started flaking off not long afterwards. 

The "Mid-way point"

The "Mid-way point"

Then I measured out random widths on the table (to replicate the rug's varying widths of colour) and put a strip of painting tape from one end to the other, and taped off the sides as I didn't want the stripes wrapping around the edges. I used the rug as a colour guide for what to use, but I didn't buy special paint for it - I only used colours that already had in my craft drawer so the colours aren't a perfect match. Besides, there is no purple in her rug, but I know she adores purple so I included that in the colour scheme.

Sadly I was not clever enough to take a photo of the taping/painting process but it was fairly simple. I swiped different colours of paint between the strips of tape, being careful at the tape edges so it didn't bleed. I did two or three coats until it wasn't patchy looking when it was dry.

When it was completely dry I carefully peeled off the painting tape. There were a couple bits I had to clean up but otherwise I was really happy with it!

The "After"!

The "After"!

We gave it to Miss M's for her 3rd birthday and she loved it. She recognized right away that it matched her new rug and the first thing she did was have a little tea party with her Tiger pal.

Now she and her little brother use it daily - mostly for tea parties or birthday parties, but also for colouring and playing with other little toys.

All done for a total of less than $10 for the table and chair as I used craft supplies I already had on hand (though even most of those were Dollar Store paints) - so hooray for recycling and upcycling!