Project Naptime: [Chalkboard Train Table Top]

Guys, we’re still kicking here. And how. Our weekends have been consumed with unpacking boxes, getting rooms set up and safe for Colin, and cleaning up dust, dust and more dust. Our painter, who we will refer to as Eldin (from Murphy Brown), only finished last Thursday. I’ll just say I am glad I chose neutral colors, because we are never having the whole house painted again. EVER.

But anyway, sometimes when you just can’t scrub any more toilets or unpack any more boxes, you like to take on a simple project while your husband builds a toddler bed and said toddler is napping. Tackling a quick project is referred to around here as “Project Naptime”. I usually get about an hour and a half to two hours to myself per day. Well, every other day. Colin doesn’t like to nap on school days; too excited I guess. So these kinds of tasks stroke your ego and make you feel useful in those times you can’t remember your own phone number. You know what doesn’t? Your toddler napping for THREE AND A HALF HOURS when your husband is home. And then him joking around that if he had three hours a day to himself, he’d be really happy. Yeah, so would I. SO WOULD I.

Anyway, back to Project Naptime. Colin has a train table. He likes it. I hate it. It’s big and bulky and well, quite colorful. And with about 800 train pieces on it, it can be what I like to call, a hot mess. One side of the table top is a little scene of roads and landscape, etc. The other side? Is electric blue. I guess it’s the ocean? I don’t know. It’s very ugly. We don’t use that side. It’s pretty useless.

So I was thinking about how to neutralize the blue side of the train table top a little tiny bit while also making it something Colin wants to play with. we would still have use of the landscape side, but make the blue side a little more fun. I didn’t want to alter it permanently. I’m not that crazy. I don’t go around spray painting my kid’s toys so they match my decor. When you have a kid, you need to embrace the primary color wheel. It’s happening. Deal with it.

And then I discovered Chalkboard Contact Paper. And for $15 (two packages), I updated and improved the train table. It only took me about 30 minutes, which meant I had approximately 800 hours until Colin woke up. According to Kase, anyway. 😉

It’s a pretty straightforward project. I’ll let the Pics school you:


Chalkboard Contact Paper

Go slowly. Then use your husband’s work ID to work out the bubbles. I found going in a diagonal direction to work best.

Before and During (Kinda). This is obviously not the blue side. But that would have blinded you. You’re welcome.

And “season”. I don’t know if you need to season contact paper, but I did it just in case. Which is all to say, rub a bunch of chalk all over that bad boy.

Done. Let’s Play. You know, when you decide to wake up. In four hours.

So, tell me. Have you taken on any “Project Naptimes” lately? We are making excellent progress on the house, but it’s nice to tackle something quick and painless every now and then.


5 thoughts on “Project Naptime: [Chalkboard Train Table Top]

  1. I used chalkboard paint on a small kids table way before I was a mom (I was going to give it as a gift and then never did) It is coming in handy now. When I first saw this contact paper I thought it was such a great idea. Did you buy it in a store or online? I never could find it in a store and I am to cheap to pay shipping :s

  2. Kate, you are my lifesaver! I bought a gently used train table for my son’s birthday. I googled to get ideas on recovering it, and this page came up. I ordered the contact paper and literally this took me an hour, especially because you mentioned using your husband’s work id. I actually wrote Happy Birthday on it for his party and his first time seeing it. It looks so much better and he loves it. Thanks for taking the time to share this!

  3. Found you while I was researching how to redo a train table. How has the chalk side held up? Does it clean up well? Does chalk get in the seams of the contact paper?

    • Hi Melissa, Sorry for the delay! The contact paper holds up as well as your children are behaved! 🙂 Colin found an opening and took it! He only tore a little off, so it’s still fine, but it’s also very easily replaced. I still give it two thumbs up!

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