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Our niece turns two in November!  She's getting so grown up... I swear she is a different person every time we go home and see her.  It's crazy that she can talk to me now because I'm pretty sure she was just born yesterday.

When it comes to Christmas and her birthday, I like to get her things that she'll get a lot of use out of.  I don't like to get her clothes or toys, because everyone gets her things like that and she outgrows them faster than she can use them... which is no fun.

For Christmas last year, Roger and I got her this swing.  Her dad hung it in their heated garage so she could use it all winter long before it was moved outside to her big swing set this summer.  It's still one of her favorite things and that makes me smile.

After a lot of thinking and brainstorming, we decided to purchase the Ikea Latt play table as her second birthday gift.  It's only $20 and it was available online at the time, so I just shipped it to my mom's house so that I could give it a little makeover before her birthday.

This weekend, I got to work :)

I checked Pinterest for inspiration and found a lot of really, really cute hacks for this particular table.  I asked her mom what colors her new room is going to be in the new house they're building and she said she was leaning toward pink and gray, so I wanted to incorporate that into the table in some way in case it ended up in her new room rather than a play room.

I decided to do this all at home in New York because I knew I would be using spray paint, and it's safest to use that in a well-ventilated area (aka: not our apartment).  The pink paint that I used is a sample pot of Pantone's Blushing Bride, and the silver paint is just Martha Stewart acrylic craft paint.

I made sure to condition/prime the chalkboard paint after it was dry by rubbing a sideways piece of chalk all over the chalkboard and then erasing it with a dry washcloth.  I've heard that if you don't do that, you'll always be able to see the first thing you ever write on the chalkboard.  It worked like a dream for us!  I also added a dowel holder because I'm thinking about adding a roll of paper as part of her Christmas gift.  I'll be sure to post how that works if we decide to go through with it :)

We gave it to her this weekend because I'm not sure if we'll see her again before her birthday.  She absolutely loved it, which made both Roger and me so happy.  She's awesome.

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