My daughter is OBSESSED with trains and I've been yearning to make a project from ana's page for YEARS. This was a perfect opportunity to start my first project and I'm pretty proud of myself with the results!
I scouted out wood for a few weeks and bought all my 1x6's and 1x3's at a discount wood place and the 1x2's were on sale at Home Depot for .80 cents a pop. All cuts were free cuts with the 'big machines' at the lumber shops.
I used pocket holes to attach the frame and the frame to the bottom plywood and plugged the holes.
I hand sanded all the wood before building and then at a finer grade after and finer still between finish coats.
Wood conditioned and stained in English Chestnut (2 coats) and 3 coats of high gloss clear finish over a period of 3 days. All Minwax.
Aside from a few wonky pocket hole screws going through the other side (my first time using a kreg is this project) and having to fix 'em, this was a pretty easy/fun project to do. My 2 year old helped plug holes and sand a little.
The flip-side of the shiny stained table top is a chalkboard which has been a HUGE hit because it is almost tripple the size kiddo has been drawing with and it's pretty nice. The chalkboard paint was the latex stuff found in home-depot...some can be coloured but i went with standard black.
Interior-flip of lid = black chalkboard paint.