With it looming in my face every day, I couldn't forget about it. After months of talking about fixing it up, I finally went at it with a spray can of chalkboard paint. Fifteen minutes later...voila!
Super quick. Super easy. Super fun.
Also very important is starting with a very smooth surface. I neglected to do any sanding before I started and the result is a slightly rough chalkboard that eats chalkboard brushes in no time flat. It's a bit better now that we've used it a bit and worn down the roughness, but it's probably better to start with a smooth surface in the first place.
I still plan to paint the rest of it, change out the feet and find new knobs. For now, I am simply enjoying having a place to doodle. Abner is enjoying having a place to rub her hands all over and then wipe them on her clothes.