Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Chalkboard paint

So, I know the chalkboard paint is all the rage right now (or, you know, six months or a year ago, and maybe I'm a little behind) and everyone's already written about it, but I wanted to give it a try anyway, even if I am a little late to the game.

First, I needed to figure out what I was going to do with such a chalkboard. I decided it would be good to keep in the kitchen to use for a running grocery list. We try to write things down as we run out of them, but we either forget or write things on different scraps of paper that inevitably get lost. (Note: I have no expectations whatsoever of David using a chalkboard--although I do fully expect him to make fun of the fact that two adults have a chalkboard in the kitchen--but I figure as long as I'm using it and he tells me when he thinks of something we need from the grocery and I write it down, then the chalkboard will serve its purpose).

Once I knew how I was going to use the chalkboard, the project began.

I bought a frame for 99 cents as Goodwill.

Most were $1.99 or $2.99--or even more--but I was determined to spend the least amount possible. I'm pretty sure this one cost less because of those four spots on the frame where the finish had rubbed off, but I didn't really care what kind of shape the frame was in, because I was going to paint it anyway.

I used a paint sample left over from the bathroom painting project (click here, here, and here for "before," "during," and "after" pictures of that one) to paint the frame. Here's how it looked after a couple of coats:

I bought a can of Rust-Oleum black chalkboard spray paint from Home Depot for about $5. After washing and drying the glass, I followed the instructions on the can, coating the glass with two coats of paint.

I did this out on the patio, on newspaper on our table. It was fine except for one thing--I hadn't thought about the wind, and some newspaper that I hadn't properly secured blew up and onto the paper, causing streaks. I tried to wipe them off, but the paint had already started drying, so I just left lines in the paint. Oops.

I decided I'd have to buy a second cheap frame to use that glass for the original frame. Back to Goodwill.

I liked the second frame (apparently so much that I forgot to get a picture of it) and decided I'd paint it as well. Who knew.... maybe the first piece of glass would work out and I could have two chalkboard frames. Twice the fun, right?

I painted the frame with the second (and final) sample paint color from painting the bathroom and used the chalkboard paint to paint the second piece of glass.

Once everything was dry, I seasoned the chalkboards by rubbing the side of a piece of chalk on each piece of glass, coating the entire surface, then wiping it off. This is supposed to keep your writing from being etched in the chalkboard.

Oddly enough, the first chalkboard--the one I thought I'd messed up--turned out pretty well. The second, not so much. This was more noticeable after seasoning--in the picture below, you can see where there are some spots around the edges.

I'm not sure what happened. Oh well. I was really happy with how both painted frames turned out, so I decided to use both of them anyway.

The yellow one with the messed-up chalkboard may have to go inside a cabinet, but hey, it's still a fun way to keep the grocery list. Also, I'm hoping the mistakes won't be as noticeable when there's writing on the chalkboard.

On a slightly related topic, I'm glad I'm finding ways to use up the extra paint from the samples. I think they'll make good accent colors around the house. In fact, I've already used the green on something else.... I'll show you that soon!

Are you a fan of chalkboard paint?

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