One of my favorite things to do is update my house on a budget. There is nothing better than getting a whole new look for just a few dollars. Plus, I love the creative process that goes hand in hand with repurposing objects. It’s so much fun to be able to create exactly what you want-finishes, colors, size, etc.- for your home.
With that said, I decided to jump on the chalkboard trend.
I knew we needed some sort of message center in our kitchen-to write shopping lists, notes to each other, appointments, etc. I had the perfect wall in mind-a space right as you enter the kitchen that we hadn’t utilized in the past for anything more than a flimsy calendar.
So I grabbed my level, yard stick and painter’s tape and decided to fill up the emptiness with a big rectangle. In hindsight, I definitely went about this backwards. I recommend finding the frame you want to use first, so you can size the chalkboard to it and not vice versa. But I’m pretty much the most impatient person ever, so I went ahead and made a rectangle, measured it and left to do some frame hunting at Goodwill.
I happened to get this bright idea on one of Goodwill’s 50% off Saturdays. This was both a blessing and a curse. It was well into the afternoon, so most of the Goodwill treasures had been snatched up. However, I did manage to find a frame I liked and scored it for HALF OFF! It was only $3.50 for this lovely gem and it had the perfect dimensions for my taped off rectangle back home.
I’m sorry if you like this purple masterpiece, but it’s about to get destroyed. I threw away the print because I could not think of any way to make it an acceptable part of my home. Or anyone’s. It had to go. Then, Matt-my muscles-took some sandpaper to it and removed the top layer of purple paint. If you don’t have a Matt, you’ll still be ok. Just sweatier.
And then we were off to our local hardware store. I wanted something that matched my kitchen, but wasn’t too matchy-matchy. It’s a science. The vibe in my kitchen is pretty eclectic (like the rest of my house), but definitely has a retro/vintage feel to it. I collect old strawberry prints and needlepoints, tin cake molds, and pyrex bowls with fun patterns to show off. I always have a rotating collection of bright tea towels hanging around and basically anything else to help distract from the awful cabinets and countertops.
I decided that a bright yellow would be a nice contrast against the black chalkboard, and would bring out small pops of yellow throughout the kitchen. So I bought this:
I simply picked out the brand with the best packaging.
I’m a big fan of matte finish, but feel free to gloss it up. It’s your life. #YOLO and all that.
Then we went home, and put down a bunch of newspaper in the backyard and proceeded to spray paint two coats on the frame. I didn’t get any pictures because it was about 110º outside and Teddy kept trying to run into the paint spray and we were all cranky and there was probably yelling because we are just regular people and not HGTV stars and sometimes spray painting in the heat with your dog and boyfriend is not fun. DIY’s not always a day at the beach, people.
But we survived and went inside and painted a coat of chalkboard paint in our taped off rectangle.
Make sure you follow the directions on the chalk paint can exactly. This is not for the faint of heart-let me recite for you what Rustoleum demands:
Dries to the touch in 30 minutes, to handle in 2 hours and fully dry in 4 hours. May be recoated after 4 hours. We recommend 3 coats. After 3 days, the chalkboard is ready to use. Before writing, condition the surface by rubbing a piece of chalk over the entire surface and erase. This will leave a coat of chalk that will provide the best erasability. Chalkboard can be wiped clean with a damp cloth. Wait 7 days before wiping it down. Repeat conditioning step after cleaning.
So I suggest starting this project three months ago for best results;)
Ain’t nobody got time for that! I admit, we waited the 3 days, but not the 7. Maybe our chalkboard will never win any erasability awards, but I’m ok with that. Here it is at its best:
Then I “conditioned” it and spent an hour looking at quotes on Pinterest before settling on this one:
But Matt walked in and said “Is sincerer a real word?” and I said “It was real enough for George Bernard Shaw.” That shut him up but it ruined it for me because after that, all I could see was sincerer and it was driving me crazy, so I erased it all and ended up just keeping the flower border.
I have to tell you one more thing and then you can be dismissed. I wanted to be able to erase and clean the board without getting all that gunk up in the sides of the frame, so my solution was to hang the frame on the wall using Command Brand Velcro strips, which means that it sticks to the wall, but I can detach it at any time, clean the board and plop it back up in the wall like nothing happened. Over and over again.
So there you go! All in all I spent less than $20 in supplies-but I already had the Chalkboard paint on hand.