Friday, February 19, 2010

Make Your Own Chalkboard

I was putting the accessories back in my home office after having painted, and was not excited to re-hang the 24" x 36" white dry- erase board. It looked junky against the swanky new "Red Delicious" walls. I poked around the internet for some ideas, and nothing grabbed me. Since the whiteboard has a brushed aluminum frame (that complements my office accents) and a tray for an eraser and markers, I've decided to keep it and turn it into a chalkboard.

Not neat.Neat.

At Home Depot, Rust-Oleum brand chalkboard paint is $11.75 for 1-Quart or $5.15 for a spray can in classic schoolhouse green or black. I'm going with black, in a spray can---1 quart is more than I need. They also sell a tintable base, and 12 custom colors if you're feeling fancy. An eraser is $3 and I already have chalk.

Recessionista alert---I'm spending under $10.00 for this DIY project!

The inspiration for this project comes from my sister Leslie, who painted a door in her cozy kitchen with chalkboard paint. Her daughter Hayley loves to draw and scribble reminders there. I was not aware that Mittens and Boots can read, but there are arrows to show them where their cat door is ;-)

My project:

Tape and sand whiteboard, lightly just to rough up the surface.

Spray 3 coats chalkboard paint, 30 mins apart.

Let dry/cure 24 hours, peel away the tape.

"Condition" the board by rubbing chalk over, then erasing.

Finished product! $8.00 investment.

Chalk up another quick and easy DIY project!

Here are some more expensive alternatives, if you don't mind spending $ or if you prefer ready-made:

There are lots of home office organizers available for purchase, like Pottery Barn's "Daily System." The set-up pictured below, with various "modules" like display rods, shelves, calendar, weekly planner, linen pinboard, cubbies, etc... can run well over $500.00. Yowza.

At the very least, you can make the planners and boards yourself! Rust-Oleum makes a white dry-erase 'paint' as well as a magnetic latex primer coat, in addition to chalkboard paint.

I'm not knocking "the 'Barn" (I get a lot of inspiration from their color schemes and traditional style) but as you can see, their stuff is pretty pricey.

Pottery Barn sells a Modular Chalkboard Tile 14" x 20" shown below (including eraser and chalk) for $135.00 Ouch!!

To DIY the 'tile', you can buy 1/8" thick Masonite board at a lumber store or a home improvement store like Lowe's or Home Depot--a 24" x 36" piece is less than $20...and cover it with chalkboard paint yourself! Hang it up "as is" for a contemporary look, or stick a piece of painted board inside a yard sale picture frame, and have a chalkboard! Or use an old mirror, or a big tray! The paint adheres to glass, wood, plastic, anything can be transformed.

Chalkboard Wall Applique tiles (9" x 12") 2 sets shown below, are available on in sets of 4 for $15.00/set.

To DIY that look, you can use blue painter's tape to mask off an area, and paint directly onto a wall. Leave the resulting chalkboard plain, or tack up decorative molding, or glue wide ribbon around the perimeter. Lots of possibilities!

For the very creative among us (I have not tried this...but it looks pretty cool) Martha Stewart has a recipe for make-it-yourself chalkboard paint. Who knew?! You just need flat paint in any color, and some grout. See the link below for directions:

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