Friday, August 19, 2011

Writing on the Walls: DIY Chalkboard Paint

This wall is still a work in progress, but I might as well show what we have going on so far.

A while back I ripped out some pages from a Martha Stewart Living magazine about making your own chalkboard paint.  It looked easy and fun. 

And since then I've seen other people do it.  Like Centsational Girl.  And I just like the chalkboard wall at A Soft Place to Land.  Inspiring!

I finally got around to trying it before school started.  It was a two step process for me. 

Here's the wall before...complete with a dog toy, a random shoe, and other stuff that happens with kids.

The first day I had to prime Chippy and Peeled with my Peel-Stop Paint.  Most people get to skip that step.

The next day while my munchkins were giggling up a storm and taking forever to eat....I made a batch of chalkboard paint.  I used 1 cup of Valspar's Filtered Shade paint and 2 tbsp of unsanded grout.  The paint was leftover from the stripes I did in Scooter's boy cave.   I marked 1 cup on a glass jar (from salsa) and then added paint up to that mark.  I added the unsanded grout and stirred well with a paint stir stick.  Super easy.

Being that I have a very open home, I was able to paint the wall in the kid's hall and still see/hear my munchkins using bad table manners.  At least they were having fun.

The chalkboard paint is very thick, like a paste almost.  I started with a foam brush, but liked how a bristle brush was able to spread out the granules better.  I did 2 coats.  We let it dry overnight and then the kids attacked the wall with chalk.  Once we've erased a few of those drawings....the wall was seasoned. 

When I told Biker Boy I was going to make  a chalkboard wall he was skeptical.  He was worried the kid would poke holes in the drywall with the chalk.  We already had an easel for the kids to write on.  While I love the easel, we don't have a huge house and it was eating up some floor space that I would have preferred to keep open.  Plus we tripped on the easel now and then.  Oh and ignore the blue tape on the floor in the photo below too.  That's been there for over 6 months and will probably be there another 2 years, until we build the media unit that the tape is marking out.

When I told Biker Boy I had made a chalkboard wall I got a "what did you do" look.  It was only when I showed him the wall that he seemed pleased.  Apparently he thought I was going to paint the wall with my black chalkboard paint.  He didn't want a dark wall.  I didn't either since the kid's hallway doesn't see much natural light. 

The chalkboard is subtle.  You can barely tell things are written on it until you get up near it.  Just the way we like it. 

I also have textured walls.  I had debated painting a smooth board and nailing it up to the wall, but decided I could try the textured wall first.  It works just fine.  And for more random info....I only used 1 cup of paint and had a little leftover.  It dried up in the glass jar, even with a lid on.  The area I painted was 43" high and 39" wide.  There was plenty of paint for 2 coats. 

I was going to put a piece of moulding up between the chalkboard and the wall above, but Biker Boy likes it without.  He said it leaves less nail holes in the wall.  So for now it will be moulding free....but you never know.  It's still a work in progress.  I've got some IKEA frames just waiting to get photos and be hung up on that wall.  So it's still a work in progress.

And look how much more room we have now that the easel has been moved.  So much more room to play indoor basketball and leave our camping stuff lying around. 

That's our chalkboard wall in progress.  It makes me want to paint the rest of that hallway.  I'm crazy like that.  If you visit, feel free to write on the wall. The chalkboard wall.
Have you tried DIY chalkboard paint?

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