Wednesday, September 05, 2012

DIY Chalkboard

I had read a blog this past early Spring and the girl was learning lettering and practicing each day on a chalkboard. I thought it was really cool and loved the designs she was making. It also introduced me to Dana Tanamachi, whose work is just amazing. I roamed around looking for a chalkboard for a few weeks and wasn't able to find one. Then, like most things, I just forgot about it and moved on to one of my million other projects.

This past weekend, the mister and I were discussing the look and feel I want for my up and coming soap shop. One of the things he mentioned was using a chalkboard. I went into this big long discussion about work I had seen earlier this year, and how funny it was he brought it up because I had been wanting to try it out but just couldn't find a chalkboard. So, I decided to make my own.

I gathered together (and/or purchased..)

A frame - any sort of frame will do, new or old. What ever you want (or no frame and you'll have even a quicker project! haha)
The board - for mine I used 1/4" Plywood that I got at my local Lowes
Chalkboard paint - I used Krylon spray paint - but I did also see it in regular paint as well (It would be     interesting to know if they both work equally or if one is better than the other.)
Tacking nails

First step is finding a frame that you would like to use. In our antique adventures this weekend I came across this perfect and amazing frame. It was exactly what I had envisioned for the board. I couldn't believe it when I pulled it out from a pile of broken frames. Fifteen dollars later and it was all mine..

Of course I couldn't just get a nice simple square or rectangle! That would be too easy and no fun!

We carefully traced the frame onto the board. Do this by laying down your frame onto the board you will be using and pushing the pencil and tracing into the "lip" where the board will be placed when it's all finished. (It helps having two set of hands for this so the frame doesn't move as you are working your way around.)

Next step is the jigsaw. I needed adult supervision for this part. Actually the adult just took right over! I'm not entirely sure the mister is the "adult" but he is definitely the master at anything power tool related. 

I have left out the swearing section. Which would have been placed <here> when realizing the board does not fit into the frame even though we very CAREFULLY traced the measurements. So a little tweaking and some skimming off here and there. Voila. It finally fit!

Moving right along (footloose and fancy free..sorry I can never say this statement without thinking of the muppets..)


Okay..back to the project..Paint! I bought Krylon Chalkboard spray paint. But chalkboard paint also comes in the quart or gallon if you are making this an indoor project. (Valspar makes it by the quart and can be found at Lowes. I found the Kyron at WalMart)

I shouldn't have to explain this part! <Paint> I used one can and kept making more and more passes over both pieces. I would go horizontal and then vertical. 

I decided to use the other half of my board as a practice board. It's not going to be framed and will just be extra space for me to practice on while the fancy one will be for my shop.

Almost finished. I popped it back in the frame just to check out what the final product would look like...

Almost there but don't miss this important step! "Season" your board. To do this take a piece of chalk and rub it all over the board and wipe off with a rag or eraser.

Lastly, place the board back into the frame and using small tacking nails tack in the board to the frame. That's it. Easy quick afternoon project (though the paint needs to set for 24 hours before you use it) Have fun. I feel like a kid again playing with chalk, it's such a great medium.