I’m not quite sure how or why, but for some reason chalk is back in style. You would think that the invention of white boards would bring the screeching chalkboard to it’s rightful place of extinction, but somehow we have decided as a society that those chalkboards not only deserve to be in the front of classrooms everywhere, but they should also hold a place of distinction in our homes.
I have to admit, the swirls and patterns of the fancy chalk art fonts are fun to look at, even if they are almost impossible to emulate. With school starting, and my organizational skills at their yearly peak, I decided that I would go ahead and jump on the dusty chalk bandwagon.
First I had to think of a reason to have a chalkboard in my house. I mean, what’s the point of making one if you aren’t going to use it!? I finally settled on making a longer, thinner board for the purpose of writing a weekly menu (an idea I stole from a friend’s kitchen).
As I was shopping for paint I noticed that I could also easily include a magnetic primer, adding an extra use for my board! I picked up a can of both the magnetic primer and the chalkboard paint. Rather than using a bristle brush, I purchased a foam roller to obtain a smooth finish.
For the board itself I went to Goodwill, the true land of opportunity. It took a couple of trips, but eventually I found the perfect one for my selected purpose.
My last stop was the craft store. I needed some acrylic paint for the frame of my chalkboard, and I wanted to get some inspiration for any embellishments I might like to add. In the end I decided that less is more and opted to go sans embellishment. Instead, I went with a two tone paint job on the frame. I also picked up a can of finishing spray to give my project a more polished look.
Because I am impatient and like to work on a project from start to finish in one sitting, I decided to separate the frame from the board surface so that I could work on them at the same time. In order to not confuse you, however, I will talk about them separately. I painted my frame with several coats using a foam brush. When the frame was dry, I painted the inside edge of the frame a contrasting color. I felt it was a little detail that could go a long way in achieving the overall look I was going for. Once the entire frame had a chance to dry completely, I sprayed it with the finishing spray a couple of times.
As I started painting the chalkboard surface I noticed a couple of things right away. The first is that the magnetic primer is an extremely thick paint and needs a very strong stir stick to get it to the correct consistency. The second is that gloves are advisable while doing this project. Let’s just say that magnetic paint does not come off of skin or jewelry easily.
The brand I used suggested 3 coats, however I feel a 4th coat could have helped enhance the magnetic strength of the board.
Once the primer was dry I started on the chalkboard surface. This is super easy paint to use, and is practically foolproof. The only real thing to ensure is that you are painting on a smooth surface.
The chalkboard paint I used suggested that the paint set for at least 3 days before using chalk on it. This is a hard step. When that paint is dry, and you have chalk sitting right next to it, you will have to fight the urge to draw scrolling ivy.
Once the frame and chalkboard surface were dry and cured, I put them back together. For me, this is the stage at which I would add embellishments. I added some monogram magnets using board game letters, hot glue and super strong magnets. I also considered adding some sort of ribbon on the inside edge, or even a painted wooden monogram hot glued to the frame.
With my frame complete all I need to do now is practice my fancy font making skills!