Naptime Gnome Idea #35
Chalkboard ideas from around the house
My mom used to joke that if it didn’t run away I’d paint it, which incidentally included oodles of friends and a few willing pets over the years. When my white Converse could no longer be rescued by the washer… no worries, blue camouflage ought to do the trick. Grass-stained jeans — paint a flower over the top. Windows, doors, walls, furniture, clothes, skin, not even my car was safe from the urge to color my world. I would often paint things over and over again as my tastes and moods changed. Over the years my time to create has obviously dwindled, but my tendency to make things new and different has remained. So it follows that surfaces which afford quick and easy manipulation hold greater favor than ever before. Enter chalkboard paint! I’ve been dragging my feet on a chalkboard post, honestly because it seems like it’s been done time and time again. Pinterest is seemingly flooded with mirrors and picture frames gone message centers, and all sorts. But every time my mom visits she wonders, ever so loudly, why I still haven’t posted any of my chalkboard projects, so in the name of making my amazing momma happy and going with the trendy crafty flow, here are a few 1 to 2 naptime projects that can transform any item into a canvas that can be reworked over and over again, in moments!
My favorite chalkboard in the house is without question our kitchen board. I got the idea looking through one of Lowe’s fantastic little Creative Ideas publications a few years ago. There was an ENTIRE kitchen wall done up as a chalkboard (well before that was common place), and I was instantly in lust. So I set to finding a wall in our kitchen to convert to message board, menu display, grocery list and child’s play center. Then I realized, we don’t have ANY “walls” in our kitchen, they are all covered with fantastic storage devices, appliances and windows… SOOOO, why not make the storage units multitask? The side of the cabinet that houses the ovens was roughed up. Then I used Liquid Nails to glue the chalk caddy/catch-all, made of scrap crown molding (faux painted to match our cabinets, which are also faux painted… they didn’t run fast enough). After holding the caddy in place for what seemed like FOREVER, I propped a chair up against it and painted the exposed surface with brushable black chalkboard paint. *Just an aside, if you haven’t used Liquid Nails yet… please do! This project has been done for about 4 years now and I can’t tell you how many times I’ve caught Little Bear HANGING on the chalk caddy. The thing hasn’t budged, and it’s only held in place by liquid nails, that’s enough field trial for me!* The chalkboard surface is not as smooth as sprayed surfaces, but the brushable paint is much cheaper and we didn’t have to put up with that disagreeable aerosol aroma. To reduce the appearance of brushstrokes, be sure to avoid over brushing, the tacky-partially-dried paint gums up under the brush and causes more noticeable brushstrokes. If you feel you need to touch up a spot or increase coverage, wait until the entire surface is DRY and then go back over where you feel necessary. Just like the with spray paint, thinner is better, just use more coats if you need better coverage. When you’re done, and it has dried at least over night, go over the entire surface with the side of a piece of chalk, then wipe or clean off. This will impregnate the paint with a minute amount of chalk and help prevent long term ghost images.
This board gets daily use, I particularly like using it to keep track of an in progress recipe, but THIS is why it’s my favorite board in the house…
My next favorite board is Little Bear’s headboard. It’s just a sheet of plywood framed and painted first with magnetic paint and then with brown chalkboard paint. It functions as a magnetic play space and a chalkboard we can decorate together, or leave messages just for him.
It’s oodles of fun and I highly recommend this project, but be sure to keep an old blanket or drop cloth rolled up at the head of the bed, this way it can be rolled out to cover the pillow and covers during play. Otherwise you’ll end up with one dusty bed!
We’ll see how well you guessed next time!
-The Naptime Gnome <;’)
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