Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Framed Chalkboard Wall

Ugh well the first week back after the holidays came and went and was super exhausting.  I had some projects around the house that I've been working on that took a little longer to get completed but boy am I ever happy with them as they are progressing!

The first item checked off the list is one I've been dreaming up for months now.  Back in the summer I found an "As-Is" frame in the clearance section at HomeSense for $12.00. It was a nice big size, had a great looking finish and happened to be the perfect greyish blue color so I couldn't pass it in.  When I got it home, I realized it had been a mirror at one point, that had obviously shattered.  This discovery came after I was picking glass out of my foot :(

Anyhow, I had a fantastic idea that I was gonna paint the wall with chalkboard paint (even went and bought a can) and then add the frame and presto! instant framed chalkboard wall..... I think that was back in July.....

Until about a month ago, the frame was still leaning against the wall, precariously leaning and freaking out the dog. I had of course tried to hang it the day I purchased it, but of course the hanging hardware it was sporting didn't work for what I wanted.  So I added a note in my phone to pick up hardware since I couldn't find the pack I thought I had purchased a few weeks prior.  Of course, the day after I bought new hardware and got the stupid thing hung, I found the original package.

But what about the chalkboard you ask? Why did that take so long to accomplish? Well you see, I am actually grossed out by chalk.....! Yup, the dry texture just gives me the creeps.  I get goosebumps just thinking about it! What's worst than a dry texture? One dry item scratching against another..... Yuck.  Ergo, I was worried I might not even use the stupid chalkboard.  I had a little one I bought back in the fall, accompanied by some Chalk Markers and while they are ok, if I make sure to keep the marker tip very wet, I'm still not a huge fan.

But of course, one of my goals for 2015 is to actually start accomplishing the ridiculously long, laundry list of projects around here! So On Saturday afternoon, a burst of ambition and energy that followed a nap on the couch with the pup, yielded some results!

I didn't really take step-guy-step photos since I figured most people know how to paint but here's a quick and easy how-to for anyone who may not be so experienced with projects like these.

Since I wasn't going to paint the WHOLE wall, but purely just inside the frame, I had to mark it out.  I simply made sure it was sitting pretty centred on the wall (my light switches are on this wall so instead of trying to hide that, I just roll with it), then I popped a level ontop to make sure it was actually straight before I started marking.  Now, I'm not too great with numbers and measurements or anything like that so where some people would have done some sort of fancy measurements of the frame, the wall, the opening size and where the hanger is placed....... I literally used a pencil and traced the outside and inside (holding me pencil angled inwards when I did the inner part of the frame as I wanted to make my chalkboard portion slightly larger than the actual visible field).   I know most people are probably shaking their heads at this format, but it works for me.  Do whatever makes sense to you!

Then I used tape to tape off the edges of the inside frame (I also did the outer just for own reference).  While I was at it, I taped the baseboard, removed the light switch plate and put some tape over the switches.  Then I simply used a 1" brush and cut in around the edges and then filled the whole thing in.   I did thr first coat with a brush since I was being lazy and already had that out.  Of course, I wasn't happy with the finish so I did cost 2 with a roller and that worked much better.  I also just painted right over the screw that was still in the wall since I still planned on hanging stuff inside the frame.  Mostly this was due to laziness and the fact that if I had removed it and patched the hole, I would have to wait for someone who isn't creeped out by sandpaper ( like me) to come and sand it down; it was also partly on purpose cause this way, if I don't have something hanging, the screw doesn't stand out! 

When the paint still a little bit wet, I pulled off the tape which left me with nice crisp edges. Then it was just left to dry for a couple hours.  After I put the switch plate back on, I hung the frame and mirror back on the wall and called it a day since they suggest leaving it to fully dry for 3 days before curing the chalkboard. I couldn't stop looking at it- I really love the black wall! 

A few days later I donned some gloves and gritted my teeth so I could cure the chalkboard by rubbing a stick of chalk sideways all over the painted area.  I'm not sure why, but this is what prevents the first impression left by writing with the chalk from being permanent and helps it erase properly.

Then, I busted out the chalkboard markers and decided on what to put up there.  Since I was having some gas for dinner, I thought it would be a nice touch to have the menu on display!  I look forward to swapping out seasonal greetings, to-do lists, reminders or whatever I fancy. 

Overall, I'm super pleased with how things turned out and I can't believe it took me that long to get it done! I actually anticipate there might be a few more spaces in the houses getting the dark wall and/or chalkboard treatment very soon!
Let me know what you think!  Have you jumped on the chalkboard bandwagon?

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