Thursday, October 18, 2012

Chalkboard Project

(Sorry for the poor picture quality. This post originally had edited photos, but then the site hosting those got deleted, so I had to re-upload the originals from my phone. I couldn't bring myself to make time to re-edit all the photos!)

I've been seeing a lot of chalkboard projects floating around on Pinterest (like this one here) for a while, and I decided that I finally wanted to try my hand at making my own! I consider this project an actual "craft" because it involves more than three steps (referring to the silly differentiation I made here).

Step 1) Purchase large picture frames. I picked these two up at the Goodwill by my house. After much debating, I ended up getting two for a whopping $20 total. The frames were in great condition, and the glass wasn't all musty or scratched.

(I could NOT get this picture to rotate correctly, sorry!)
Step 2) Take the frames apart. For the yellow frame, this involved taking the back covering off. This was good news, in my opinion, because it pretty much guaranteed me that the little staples holding the back of the picture in would not be already manipulated to the point of breaking off just from me touching them. I have no idea how to get those staples in once they come out, so I was relieved to know I was probably getting fresh staples that had never been bent.

Step 3) Sand the frames down to be primed and painted. Kyle was excited to use our little sanding mouse to help with this part. We bought the sanding mouse a long time ago with a wedding gift card and haven't been able to use it yet. It worked great!

Step 4) Prepare the glass. I followed these instructions here on how to prep the glass for painting. First I used Goo Gone to remove the price tag sticker, and then washed the glass clean with Windex. Then, I used some fine grit sandpaper to buff the glass. This isn't pictured, but it's just like it sounds - put the sand paper on the glass and "sand". No real visible particles will come off the glass, but the sandpaper will create a dust residue, so use a wet rag or cloth to wipe it clean when done. 

Step 5) Paint the glass. This part was scary! I've never worked with chalkboard paint before, so I had to research what kind to get. After much research, it seemed that spray paint goes on smoother but doesn't last as long, whereas paint from the can goes on rougher but lasts way longer (so I wont have to add more coats as often). I decided to use paint from a can because I want to be able to design and erase multiple times before I have to add more coats.

The paint goes on just like regular paint. I don't know why this was so shocking to me, but for some reason it just seems magical - the whole idea of paint that makes a chalkboard.

I used a medium sized polyester roller I had left over from when we painted the walls. I also tried using a mini-foam roller we had on hand, and it seemed to just slide across the glass instead of rolling. Something about the polyester roller made the roller actually roll across the glass - which is what I wanted.

I read on-line that the paint will look "bubbly" when it first goes on, and that's okay. It gets less bubbly as it dries and more coats are added. You can see here the bubbly effect:

When the first coat dried, it was much more smooth. You can see here that there were some imperfections, including a fuzzy from the roller that dried in the paint and I had to yank it out with a pair of tweezers (far right).

It was all covered up as additional coats were added. I did three coats total, letting them dry 24 hours each time.

Step 6) This step can be done at any time, really. As I was letting the glass dry, I started adding coats of white paint to the frames. The primer coat is shown below. I added three more coats of white paint to the frames (just some semi-gloss indoor white paint we had left over).

Step 7) Put the dried glass back into the white frame and voila - all done! I followed the instructions I found on-line and ran a piece of chalk sideways over the entire exposed chalkboard surface to "buffer" the surface. Decorate! I found these free printables on-line and decided it wouldn't be too hard to replicate onto the chalkboard. Not my best artwork ever, but I'm still pretty pleased!

Giving it grace: This project was fun because Kyle got to help me with it, and he too was curious to see how the chalkboard paint worked. It was also fun because this craft was way out of my comfort many steps! BUT - it's fun to try new things, and even though it's not Etsy worthy, I still really enjoy it! I'm thankful for this season in our lives where we have the time, money, and energy to try, explore and experience things that aren't crucial to our livelihood, but are still fruitful and make good memories :)

1 comment:

  1. Excellent job. I love the way you document each step for us. I would have just painted it on wood but the glass obviously is a much smoother and non-porous surface. Thanks for sharing.