Friday, April 22, 2011

Dining room chalkboard/menu sign

In the spirit of lessening the formality of the dining room, I decided to make a large chalkboard in there.  That way when people come to dinner I can post a menu.  Cute, right?  And disarming, I hope.  Originally, I wanted to paint the whole wall in the picture below {above the chair rail} in chalkboard paint, but there is a rough plaster finish on the walls that would make it impossible to wipe the chalk clean.

Remember this trip to Restore?  I also found a thin board in the right size that I could use to make a chalkboard {for $2}.  Then Handsome Hero got the idea to build a frame around it to finish the look.  So back to Restore we went, and found perfect, already stained baseboard for .10 cent a foot.  This chalkboard is costing us $3 {minus the chalkboard paint, which we already had, and shorter nail gun nails, but, you know, whatever}. 

Here's how to make a chalkboard {for those of you who are nervous to try it}.

Check your surface to make sure it's smooth.  Any bumps, while they won't show, will make drawing more difficult.  A fine grit sandpaper is usually all you need.  Sand lightly between each coat for the best finish.
If you aren't sure about how your surface will take paint, it's best to prime.  Keep in mind that a chalkboard is going to get a lot more action than a normal wall.  Here I primed in gray using a spray primer.  I chose gray because I had it on hand.

Once that was dry, I used a regular paint brush to apply the chalkboard paint.  You'll have to do several coats, because chalkboard paint is very thin and watery.  I did three coats on this project.  Also remember that once it is painted, you need to wait a minimum of three days {at least with Rustoleum} to write on it.  Just check the directions on the label.

Once it was painted, Handsome Hero made a beautiful frame for it.  Doesn't it look good?  Does anyone else see a little fairy hiding under the bench?

The chalkboard liked it's frame so much, it wrote two notes to Handsome Hero.  One in English, one in Ellese.  You don't know Ellese?  Well, very few linguistic experts have been able to decipher this lost language, but I happen to live with one of them, and she translated the sign, which said, "I love you, Daddy."

I love the thickness of the frame, but I'm not completely sold on the color.  It's has much more red in it than the rest of the furniture, and while I don't like things to be matchy-matchy, it might stick out too much.  I'm thinking of possibly doing something to darken it.  I haven't told Handsome Hero I might want to change his handiwork, and, thanks to the blog, now I don't have to. 

I like having a blog.

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