Sunday, March 16, 2014

Giant Chalkboard

Happy spring break! Yes, even nursing students get a small break. Unfortunately I still have homework, online tests to take, and a paper to write but thankfully I have seven days to get those accomplished. 

My first priority was to make at least one DIY project this week. Sure my priorities may seem a little out of order, but if I tell you it was for my favorite little would that make it sound better? Good because it IS for my favorite little! And also for me, because let’s be honest, with or without kids we are all a little selfish.

There is a wall in our kitchen that is boring, bare, and in desperate need of some TLC. See? It’s practically screaming, “Make me useful!” Who am I to tell that wall its useless?   

So of course I headed to Pinterest for some Kitchen ideas. I wasn’t in love with anything I had found (this rarely happens) and ended up pinning ideas for Sophia’s birthday party, bathroom ideas, my future closet, and playroom ideas. While looking at the marvelous playrooms I noticed one had a chalkboard wall, say what?! How neat! 

We rent, so painting an entire wall black was definitely not an option. 

Project: Giant Chalkboard
Specs: Sturdy, eye-pleasing, not permanent, and fun for our little.
Deadline: Before I start school on March 24th.

DISCLAIMER: Rant ahead.
“You’re spoiling her rotten! She runs your house doesn’t she? Why would you put a giant chalkboard in your kitchen?! What a mess that makes. Your house must be a mess all the time.”

These are some of the many things I am asked told when I tell stories of our crazy life or tell people about my next big project.

Here’s why I want a giant chalkboard in our kitchen, why I let her draw on my fridge with dry erase markers, play in the sink until it almost overflows onto the floor, or blow bubbles in our kitchen: SHE’S A KID! She is a learning, full of energy, curious, and sometimes naughty KID. We do set boundaries, but generally when there is danger associated with an activity, such as a safety handle on our front door so she can’t run outside and no running in the house because there are sharp corners on some of our furniture pieces.

So maybe she does “run this house” because this is her home. This is her learning environment, this is where I want her to be who she is as her two year old self, where she can make mistakes, and where she can feel confident in all that she does.
This does not make me a bad parent and it does not make her an unruly child. She does have rules, she still has a bedtime, she has to eat her veggies, and she needs to use her manners. Yes, she does misbehave, she pouts, she doesn’t sit nicely in church every Sunday, she throws fits in the grocery store because I won’t buy her favorite fruit snacks, and she recently learned how to stick out her tongue. She’s two.

Enough of that bologna. Let’s get to the fun stuff!

1 large sheet of plywood. (We had ours cut at 3 by 5)
Magnetic primer
Chalkboard paint
Moulding for the frame (I bought white to save some paint time)
Wood glue to attach moulding to the board
Small screws 


1. Start with the magnetic primer. You need three thin coats of magnetic primer.  I used a roller to make sure I had nice, thin, and even layers. I rolled the first layer on and let it dry for two hours. I then rolled on layer two and again waited for two hours while it dried. The last coat was rolled on and I waited not so patiently while it dried for two hours.

2. Next is the chalkboard paint. You will need two coats of chalkboard paint. I let the first coat dry for two hours, and the second coat dried overnight.
I recommend testing a spot near the edge. That way if for some reason it doesn't work out, it will be covered up by the moulding.
3. In between dry times, I cut the moulding to size. Okay, actually Joey did because using a saw is NOT by forte. (I swear in every project post I brag about how great he is, but it’s because he is really great. I am so lucky that I can come up with some bizarre project and he can help me make it perfect!)

4. The next morning when everything was dry, I glued the moulding onto the painted board. Make sure you don’t use too much glue because it is a pain to clean up. You also don’t want to use too little glue, or you end up with this:

5. The glue just was not holding on the corners, so my hunk decided to use some screws to better secure the moulding. (I’m glad I keep him around.)

6. Next you need to hang it up. We used this to secure the chalkboard to the wall. It’s pretty nifty!

7. Before you let your favorite little at it, you need to prep the chalkboard. To do this you need to take a piece of chalk, turn it onto its side and rub it along the entire chalkboard. Next, take a paper towel or soft cloth and rub the chalk into the board using a circular motion. To finish the prep, take an eraser and erase any leftover chalk.

All in all, this DIY project was pretty easy. It does require a lot of time though, so I recommend you don’t start this project until you have at least a couple of free days.

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