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Monday, July 28, 2014

DIY Chalkboards

So pretty much anyone who hasn't been living under a rock over the last couple of years knows that chalkboards have become extremely popular recently - and they're not just for schools anymore. In fact, I think they've really taken off because of that classic, vintage look that's so "in" right now. You can see them used in homes, for weddings, parties, and photography. A couple of years ago, I wanted a chalkboard for our kitchen, and looked everywhere before finding one that I thought would work. I snatched that one up (it's the big one you see in the photo below), despite having a maroon-colored border that I figured I'd just paint eventually. Fast forward two or three years later, you can now find chalkboards pretty much everywhere, and it's even extremely easy to DIY one with chalkboard paint.

I took my hand at DIY'ing a few recently for my sister Haley's wedding. Of course, they'll most likely be used in ours too next year, and eventually be in our house as well.


Here's how I did it. I started with this lovely group:


On the left are two old picture frames (with the glass) I picked up at Trent's aunt's yard sale. The small blue frame is wooden, and the longer white one is a durable plastic. On the right is an actual chalkboard I picked up a few years ago (I believe at Marshall's), but it is a little too "country" looking for my style, so I decided to paint the border white. And you can see that some of the chalkboard paint had ripped off with the paper that was on there, so my plan was to paint over it with chalkboard paint once I was finished with the frame.

Here is the Chalkboard paint I finally got to break out - I've been waiting to use this stuff:


The first thing I did was paint the glass that came inside frames, with the chalkboard paint. It was a little difficult to get even, so I definitely needed a good 3 coats to get it all fully covered. This was after the first coat:


And this was after a few coats. Nice and even:



Then it was time to paint the frames. I taped off the inside of the large one. I had to use duct tape, since we didn't have any painter's tape on hand, but I didn't mind if it peeled the inside paint off, since I was planning to paint over it again with chalkboard paint.


I spray painted the largest and smallest frames white. This was after one coat (they needed a couple):


When it was all dry, I pulled the tape off of the large chalkboard. And as you can see, several small pieces peeled off of the edges, so I did end up painting over the whole thing with chalkboard paint.


I couldn't wait until they were all dry so I could assemble them again and write on them! I waited at least a full day to put them back together and get my chalk on. Saleen, Trent, and I all hung out outside on the patio while I worked my magic (ha - more like scribbled some words on the chalkboard):


Here were the two white framed ones all completed:


We used the smallest one for the Candy table and didn't really even change anything on it. It had a stand on the back already, so it worked perfectly. The largest one we had no idea what to use for, so I just scribbled down a short little menu for an idea. 


At Haley's wedding, we ended up standing it on the floor at the reception right at the entrance. I wrote something like, "Please choose a seat but your real place is on the dance floor". Trent had made a quick stand out of a 2x4 and a door hinge a couple of days before...kind of a last minute fix to make it stand up, but it worked: 


For the third and final chalkboard, I ended up picking up some gold spray paint and painting it a shiny gold color for more of a vintage look:


This was another one that we weren't sure what to use it for, but I just thought of a cute little wedding-related quote, and we ended up setting it on the gift table at the reception. 


I'm sure I'll be using them at our wedding next year, and I am still planning on hanging the big one up in the kitchen when we get it renovated. Another possible place was the hallway, but I'm thinking it might be too big for the space there. But anyway, I really liked this project...it was actually pretty fun to do, and now I'm trying to figure out what else I can use my chalkboard paint for! Any ideas?!

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