Thursday, July 22, 2010

My First Attempt at a Chalkboard

*WARNING* Once again I have managed to include to many pictures in my post!

So I have known for awhile now that I needed a large piece of artwork for my kitchen (there is a large hole in the wall from the old stove venting hose). 

And I have really been inspired by chalkboards lately...and really, aren't chalkboards a great alternative to art in the kitchen?  so I have been on the hunt for a large frame with some classically inspired embellishments.  So while shopping at a local consignment shop at lunch one day a couple of weeks ago I spotted this little lady...

(Miss Bunny B in the corner)

Her coloring was pretty hideous, but she was heavy and substantial, had great lines, and the artwork was hideous enough that I wasn't going to feel bad about spray painting over it and then just ripping it out.


so I headed to my local Ace Hardware store and picked up some supplies...

A piece of scrap 1/2" plywood that they had in stock cut down to the correct size (I brought my frame in with me and the guy who cut it took it in the back with him so he could get the right measurements), some magnetic spray paint (which ended up being a money pit), some chalkboard paint, foam sponges, spray primer and pink spray paint.

Because I was using spray primer I didn't sand the frame at all; however, I did sand the plywood with a 320 grit sanding block before I spray primered it.

After the first coat of primer...

(Miss Bunny B again...she just LOVES to refinish things!)

So I then moved on to spray painting just the frame in Ballet Slipper pink.  (The house I rent was built in the 1920's and has a very cute vintagey feel.  So I have tried to keep in line with the feel of kitchen and spice it up with very retro feeling colors and artwork.)

The color came out beautifully but it had that I-just-spray-painted look and feel.  So I tried my luck with my first attempt at glazing (more on that here).  It came out pretty good in my opinion.  so I took to pulling the artwork out and installing my chalkboard painted piece of plywood.

All I had on hand were round staples for my staple I just went with it!  And once I was done, I tried nailing in a finishing nail at an angle to finish things off.  Now the first one worked out great...but the second one...went right through the plywood and not into the frame.  Oops!  Guess I didn't go in with enough of an angle...

So I just moved on and took it in stride!  I decided to no longer use the finishing nails and felt confident that my chalkboard was secure in its frame with the staples.  So I just touched up the blemish with some chalkboard paint (a pretty thick coat to fill it in, since the rest of the plywood got a three coat finish).

And it ended up being just fine...

You can barely notice it.  Now for my little rant about the spray paint magnetic surface.  I didn't want to spend $28.99 for the 1 quart can of the magnetic paint, so I opted for the $8.99 bottle of spray paint.  Now the coverage on the can says 2-3 square feet.  Now my piece of plywood is a little larger then that at just over 4 sq. ft. so I only sprayed around the outside edges and left the middle un-magnetized.  I figured this was fine since I would be the only person sticking magnets up there and i would know the limitations.  HOWEVER, after it dried, not even my super dooper strong magnets would stay on...the just slid right down.  So back to Ace I go and pick up another can, and go over the same surface area again.  After this can is exhausted I realized that the super dooper magnets would stick, but no regular magnets (AKA cute ones).  So back I go for a third can.  Now I have invested $27 in magnetic spray paint and should have gotten 6-9 sq. ft. of coverage out of the cans.  But after the chalkboard paint was added (which is fine according to the magnetic spray paint can), still only the super strong magnets will stick...and just barely.  Maybe, maybe they will hold a single sheet of paper up.  Long story short, don't waste your money on this!

Moving my chalkboard is finished!  Although in the end it ended up coating me much more then I thought it would...$96.00 in total!  But I guess I will learn from my magnetic mistakes.

All in all my kitchen looks much better with the chalkboard.  And tonight will be 3 days since the last coat of chalkboard paint was I can condition it and use it for the first time!

 and here is the before and after for all of you voyeurs out there!!!


and to:


  1. I love the pink frames! I also love your stove! Yours is not the first bad review I have read of the magnetic paint, so I won't be buying any. Bummer b/c it would be so fun if it really worked.

  2. great color! I'd never have thought for a kitchen but it so works in yours. super cute!
    ~Ada in Coastal Cali

  3. Your frames turned out darling. I love your stove, we had one like that growing up and them my husband and I had it when we were first married but somewhere along the lines we got rid of it..I'm bummed. Anyways...I, meaning my husband a chalkboard with magnets. I had a sheet metal cut to size then used chalkboard paint over that. I'll do have a post somewhere on my blog.

  4. i love 'em! the pink is perfect...i love the smaller frames that accompany your chalkboard

  5. I love those pink frames. Fits your kitchen perfectly.

  6. It is so purdy! Looks nice in your kitchen!

  7. It looks adorable over your stove and I loved reading your story. I have had the same frustration with magnetic paint. It simply does not work and it should be pulled off the shelf until someone can make a product that really does work. It's basically an over priced can of crap. I'm right there with you! :)

  8. Hi Rachel Pink Pants! I LOVE that name :-) Super cute pic frame makeovers. They look great over your stove, what a fun idea. Oh and Im your newest follower :-)