Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Chalk It Up

Chalk it up to just plain silliness if you want, but seriously how much fun is a chalkboard?  And what better place for one than in the kitchen?!  We use ours for all kinds of things: a dinner menu, messages, grocery lists, important reminders, and all sorts of random silliness (as seen in the above photo- a quote from our good friend, Buddy the Elf!).  It's fun for the whole family, and it was soooo easy to create! 

I actually completed this project back in October!  I know, right, like why am I just now posting this?!  Slacker - it's ok - you can say it - I just did :)  Well, I figured since it's currently all Christmased up that now would be as good a time as any to show you. 

So here's the skinny.  You'll need:

1. chalkboard paint
2. a foam roller
3. a level or ruler (preferably a combination of both) and a pencil
4. molding (to create a frame) 
5. a mitre box with saw
6. trim paint
7. and lastly a hammer and nails

Now you're ready to get started.  Grab your ruler/level, and measure and mark with a pencil how big you want the chalkboard to be.  Then use a foam roller to paint the chalkboard paint within the pencil drawn lines.  If you're planning to use molding to frame your chalkboard you don't need to use painters tape because any paint that may go over the pencil drawn line will be covered by the molding. 

The foam roller gives it a really smooth finish.  I recommend stirring the paint really well before pouring it into the tray.  Then once you've painted it ( I did 3 coats for mine), you can get to work on the frame.  I bought some pre-primed molding at The Home Depot.  The pre-primed molding is a little more expensive (but not by much), and it saves a little time when it comes to painting the frame.  I spent about $20, but I bought more than I needed for this project because I have plans to use the remainder on something else. 

To create the frame you'll want to measure all sides of your chalkboard and then cut the pieces to the right sizes.  This is where the mitre box comes into play. 

First off, don't be afraid.  A mitre box can be your best friend!  I used it to create picture frame molding in the dining room of our fourth house.  It's come in handy for lots of other projects too, and the best part is it cost me less than $20!  Best tool investment ever.  If I can use it ANYONE can.  No joke- for realz here people.  

Ok, so all you're going to do is use the box to cut 45 degree angles that will match up to create 4 inside corners.  The main thing here is making sure your measurements are precise.  You can examine the corners of a picture frame to get an idea of how to cut your molding.  If you've never used a mitre box before, I recommend practicing first on a few scrap pieces of wood.  (Obviously, you'll want to wear gloves and something to cover your eyes to be on the safe side.)

Once the cuts are made and you've tested them to make sure you cut them at the right size, then use your trim paint to paint the molding.  Once dry, hold the pieces in place (or have someone else hold the pieces in place) while you nail them up.  

If your pieces don't match up perfectly, never fear caulk is here.  Just use a little caulk in the cracks, sand it lightly after is dries, and paint over it.  

Then add one more coat of trim paint to finish off the frame.  I promise once it's painted you won't see any cracks or nails.  Paint is kind of amazing that way.   

Then to prep your chalkboard (this you want to do after the paint has cured- 3 days or whatever it says on the back of the can), just use the side of a piece chalk and go over the entire chalkboard surface. 

Then erase it and your ready to start using your new chalkboard.  

That was the menu for our anniversary party!  Pretty amazing huh?!  No, I didn't do the cooking; our good friend and amazing chef Mark did!  I'm more of  "decorate my kitchen" rather than a "cook in my kitchen" kind of gal.  

So what's for dinner at your house?  Are you letting the whole house know with a menu board?  Are you ga-ga for chalkboard paint too?  Or is it just me?  

Linking up to: 


  1. What a perfect size for the perfect spot. I think I might have to come over for dinner after seeing the menu....

    Take care,

  2. Cute! I am inspired! I finally figured out what to do with this empty frame I have - thank you! I am enjoying the home transformation by the way...Beautiful!

  3. i love this. i have serious thing for chalkboard paint, i debate painting everything with it!

  4. so cute! chalkboards are awesome. And we love Elf too! :) (by Buddy, hope you find your dad- Thanks Mr. Narwhal!) he he!
    Your anniversary menu looks AMAZING. How yummy!

  5. I like chalkboards. Meanwhile I have many and I use each ;)



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