Wednesday, January 9, 2013

DIY: my kitchen chalkboard

Last year I started searching for a chalkboard for a narrow spot in my kitchen.  I started looking online and found several that were a bit more than I thought they were worth.
Rectangular Magnetic Chalkboard
Ballard Designs chalkboard $199


But I loved interesting frames and they were hard to find at the price point I liked. One day I stumbled across a fun one at HOBBY LOBBY and was SHOCKED that it was $169!!! It was pretty much crap, too.  Not very sturdy and not well made.
SO, of course I thought to myself, "I can totally do this". Always look on the bright side of life, right? If you think you can do something, you can!!!  I went to my favorite thrift/junk/antique shop and started hunting. I knew what I was looking for: A MIRROR.
Yes, A MIRROR. Old mirrors typically have really cool frames. And I knew that a long door mirror would be just the right size to fit the spot where I wanted it to hang in my kitchen.  And I found just the right one in less than 30 min of searching.  It was $20. It was gold and gaudy, but I stand by the claim that paint can change just about anything. So, I hot footed it over to Lowes to pick up chalkboard paint.  Some people would recommend popping the mirror out of the back of the frame and replacing it with a board that you've cut to fit and painted with chalkboard paint. I thought I'd try just painting the mirror itself.  I didn't prime the mirror. I didn't really know how this was going to go, but I gave it a shot. I taped off the frame, painted the chalkboard paint right onto the mirror and waited for it to dry. Then a few days later, I went back over it with another coat of chalkboard paint.  It worked!!! I then used some left over paint I had in my garage to paint up the frame.  It has held up for just about a year, with no chips or peeling.  I wash it gently with a wet paper towel when it needs cleaning, typically once a week.  So maybe you already have an old mirror kicking around? Why not upcycle it into a chalkboard?

Here it is!

I used a small foam roller to paint
the chalkboard paint over the mirror
I used a foam brush and just lightly
painted over the gold frame using Valspar "Greek Sea"

And all for under $30

I have to admit, when I envisioned a chalkboard in my kitchen, I pictured all of those Pinterest pins that have pretty chalkboards with Bible or poetry verses drawn artfully in chalk...something lovely to encourage my little angels.

BUT what is typically written on my chalkboard is "DON'T FORGET YOUR LUNCH", daily schedules lots of scribbles from my little kiddos and a random quote every now and then, typically courtesy of my 14 year old son.  Once he put a recipe for beef jerky on there. I had to laugh because this is so much better than a pretty's real life and it captures our imperfect family more perfectly than a lovely quote, although I try to sneak one on every now and then.  What it has on it right now has become a bit of a family motto for us, not a lovely Bible verse or intellectual quote, sad to say, but a quote from Monty Python.

"Always Look on the Bright Side of Life"!

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  1. Your house is like a pretty!

  2. Ha! Loved this post! the beef jerky recipeis so funny. Not the recipe but the kid who wrote it on there! love it! (monty Python quotes qualify as poetry in our house)

  3. I love this Amy!! Thank you so much for sharing this at the Fall Get Your DIY On Challenge: Blue Projects. We were so thrilled to have you and hope you will be back tomorrow to share you fall wreath with us!! It goes live at 4pm PST.