Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Chalk It Up

"Chalk it up....chalk it up, you'll never stop..."

(Apologies to the Stones. And to anyone who heard me singing that while I worked on this project.)

We posted this picture on Instagram last week:

With the caption, "Consider our tickets for the Chalkboard Bandwagon purchased". 

Well, that was our ticket and this is our souvenir:

Our Awkward Wall is now our Chalk Board Wall!

A few weeks back we asked you guys some "Awkward Questions" and discussed our options for this weird little space. We got some different suggestions, but, ultimately, we just couldn't resist the siren call of the chalkboard paint. I mean, all the cool kids are doing it. 

All the cool kids also have tutorials on how to do it, which is great, so we'll keep the how-to portion of this post brief. 

(The directions on the can are pretty straight forward, as well.)

Essentially, we wiped down the wall with a damp rag (to get rid of any lingering dust or splotches that might keep the paint from adhering) then went over it again with a dry cloth. 

When it was fully dry, we applied the chalkboard paint very thinly with a two inch brush. A small roller would probably have worked well, but we didn't have one on hand and it's such a little space, we didn't feel like it was worth it to go out and purchase one. But if you've got one, great! 

Here's what it looked like after one coat:  

Lookin' good....

Well, maybe not...

The directions say you can recoat in four hours, so that's what we did! We were careful, since we were just using the brush and not a foam roller, to keep our brushstrokes going the same direction, up and down, to avoid overworking the paint and leaving splotchy marks. We also worked from top to bottom, so we weren't leaning against wet paint while we worked on the top. 

And here it is after the second coat: 

Much better. 

We assumed we'd be doing a third coat but, it looked so good after two, we called it done. 

A few things we noticed about the paint itself: it's pretty thin. We were expecting the consistency to be similar to regular house paint, but it was much waterier. Which meant we had to be mindful of not loading up the brush with too much paint so we wouldn't drip. Also, probably because it's so thin, it dries very quickly. The container says it "dries to the touch in 30 minutes" but we noticed it drying while we were still painting, probably less than ten minutes, which is why we were very careful about working in one direction. 

After the second coat was fully dry, it was time to "prep" or "condition" the chalk board. (This makes the board more "eraser-friendly". If you don't condition first, the chalkboard can just kind of soak up the chalk while you're drawing and it much more difficult, sometimes impossible, to fully erase. Conditioning it gives the new, "thirsty" chalkboard something to soak up first and keeps your drawings from "sticking"; almost like oiling a pan.)

Anyway, we grabbed some white chalk (you can use any color, but we thought white was a little less messy.) and, for easier clean up, we threw down an old sheet to catch some of the chalk dust. All you do to condition your chalkboard is rub the chalk aaaallll over it. We did it once vertically:

And once horizontally:

Til we had a beautiful blizzard happening. (It took about two full pieces of chalk.) 

And then took a soft rag (we actually used a dust cloth) and rubbed all that chalk in. 

This was messy. There was lots of chalk dust. It was not enjoyable. 

But it went quickly and the clean up was a breeze (just ball up sheet, throw in washer) and then... was done!

And you know I just had to break it in...

What? Do dishes while my kids nap? Pay some bills? Nah, I'm just gonna doodle over here in the corner. 

And then someone else wanted to test it, as well. 

"This is Saturn," he told me. "And here are it's rings. They go round and round and round and round..."

Yeah, we're having a good time. 


  1. Woohoo! Looks fantastic! Yaay for no more awkward wall space! :)
    Plus, it's something your entire family will enjoy. :)

  2. Thank you! I think that's the most exciting part; I feel like we've added something to our everyday, not just something that looks cool. Grayson has a new place to be creative (and a new way to channel some wild energy, "Ahhh....go....draw me a picture on the chalkboard!").