Chalk One Up for Me…

Way back in the summer, I went to the thrift store, and went a little crazy.  Remember? Well, the only real reason I even went in the first place was to find a storage solution for Son’s cars, and to get a large picture frame for a future project.  I am happy to report that that project is no longer future, and is now past, Yay!

I wanted to create a chalk board for Son, but I wanted it to be able to grow with us, and fit into my decor.  I started with the large frame, the large greyish one in the upper left.

I took the frame outside, and sprayed it with gold paint. (I did have photos of this process, but Husband deleted them.  He deleted all the process photos.)  While the paint was drying, I went to Home Depot with my measurements for the inside of the frame.  I found some pressboard, and an employee.  I then batted my eyes, and asked nicely if he’d cut it down to size for me; which he did.  Before I left, I picked up some magnetic paint, and a can of chalkboard spray paint.  I was so excited.  I wanted a chalkboard for Son, but also something that he could play with magnets on; something other than my dishwasher.

Once I got home, I wiped off the pressboard, and started rolling on the magnetic primer.  Husband tells me it’s not actually magnetic, but that it’s ferrous.  You see, it has fine iron particles mixed into the paint.  I rolled the paint onto the board, and waited for the first coat to dry.  I repeated this many, many times, and by the 9th coat, it still wasn’t so magnetic – I mean, ferrous, and I was getting impatient.  I stopped waiting for the paint to dry completely between coats.  Big Mistake.  The paint started drying at different times, and I was left with an intense orange-peel effect.  Not so good for a chalk board.  Even worse, after 30 coats of paint, the board still barely held up a plastic magnetic letter.  I gave up.

The frame and extra pressboard sat in my garage for months.  I decided not to use the magnetic paint, and looked for sheet metal.  I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but steel isn’t cheap right now.  Thanks China.  Then, about a week ago, it donned on me, Tin is magnetic.  And it’s cheap.  Duh.

I hightailed it down to Home Depot, and found a sheet of metal.  I then carried the metal around until I could find something with a magnet, just to make sure it would work.  It did, and I brought it home.  I then asked Husband to bring home his tin-snips, and traced out the size I needed for the frame.  In the end, it looked like this.

I wiped it down with paint thinner, just to get any oils off that may be on it.  And then shot it with this…

As I’ve mentioned before, I am a terrible spray painter.  I’m happy to say that I am improving.  I’ve learned that you have to make super-fast, super-short strokes.  It’s almost like having a fit.  It seemed to work, though it could have been because I was painting something that was flat.  In any case, I didn’t have any runs!

Once it dried, I framed it, and hung it on the wall.

Is there anything harder than staring at a perfect, blank canvas, and having to decide what, and where you’ll put that first mark?  Well, it’s hard for me, anyway.  I got over this by simply shading the whole thing with the side of the chalk.  Once this was done, I knew just what to do, and where to start.  I erased the shading, and got to work.

As I’ve mentioned before, this was a surprise for Son, and Son is really into robots right now.  He makes it easy.

He loves it.  I love how it turned out, and that the frame has curves that hold the chalk right there!  The robot is no longer there, but it’s not my chalk board, is it.

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Filed under Fun and Free Ideas, Musings, Save my Wallet, Save the Earth

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