Tuesday, April 30, 2013

DIY Chalk Board Sign

Hello there!

Today I am writing about a really quick, easy, and fun project. I hope you're excited!

My church is having a trivia night with a silent auction to help raise funds for Girls Camp. They mentioned that we could donate a craft or something home made for the silent auction. I thought this would be the perfect time to make another chalk board sign. I already have one that I keep by my door, but I made it long before I started blogging, and therefore have no pictures of the process, also, its not that nice.

It is just fine for being used outside of the house in the doorway, but I wanted to make a nice one for indoors. The silent auction was the thing that finally made me stop planning it and actually do it. Everything I used I already had on hand, which was nice, I hate making last minute trips to Lowes or Walmart. The owners of our home, who lived here before us, left us a big ugly wood/junk pile on the side of the house. I've been meaning to do something with all the ugly boards, and now was my chance. 

Yuck, there are plenty more chalkboards waiting to be made in that pile. I grabbed the straightest board I could find with the least amount of knots or holes in it. I sanded it down on all sides using my handy dandy Genesis Oscillating Tool, and inspected it to see which side would make the best surface for a chalk board.

Basil just likes to hang out and sun bathe while I work on things outdoors. 

These are the supplies I used, the wood filler to go into any stray holes or cracks, the primer to go on over the freshly sanded surface, gray (or whatever color you want) paint (I used a valspar sample paint I had on hand)  to be the border of the chalkboard, and then lastly your chalkboard paint. I used regular masking tape to cover the parts of the chalkboard I wanted to be my border, but if you want a really clean edge, I would suggest using Frogtape. I wanted the rough edge look for mine though.

So this is our starting point. I washed it down with soap and water, just because it had been sitting outside so long, and was dusty from the sanding. What I needed to do now was fill those little holes that would make writing on a chalkboard very inconvenient. 

Once its dry, go ahead and sand down the whole surface again, being careful to not sand the filler out of the hole. Wipe off the excess dust, and spray paint your primer over the surface you want your chalkboard to go on. I didn't worry about the rest of the board, since no one will be paying too much attention to the back anyways.

When it has dried, very lighty sand it down, with a 200 or so grit sandpaper. You just want to get a smooth surface, not strip off the primer you just applied. Once you've wiped all the excess dust off, its time to paint the background color. If you want your whole surface to be chalk board then don't worry about this step, but I wanted my chalk board to have a gray border.

Wait an hour or two for the paint to completely dry, then put down a second coat (I painted all the surfaces, so it took a little while for everything to dry). Once The second coat is dry, you are ready to lay down your masking tape and paint the chalk board portion of the board.

I used two coats of chalkboard paint, and it takes chalk, and erases just fine. It took about thirty minutes for the first coat to dry, and then I let the second coat dry overnight. In the morning, I peeled off the tape, and it looked like this:

One may be tempted to immediately grab a piece of chalk and start scrawling away, but do not do that. You have to "season" it first. Get your piece of chalk, and using the long edge, color the whole thing over.

Like this. Then take a paper towel, and wipe it down so every tiny bit of your chalkboard has chalk smeared on it.

Now write something on it, and erase it, just to make sure nothing you write is going to get "burned" onto your surface. Once you've written on it a bit, then you may get a damp wash cloth, and wipe it down.

Alrighty, I think its ready for the Young Women's silent auction. I may add a ribbon or rope to the back of it so it can be hung on a wall. I hope it gets a lot of bids so they can earn enough money for YW Camp.

Well that was fun, I hope you enjoyed reading, and as always, until next time



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