Tuesday, August 16, 2011

DIY Chalkboard

 1) Find a frame. Maybe you have one with broken glass or you like to hunt at the thrift store or garage sales. I got this one in the clearance section at the craft store. Probably because it's pretty tacky.

2) Cut a piece of MDF to size. Or ask the guys at the big box hardware store to cut it for you. I'm pretty sure they like using that big saw.

3) Choose paint for the frame. Make sure you have primer for the MDF, and, of course, chalkboard paint. Chalkboard paint comes in a variety of colors and application types. I chose classic black in the spray can because it goes on smoothly. Plus spray painting is fun. 

4) Prepare your chalk board surface. Dust the MDF before priming it. Roll on a thin, even layer of primer. Once the primer is dry you can spray the first coat of chalkboard paint. You may need 3 or 4 coats, making sure to sand any bumps in between coats.

5) Give the frame a coat or two. Coat the frame lightly and evenly. Allow to dry fully between coats.

6) Bring it together. Apply a thin bead of hot glue to secure the MDF to the frame, making sure not to allow any glue to seep on to the chalkboard surface. Use a staple gun to finish fastening the board and frame together. {Yell, "Freeze, dirtbag!" in your best TV cop voice before firing each staple into the frame. I've found that helps with accuracy.} 

7) Add hardware. Consider where you'll hang your chalkboard and choose the appropriate fasteners. I used two saw-tooth brackets set about an inch inward from the top corners and hung it on nails.

 8) Write away. Taking a cue from Ann Voskamp, I'm making a list of things for which I will give thanks.

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