Monday, March 2, 2015

A simple homemade kitchen chalkboard does wonders for scheduling and organizing a family. Don't miss the secret ingredient to add a real WOW factor!

A homemade chalkboard is a creative organizational tool for any family to add to a kitchen or home office, and it is very easy to do with a few tools and some paint. The nice thing about doing it yourself (other than the bragging rights of being so crafty) is that you can put it anywhere you want, and make it a size that works for you.  
This is a fun project that anyone can do, and it will look great in your home! 
Lets get started!
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This is a project that you can get creative with very easily, The frame around the chalkboard paint can be anything your like, painted window trim, rough sawn pine like you see here, or even a painted border of another color. That's the most difficult part of building this chalkboard!

The next step is gathering the materials you need, Let me give you a list of the tools and materials that I use.

Ok, now that you have everything you need, it's time to get started.

The first thing you want to do is find the area and size you want to make your Chalkboard. I recommend marking it out with pencil and the level. Mark the edges of the frame minus 1/2" on each side. So if you want to make it 36" by 48" to the outside of the frame, mark it on the wall 35" by 47" and draw a pencil line all the way around. this will give you an edge to paint to without having to me overly careful, you have a 1/2" oops zone. and you can keep it a little inside the lines as well depending on how wide your trim is. Make sure you use the level to make it level and vertical. Once thats done mark each corner with a faint line 1/2" outside the lines. This is to align the frame and make it straight and true.

The next step is to paint the wall with the paints. Start with one of the sanding blocks, and sand the old paint a little bit(sand the entire area 3 or 4 passes in each spot, we just want to smooth it out a little, not remove the paint.), this will help you to make it a smoother surface when its all painted. once its all sanded, the first step is to used the magnetic paint to get a base coat on the wall. The more coats you put on, the better it will hold magnets. I recommend 3-4 coats minimum. Cover the roller and paint tray with plastic wrap and it will be fine between coats(4-6 hours). Once thats done, wait 12 hours and sand it gently again. Now break out the chalkboard paint and put on 3-4 more coats, letting them dry between each one. Sanding between each coat, after a 8-12 drying period will improve the final finish, but is not required.
Now you have your Chalkboard!  The great thing about this way of making the chalkboard is that if it gets marked up, Permanent markers are just that..., you can add another coat of paint and you have a brand new finish!
The final step is to add the frame to it. I recommend cutting both sides as one unit and the top and bottom as a unit, that way they are sure to come out the same size. Measure and cut each piece on a 45 degree angle on each end, this will give you perfect corners. A quick tip if this is a little daunting to you, your friendly neighborhood carpenter or wood worker is generally happy to cut them to size for you, just ask, it is a 2 minute task for him and most of us are happy to help, even if you just pull up to the job site and ask nicely. Once you have them cut, apply a small bead of construction adhesive to the back of each piece, hold it up to your marks and fit the corners together. A couple nails in each piece will hold them in place until the construction adhesive dries.

And with that you are done, a beautiful and creative organizational tool added to your home that you can decorate to your hearts content. One final note, a recent idea I saw was to take a large photo/painting frame and hang it over the painted area. This makes it easier if you don't think your carpentry skills aren't up to making the frame.
I highly recommend this project for anyone, with a little ingenuity anyone can do it and it will come out beautiful!

Remember to always come get your BuilderFix! I am here to help you finish all those little projects around your house! If you have any questions or comments please feel free to leave a comment below, and I will get back to you with an answer!

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