Filed under: Before / After
Alternate Title: How I spent my evenings last week.
Alternate Title: I could totally be the Puffy-Paint Princess if Puffy-Paint was “in” again.
I’m stressed. Life is a bit crazy and I don’t particularly want to deal with it (note: this has nothing to do with taxes, which I finished weeks and weeks ago. If you are still in the throes of tax-stress, I can empathize) In lieu of “dealing with life”, I am keeping myself elbow deep in sandpaper and paint. So far, I am loving the results.
Project Number One: I was inspired by this photo and after falling in love with the whole idea of chalkboards and chalkboard paint, I decided that a framed chalkboard would be lovely in my standard-apartment, beige-ish/bland kitchen. I am slowly trying to vamp up the kitchen, so far I have this re-do piece and a bright red pepper grinder I found on clearance at Anthropologie. There is still so much that I could do, and I have all summer to do it. I’m stoked.
How to make a framed chalkboard message center:
- sturdy wooden frame in size of your choice, glass removed
- painting supplies, brushes, sandpaper, etc.
- primer & paint for frame
- plywood, cut to size
- black chalkboard paint
- staple gun & staples, or hammer & nails.
Step 1: Find a pile of frames at a thrift store which will all be re-purposed into something lovely. For this project, I picked out a nice, thick wood frame with a heinous 1983 floral print inside; I trashed the flower thing and kept the glass for another project.
Step 2: Lightly sand the frame, wipe away dust and dirt with a clean cloth. Prime the frame and paint in the color of your choice. I chose fire-engine red. I primed with Krylon spray paint and then used the last of the red glossy spray paint from my lamp project. I figure because they are in separate rooms I can get away with using the same color, right? (Correct answer: right!)
Step 3: You need to get a piece of plywood cut to fit inside your frame. I went to Lowe’s and picked out a 24″x24″ piece of birch plywood for under $4 dollars. I asked the guy working in the lumber section if he’d mind chopping it down to size for me, which he did in about 37 seconds flat. I lightly sanded the wood, being careful to get rid of any slivery pieces on the edges.
Step 4: Purchase a pint or quart (or whatever) or chalkboard paint. This was $6.28 and I am a thousand percent positive I will use it until it is gone. Prime the plywood and paint a couple of coats of chalkboard paint, following the directions on the can. Let this dry overnight.
Step 5: I painted a thin border on the front of the chalkboard with white acrylic paint. Simply tape off a thin stripe on all four sides and fill it in, remove the tape before the paint dries completely. I may eventually add a decorative stencil, like a fleur di lis…who knows. To season the chalkboard you need to rub it with the side of a piece of chalk and then erase everything with a dry cloth or felt eraser.
Step 6: Staple, screw, or nail the plywood chalkboard into your frame on the back side, make sure everything is tightly in place, you don’t want things going skeewampus later. I may have gone a little crazy with the staple gun–I am quite confident that in 3,000 years future anthropologists will find this chalkboard in-tact.
Step 7: Hang on your wall and enjoy! Yes, that is my actual grocery list, and yes I am aware I should probably consume more than breakfast food and chocolate chips. Don’t judge–chocolate chips are their own food group.
Adding up the receipts:
- frame: $3.00
- plywood: $3.76
- spray paint, primer & red gloss: approx. $1.50
- chalkboard paint: approx. $1.50
- white chalk (box of 12 pieces): $0.69
Total Cost: $10.45
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Project Number Two: I am not a gardener, I do not have a green-thumb and have been known to kill a cactus because I forgot to water it. That being said, I absolutely love fresh flowers, love them! I have had various levels of success keeping house plants alive, and regardless of past fumbles I always purchase a couple of plants every spring to wake up my house. A few weeks ago I saw this post and started having dreams about polka-dotted pots. Seriously. And now I have two of these beauties sitting on my kitchen table, spouting ivy and pink geraniums.
How to make Polka-Dot Pots:
- two terra-cotta pots & saucers
- paint–I used black and white.
- painting supplies, brushes, etc.
- circle-shaped brush, or circle stencil
- polyeurethane to seal pots
Step 1: Purchase or re-purpose two terra-cotta pots, mine came from the thrift store–one had already been painted black, sort of. There was orange showing through everywhere and it desperately needed a little love.
Step 2: Paint the pots how you like, I painted the small one black with white polka-dots and the larger one white with black polka-dots. I used two different sized foam circle-shaped brushes to make the polka dots. The base color took a couple of different coats, allowing for drying time inbetween.
Step 3: Seal the finished pots with polyeurethane so the paint doesn’t run when you water your plants. Let this dry for a couple of days before planting your new treasures.
Step 4: Plant, water, and enjoy. I love the pink geranium and the trailing ivy. I also love the bright yellow tray–another thrift-store find that benefited from some bright paint and a coat of gloss–this whole vignette makes me smile every time I walk past the kitchen table.
Adding up the receipts:
- 2 pots & saucers, from a thrift store: $3.00
- black and white paint: $1.18 for both
- circle foam brushes: $0.66 for both
- polyurethane: approx. $1.00
- plants: $4.73 for both
Total Cost: $10.57
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