Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Take Control of Your World

....If you think I can (a) do that and (b) that I can teach you in one blog post--wow! thanks for thinking so highly of me.
In reality, as I am nesting and going through some major changes in my life right now, I find the need to exert some organizational control over this little universe....it's the remnants of what happens when you take a work-obsessed person away from a career and leave her to her own devices. The more I need to process what is swirling around me, the more I need to keep my hands busy and just plow through it all. I have a hard time finding this to be a "bad" or "unhealthy" system because doesn't everyone benefit from me obsessively making the world a better place? Honestly, I have no real answer for that. All I know is that it's what gets me through the day.

One such project that I've been meaning to tackle since we moved here is to set up a chalkboard for messages by the front door or the kitchen. I've had a chalkboard system set up in nearly every single home we have lived in together--all but the first one, actually, because-back then I really didn't have much to keep track of.

Using mainly spray chalkboard paint (there is brushable paint as well), I've covered walls and doors and canvasses and boards and old signs. But one night not long ago I dreamt I used an unwanted picture from a thrift store for the job. What appealed to me about the idea was not only that it would then already be framed but also how "green" repurposing an old picture would be.

for $6, this had a great frame and
was already backed and wired to hang

What I needed was something smooth, without any matting (the paper framing inside the frame) or glass. I'm sure if you wanted a spare piece of glass, it wouldn't be hard to remove the piece from the picture. Having two active children and little storage, I hardly need another death hazard around so I skipped the glass covered pieces. Ideally, if you find a picture on canvas, go for it (make sure it's not the missing work of a famous artist that you could have sold for a happy retirement by the way--it DOES happen).

A few days later, I hit a new thrift store in the area and found a suitable victim for $6.

painter's tape around the frame because I
actually liked the original frame
I will also say that if you find a picture you like but it seems a little too absorbent, try spraying the surface with a coat of spray primer first to seal it. It will take more time and just a skoatch more money but you'll be happier with the results in the end.

Using painter's tape, I covered the frame to protect it from the spray paint and took the picture outside to coat. (*You may find you want to re-do the frame as well with more spray paint-just remove it and from the picture and give it a coat or two of spray paint while you're working on the other part.)

Chalkboard paint requires two coats for a new surface (a surface that hasn't previously had chalkboard paint on it). Each coat dries fairly rapidly if the day isn't humid. Be sure to follow the directions on the can for the best results.

After two coats of paint and enough time to dry and cure--roughly 24 hours--the paint needs to be "primed." All that this means is that the surface should be rubbed down with a layer of chalk and then rubbed down with a felt eraser-- did you  know you can make your own eraser?

Now I have a chalkboard at the front door for less than $10 and can obsess about some other facet of this house.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Clever!!I'm thinking that Keegs would erase the messages and that Chris would write dirty messages. LOL