Saturday, May 21, 2011

How to make your own chalk board paint



Today I'm going to teach you how to make your very own chalkboard paint. FROM SCRATCH! Yep, I first learned the secret ingredient from the craft queen herself via her Martha Stewart Living Magazine.  In their version, they used a flat paint like you would purchase in the paint section at a hardware store, but I really just wanted a smaller quantity to do a few Honeysuckle accents around my house and for Valentine's gifts, so I thought I'd do some experimenting on my own with regular old acrylic craft paints and different proportions. 

Here's what you will need:
Dry Non-Sanded Grout (purchased this huge tin at our local City Mill hardware store for $1.50...this will probably last me forever)
Acrylic craft paints - White, Black, and Bright Magenta (Apple Barrel line by Plaid, found at Wal-mart)
NOTE: Our craft stores here on the island are somewhat lacking, so I wasn't able to find anything perfectly matching Honeysuckle. I will give you my "formula" with those combined colors.
Measuring spoons and cups
Mixing cup or bowl
Paint brush or stick to stir

Step 1) Measure 1.5 teaspoons of the non-sanded grout and put in your mixing cup (this is very dusty, so please do this in a well-ventilated area).

Step 2) Pour in 1/4 C. of the  Pepto Bismol   Bright Magenta craft paint.

Step 3) Add 1.5 teaspoons of white acrylic craft paint.

At that point, I really liked the color, but I was going for perfection, and I had the Pantone website up and was trying my very best to match what I saw on the screen. I could tell I needed to mute it slightly with some black.

Step 4)  Add 1/8 teaspoon black acrylic craft paint.

Step 5) Stir for a couple minutes with a cheap paintbrush or stick.

(I'm not really left-handed, but I stink at taking pics with my left hand! ha)

This next pic is to show you that the consistency WILL BE SLIGHTLY LUMPY still. The grout is very fine, so when you brush it on, it spreads right out and isn't noticable at all.

Step 6) Apply it with a sponge brush.

(Hey, look! I took a pic with my left hand!)

You will need between 1 and 3 coats depending on your medium. For my wooden calendar, I used 3 coats on top of a piece of 1/8" MDF (I primed with Zinsser water-based primer).

As with any chalkboard paint, you will need to prep the surface once it is completely dry by rubbing a piece of chalk across the entire board (easiest if you turn the chalk on its side). Then erase completely, and it's ready to go!

I also used it on some cardboard cereal boxes and made chalkboard Chinese take-out boxes. I've been planning to do this for my daughter to take to school as gifts and was excited to have some Honeysuckle to use!

This time I only did one layer, and I did not prime it. I just cut the box and painted directly on the inside with the chalkboard paint. Then I used the Chinese take-out box pattern I designed and cut it out.

So with that one bowl of Honeysuckle, I covered a 28"x18" board x 3 coats, and a 12"x15" cardboard box x 3! Total cost for this chalkboard paint project is about $.35.  I can handle that.  :)

This opens up SO many new chalkboard color possibilities! I'd love to hear what you're chalking up!


Update: I was asked how long I let each coat dry since the spray paint chalkboard stuff says to let it dry one day between coats. Truth-be-told, I'm super impatient, and I was in a rush! I painted each layer, then used my blow dryer to dry it until it was really dry to sight and touch. Seriously dries really fast! Just like any old acrylic paint project! Yet another advantage to DIY'ing!  Sweet. ;)

Kids Fun Wall

I'm so excited to share my latest and greatest project with you! 

A magnetic, chalkboard, dry erase, 
with sliding ladder WALL!  
Wow that's a mouthful!!!!
But I think it all came together beautifully and my son LOVES it.......

Things I have always wanted to include in my Home Decor are galvanized wainscoting (that a friend had in their basement), a sliding ladder (from my favorite library) and chalkboard paint!! 

After seeing The DIY Show Off's sliding ladder and Attempting Aloha's homemade chalk inspired me to start a project and include all the things I LOVE.

This Art Activity Wall is on a 9ft wall in a hallway in front of my son's room

This project cost around $100. 
Here is what I used:
  • Homemade Chalk Paint ($10)
  • 1 Sheet of Galvanized Steel ($24)
  • Pipe and Fittings ($ 30)
  • 1x8 10ft primed board  ($15)
  •  Dry Erase Paint ($15)
Items we had on hand were wood and wheels for ladder.
Here are Steps 1-4:

Step #1: Painting
I made homemade chalkboard paint using white non-sanded grout and flat interior paint. I bought the grout at Home Depot for about $4.
I used Glidden's Tropical Lagoon for my upper wall.
Mix 2 Tablespoons of grout to 1 Cup of paint. The paint will be slightly gritty. I used 2 cups of  the blue paint and painted 2 coats on my upper wall.
I may be creative but I can't draw a straight line! 
So I cheat and use my handy dandy projector and some transparency paper..... 
I found this projector at my Habitat Store for $15! 
But I'm told that most libraries, schools or colleges will loan them out......
I search google images for ideas, printed them on transparency paper,
project them on the wall and traced.
Easy Peasy!!!
This takes less than an hour:-)
Next, I mixed a little grout with some of my craft paints. We are learning our colors so I painted the train, sun and trees in bright fun colors.
After the chalkboard wall was completely dry, I prepped by wiping the whole wall down with chalk and wiping clean.

Step #2: Magnetic Wall
There are many colors of steel....I used a 36" x 10' sheet of galvanized steel for  $23.30. I decided to use the sheet horizontal. Placing the 10 ft sheet on it's side saved money and  we only had to make one cut for my 9 ft wall.
 I always have my little helper with me:-)
We measured and marked the steel and cut with tin snips
Find studs, mark and screw in place.
We framed out the steel with a 1x8 and 1x1 board,
so no little fingers get cut on the steel
I painted both boards with Dry Erase paint.
Dry Erase paint needs to be mixed to activate and used with in 2 hrs. and you have to wait 3 days for it to cure....
I painted the boards, clouds, train windows 
and the closet door at the end of the hall with dry erase paint.

Step #3: Make Ladder
Mark two 4ft 2x4's and cut holes. 
We cut a  dowel, glued and clamped in place.

For less damage on our hardwood floors, we used rubber wheels and screwed them on sideways. 

We measured and marked the amount of tilt for the ladder and  cut holes

Step #4: Pipe and Fittings
We bought a 3/4" 10 ft pipe for $14.92. 
Home Depot will cut and thread the pipe for free!! 
So cool! 
To attach the pipe and allow the ladder to slid, you will need 2 of each:  floor flange,  nipple  and elbow. 
You will need the same size as your pipe. 
We used a 3/4" pipe but they come in larger and smaller sizes. 

Screw one end to wall, thread ladder and screw in opposite end.
I found it easier to paint the ladder while it was hanging...
 I painted the ladder in a chalkboard black. 
One felt tree and one chalkboard tree....
He will be able to draw apples OR pick apples!!
In my next post I will share all the adorable felt items I got from this Etsy shop...
There is so much activity and  learning in-cooperated in the wall:-)

 We have loooong winters here in Wyoming so this wall will provide lots of learning entertainment for years to come....