Tuesday, November 15, 2011

chalkboard paint on a budget

I came across a 'recipe' for the paint sometime last week on Pinterest (which is the perfect solution to my tabs problem!) and started imagining all the objects in our home that could become mini-chalkboards. I've seen people paint the fronts of their fridge doors, vases, picture frames and even the bottoms of wine glasses, it seems there are just endless ways to use this fun stuff, especially when it's such a cinch to whip up a batch! J.C. was in town this weekend he took us to Home Depot to get supplies for different projects (hopefully I'll get some photos and post their progress soon!) and I managed to track down some non-sanded grout while were were there. This giant box was less than $10. I also found a cheap little can of dark purple paint in the mis-tint section. HD and most hardware stores sell paint color mess ups at a big discount, which means I got this high quality paint for a whopping $3. Including the foam brush (.87), the whole project came out under $15, compared to a can of commercial paint which is about $40 around here. The best part is that you can add the grout to any kind/color of latex or craft paint and produce the same results. Oh the possibilities...
But, down to details. 

The ratio for the paint is 2 tablespoons of grout per cup of paint. 

I tried to mix it but ended up just shaking the jar until things seemed smooth. You don't want any lumps, but the grout incorporates pretty quickly. Except for the stuff that sticks to the sides of the jar. Definitely not worth worrying about.

And, that's it! Apply your paint with a foam brush to eliminate brush stroke lines and create a smooth surface for drawing on. I wanted to make little labels on my sugar canisters, so I made little stencils out of clear packing tape.

I also painted a frame we had received as a wedding gift. I love the frame but the font and style weren't quite right for us. I thought the large open space would be a perfect spot for jotting down a memory or quote to accompany the photos. 

Here's the frame after two thin coats of paint. At this point, Drew suggested we get some black acrylic paint to darken the color a bit, especially since purple doesn't exactly go with anything else we own.

We love all the little variety shops and dollar stores near us, but they don't have the greatest selection. The only black paint was one of those small little craft bottles, so I just dumped in the whole thing and shook it up.  I'm not sure if acrylic and latex are supposed to mix, but it all seemed to incorporate well together. 

I applied another coat in the slightly darker color and left it to dry while Drew and I headed to a vespers service downtown with friends. It turned out to be an intimate Bach concert that was absolutely incredible! Afterwards we had to forgo tea and conversation so I could finish and submit another job application (ugh), but I couldn't resist testing out the finished project. 

I've read that you need to coat the whole piece in chalk before you can write on it. I used the long side of the chalk and rubbed it over the frame and jars, then wiped the excess off. 

These jars didn't really need labels, but I think it looks fun! Plus, I can change it up if I ever use them for anything else. 

And here's the finished frame with pictures. I love that I can use a different verse or quote or draw a design anytime I want, although writing neatly with dollar-store chalk is a bit of a challenge :) I think I need to invest in those neat chalk pens. Maybe I'll save that for when I create a menu board! 

And here's my other sunday afternoon craft. Yarn, wrapped around a bottle. The ultimate in kitsch, but I love it!

They're just so cozy and festive in fall colors. 

We're trying to get things up on the walls and ready for our next visitors (that's you, kels, kayla and liz!).  Drew and I pulled out all our wedding photos this weekend and arranged them in frames. It was so fun to remember everyone coming together to celebrate with us and it brings a bit of comfort at being so far away from those we love. Anyway, I'll take some photos when they're all up!