Wednesday, March 6, 2013

What I Made Wednesday {The Chalkboard Project Part A}

When you find a huge steel plate, you've got to put it to work! This thing of beauty is strongly magnetized and measures 3 feet by 4 feet - it's HUGE! My dad made a gorgeous wooden frame around the steel plate and painted it using a white enamel. If enamel paint is still available today, it's the best choice for frames, baseboards, and moldings, insuring a smooth finish that's rock-hard.

We've had the framed steel plate for eons. Super Kiddo used to learn his A-B-C's using magnets and there was always plenty of space on it. Because it was so huge and heavy, I never mounted it to the wall so it just kinda hung out, leaning against the wall.

Super Kiddo is way beyond learning his A-B-C's now we're onto Algebra and writing novels so it's time to find a new purpose for this monstrosity of a board. You may recall, I moved my office into the basement (reveal coming soon) to give Super Hubby some desperately needed space to run his own business more efficiently. But, to make the space LOVD-worthy, it required a teensy bit of work.

The green you see is the tape. The purple is the glove.
I knew I was going to incorporate this board and the first thing that needed to be done is turn the steel plate into a chalkboard. Brilliant, right? So, today's W.I.M. Wednesday is Part 1 of a 2 Parter. Today, I'll share with you some basics of spray painting. It's not as easy and simple as one might think! There are certain laws of spray painting that need to be abided by if you want good results.

When outside temps don't cooperate, spray paint in the sun for better curing. See how the car is outside?
 Simple Tips When Spray Painting

1. Save yourself a lot of frustration and just go with the best spray paint out on the market today: Krylon. Although more expensive than other brands, it'll save you from having the nozzle clog up on you and insures a steady flow of paint. It's simply the best, and no, I was not paid by Krylon to say this, I've just tried the cheaper variety and am able to make the comparisons easily.

2. The key to perfect spray painting is the cleanliness of your surface. Personally, I do not believe in sanding down a surface. It creates way too much dust, it's icky, and I don't think it's necessary AS LONG AS you initially spray on a primer. Since I was planning to spray on chalkboard paint, I went with a primer in Black! Elementary, my dear.

3. Shake, shake, shake, shake, shake, shake, shake your spray can. Be sure to shake that baby for 2 whole minutes to get the best paint. These cans could have been sitting on the store shelf for months so you have to bring its contents back into one!

4. If you care about your lungs, wear a mask. I didn't and when I blew my nose the following morning, I blew out black mucus - disgusting, and think about what it did to my insides!

5. It's winter in Northeast Ohio where I live and there was no chance the temperature was going to get up to Krylon's recommended 50 degrees F. So, I waited for a sunny day, temps in the 40's, and made sure the board sat in the sun while I sprayed. It seemed to work.

6. Mask, mask, and mask the parts you do not want to get sprayed. Don't even have a little bit showing. The spray paint tends to find weaknesses in your taping and attacks at will. Painter's tape, either blue or green, works best to protect the frame from peeling once the tape is removed.

7. Spray paint your object outside! If you do spray in the garage, move your cars and anything else you don't want sprayed out! You don't notice it, but opportunity for over spray is possible. The paint particles are light enough to travel to places you don't want them to!

8. Wear gloves on the spraying hand. The nozzle tends to collect paint and your finger is the victim.

9. Never, never, never hold the can of spray paint in one place while spraying. If you do, you'll get runs and globs of paint in one area and that's just a serious mess. Keep moving the can from side to side and don't linger. Slow and steady wins the race!

10. After your first spray, wait a few minutes then spray again in the opposite direction. For example, if you sprayed side to side horizontally, spray side to side in the vertical direction after waiting for a couple of minutes. This goes for the primer as well as the chalkboard spray paint.

11. Abide by the dry times on the can. With chalkboard paint, you'll have to spray multiple times (at least twice) to get good coverage so make sure you have enough paint.

12. Spray about 5 inches away from the surface. I placed the board atop some saw horses so I didn't have to bend down the whole time and I could keep the proper distance.

13. Don't hold down the nozzle constantly. Spray in spurts to avoid clogging. Holding down the nozzle for 10 seconds at a time is a good rule of thumb.
14. Finally, once everything is dry, to get that antiqued, used effect on your chalkboard, take a piece of chalk and cover the entire board by chalking with the side of the chalk, then wipe down with a slightly damp cloth. That way it won't look so new!

15. If you have any paint left in the can, before storing, hold the can upside down and press the nozzle until no paint, just air, comes from the can. This will eliminate clogging and insure you can reuse the paint at a later date on another project.

Join me in the next coming weeks to see the unique way I mount this ginormous board and how it will add beauty to my office space, too!

If you're itching for some St. Patrick's Day crafts, check out this one from last year.


Suzan Wood-Young said...

Can't, can't, can't wait to see the finished product! Awesome tips, I'm pinning this one for future use.

Emily Joyce said...

Great tips! I have been thinking about doing this to the old white display cases in the link. That way we could quickly write the grade level on the chalk board and stop running around trying to find a printer that works.

I am LOVD said...

Emily, thanks for commenting and I think you've got a great idea! If you do spray the cases, be sure to lay down each side while you spray atop the surface. Do not spray while the cases are vertical, to avoid paint run. I'm sure you knew that, but I wanted to share that with other readers who may be painting furniture.

KC @ genxfinance said...

These tips are awesome. Really quite helpful.. I tried it once with a furniture, newbie as I was,I just held the can in one place.. Awful.

Beth@Unskinny Boppy said...

These are such great tips! I'm pinning this to my Krylon board. :) I totally agree with you on all points. Can't wait to see how it turns out!

Stampin' VMG206 said...

Thanks for the great tips! I'll be painting this weekend and will keep them in mind.
I found you today thru the Happy Hour Linky Party at Designing Dining and Diapers where I'm #210. I hope you get a chance to stop by my blog and leave a comment, too!
~ Megin of VMG206

Unknown said...

Great tips!! I always seem to make a mess whenever I get the spray paint out!

s. berry said...

wow - great tips! i wish i would've read this BEFORE my DIY christmas project. thankfully, i didn't post it - i will use your tips for this christmas! :)

can't wait to see it! you have a new follower in me!

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