travel, hike, eat. repeat.

my adventures are often on a budget… and always clumsy.

diy: fun with chalkboard and spray paint

Well. Making a chalkboard wall is as basic as it gets in arts and crafts, huh? It may be a single step above covering a pine cone with peanut butter and making your own bird feeder. Wait, those things make bird feeders, right?

See? I’m not crafty. I’m the anti-crafter. Crocheting? I’d rather stab myself with the needle pin things you use! Decorating? Interior design? Making things pretty? I think you’re speaking Mandarin and I cock my head to the side like my dog when he’s baffled. Can I hire you to come decorate my apartment? …for free? 🙂

When Matt and I decided to host a housewarming party, everything changed. Once we committed – that is, sent out an evite with an overachieving menu and sold our apartment as a place people might want to be for an evening, we had to do something with it. But what?

A chalkboard wall to the rescue!

Except we like to make things really complicated. And we thought a little too much about it. And we pretended we are crafty people. So we decided, “A chalkboard wall is just too ordinary. How about a chalkboard strip?!” And the idea was born. In addition, a friend gifted me a small bottle of chalkboard paint for my birthday, so, you know, we had zero excuses (thanks Paul!).

We got a little carried away when we went to Home Depot to pick up more paint. I thought it’d be genius to hang three shelves, all at different levels, above the chalkboard strip. And then – lightbulb! – another thought! I wanted to take small clay flower pots and put them on the shelf closest to a window, in which to grow my own herbs – oregeno, basil, jalapeno, etc. I remembered a Pinterest idea to use chalkboard paint on those, as well, and label the herbs. Done. (You give a non-decorator a paintbrush, and they think they can paint the Sistene…!)

Then we ran into our first, of many, problems: the shelves were expensive. We needed three, plus the stuff to hang them. Zan suggested buying a long piece of cheap wood, instead, and having the dudes at the Depot cut it for us into three equal parts. CHEAP! We picked up the cheapest supports in the shelf aisle and a bottle of white spray paint for the wood shelves. Before running screaming out of Home Depot because that place is terrifying, we grabbed three pots ($.75).

All in all, our projects only took 3 weeks. HA! I wish I were kidding! This is THE easiest DIY, and it still took us ages. I put one coat of spray paint on one side of the shelves and a coat of chalkboard on the pots, and left them outside and forgot about them. For two weeks. There was a rain storm and all. Let’s pretend I did it on purpose – I can now report back to you that these are rain-resistant!

When we finally got it all said and done, it was an easy project. The hardest part was hanging the shelves. Fortunately I have a man with a tool set and a big, fat drill. But even with that, we needed special screws and thingamajiggs because our wall is apparently straight up brick. With some manpower and sweat, though (hottt), he got those shelves in the wall.

The piece of this DIY of which I’m most proud? I found a silver-plated basket at a thrift store for $2. I instantly imagined chalk in it, hanging near the board. I threw a chain from an old media ID badge on it (seriously!), and Zan hung it from one of the shelves.

If you’re looking for a gateway DIY project, try this one. If I can do it, I promise – you can, too!

Some pics of the process, with supplies & steps to follow…

Ingredients (errr, supplies?)
wood for shelves (Home Depot will cut it for you for free)
chalkboard paint
tape/ruler/pencil – I hear getting the paint in a straight line is important
pots – clay ones, cheap ones, get it.
pot bottoms – pantsless pots will be messy
spray paint to paint the wood
chalkboard paint
nails and hammer and whatnot to hang stuff
support for the shelves

paint things
bang in the shelves
congratulate yourself, you Crafty McCrafterson!

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3 thoughts on “diy: fun with chalkboard and spray paint

  1. Whoo! I contributed!

  2. Haha I love that you didn’t put anything under the shelves while you spray painted them. It’s also a porch DIY!

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