Yes. You read that right. A chalkboard. From a mirror. It wasn’t exactly what I first had in mind when the great people at Plaid Crafts sent me this goodie box.
Craft paint, glitter paint, chalkboard paint, Mod Podge, foam applicators and Hello! new paintbrushes! I always need new paintbrushes.
It’s no secret that I love Plaid products. As a matter of fact, I use Plaid paint almost exclusively but I just couldn’t figure out what I wanted to make. Solution? Head to Walmart!
I started in the Crafts Dept, natch. I thought I knew every SKU and product Walmart carried, but they’ve added a bunch of new stuff! So, of course, I had to grab one of these and two of those.
But “the” project hadn’t hit me yet. I mean, I’ll paint on anything, as long as it isn’t moving. Getting ideas wasn’t the problem. Narrowing it down to only one idea was.
Then it hit me – a chalkboard. Perfect! I’ll paint a chalkboard for my 4 year old grandson (and maybe his daddy will use it too, I hope, I hope.) So I wanted something big – big enough for Santino to draw on and tall enough for Dad to write reminders. Hmm . . .
Right next to the Crafts Dept. is Home Décor in my Walmart. And here sat this perfect size, lightweight mirror. $5.97! Oh yeah. Perfect!
Or is it? Will chalkboard paint adhere to glass? I’m not too sure ‘bout that, but since I’m at Walmart I just head over to Paint and grab a can of Krylon Dual Paint + Primer. $3.97 – cheapest price I’ve ever found.
Super simple too. I just cleaned the mirror with rubbing alcohol and let it dry. Any time I paint on glass I clean it with rubbing alcohol, btw. Works great. Then I spray painted one coat, let it dry for 2 hours, and then sprayed a final coat.
Now . . . how to decorate it. If you’ve been here before then you know dang good ‘n well I can’t just do a simple chalkboard, right? Huh-uh. So I thought about Santino and what would he like. Besides superheroes. Oh, I got this.
My grandson and I have always been close but since my husband died 3 weeks ago, our bond is even stronger. I’ll write more about it some other time. I’m trying, really, really trying, to keep this post just a nice li’l craft project. Stay with me here, k? So last week Santino pleaded with me to bring him pictures of “Poppy”. Sure! How many do you want? “Four hundred thousand and sixty eight.” ahem. Ok. A lot. But I want more than just photos of Marlon in frames. I want to keep Marlon in his life, his activities, as much as possible.
That means a photo on the chalkboard. Cool. He’ll love that. Along with the photo, I’ll add the marlin (fish) with two hearts. There’s a story behind that too. Nope, I’ll tell you that one later too.
I printed off my fav pic of Marlon & Santino and also the graphic. Since the graphic has curves, I wanted the chalkboard section to be curved too.
Ok, I know it looks like chalkboard paint in this pic but it’s just the Krylon Dual. But don’t think I didn’t wonder if I could skip a few steps and just try chalk on the spray paint.
I used my high-tech, artsy-fartsy method for a curved template. Trace a foam plate on a manila folder and cut it out. Mark your center point, flip the template and you have a perfect oval.
If you want a curve larger than a foam plate you can always do the tie-the-string-to-the-pencil trick. Have I shown you that? I don’t think so.
Add that to The List.
I used the template as kind of a reverse stencil too, only I brushed the paint from the top of the folder on to the mirror. If you follow the curve with your paintbrush, you’ll get seepage. ick. I.despise.seepage. Crisp, clean lines, thank you very much.
It worked too!
Now, if you’re smart, you’ll keep that part of the manila folder that you think you won’t need. That part that I crumpled up. Yeah, that part. Keep it. Then you can use it as a template for the outside of the curve.
If I’d paid attention in geometry I’d know what the inside and outside of curves are called. Or maybe I did learn it and I just can’t remember with my selective Alzheimer’s. I digress though.
I did not keep that other crumpled part so I just basically “cut in” with the chalkboard paint. Yep, just like painting walls. Cut in with a good brush . . .
. . . and then roll on the rest.
And since I despite clean up even more than seepage, I always have plastic baggies around. Plaid’s chalkboard paint only has to dry 2 hours before the 2nd coat, so into the little baggie and it was all ready to roll. Oh yes, I did just say that.
While the chalkboard paint was drying I transferred the graphic with some old pattern transfer paper I saved from my sewing days. Like over 20 years ago.
Tell me I’m not the only one who saves nearly every craft supply, or would-be craft supply. C’mon. ‘Fess up.
Anyhoo, if the transfer paper didn’t work I was all prepared to rub some white chalk on the back of the paper and try that as a transfer. Have you tried that? I know it works with pencil so surely it works with chalk, right?
Yeah, that’s the kind of thinking that made me think a mirror would make a good chalkboard.
Moving on . . .
I basecoated the marlin and hearts with light grey and then put a light ‘wash’ of blue and red on. And then . . . glitter. Santino loves glitter. But that’s not the only reason I used glitter paint.
Ok! Ok! I can’t resist! Just one little story, alright? Marlon loved to fish and told me about when he went deep sea fishing in the San Francisco bay one time long before he met me. He saw a sailfish swimming close to the boat and told me it was the most incredible sight he’d ever seen – shimmering, a myriad of colors. “Like glitter” was how he described it. Until someone hooked the fish and killed it. Marlon said all of the glitter just paled and went away.
He never went deep sea fishing again.
Santino’s marlin will always have glitter. I’ll make sure of that.
Ok, I’m done. Back to the chalkboard.
When Plaid sends me a box of goodies, I try my best to try and use as many of the products as possible. But me and stencils? Did I mention I despise seepage? Yeah, well, I threw caution to the wind this time and gave it a shot.
And you see what happens. sheesh. Little blobs of grey paint here there and everywhere.
A little more blue paint. A little more drying time.
Oh, I don’t blame the stencils at all. No, it’s me. I admit it. I am truly stencil-impaired. I don’t know why. I just am. It’s okay though. I’ve learned to accept my ‘problem’ and I’m dealing with it.
After all the touch ups had dried, I used Mod Podge to seal everything except the chalkboard paint. It’s a gloss finish so the chalk dust will wipe right off.
I was gonna leave the frame black and just seal it with Mod Podge too. But I remembered reading somewhere that you have to “cure” chalkboard paint. Oh, it probably says it on the package but you don’t expect me to actually read instructions, do you? Nah. Trial and error, baby. That’s how I learn.
Well, that how I used to learn. Now I ask bloggers. And they say to rub chalk all over dry chalkboard paint to cure it.
And then the black frame didn’t look as good. Except where my chalky smudges were.
Hmm . . . I got an idea . . .
I’ll just dry brush some silver on the frame.
Perfect. Well, almost. It’s missing something. *fingers tapping*
Ah, yes. Santino. There. That’s better. He was thrilled with his new chalkboard. Except, he had a request. Of course he did. He’s my husband’s grandson and Marlon always had his own “suggestions” for my paintings. (thanks, Hon.)
Santino said, “There’s only two hearts!” I told him yes, one for you and one for Poppy. “But what about YOU, Gramma? Can’t you paint another heart on there?”
Of course I can, Sweetheart.
Products for this project were supplied by Plaid and Walmart. All opinions were mine.
So, hey! Next time you need a chalkboard, think outside the box a bit. With a little creativity, some Plaid products, and Walmart, who knows what you’ll come up with? (For, like, under $20 too!)
Wait! Do you wanna see some other great projects? Check out what my bloggy friends made!