DIY Framed Chalkboard


Project number two from the weekend was to turn a frame that Sweet Amanda and her mom found at a thrift store into a chalkboard.  That girl is quite the thrifter!  She found an amazing gilded frame in the trash that will make an appearance at the wedding and I think she paid $3.00 for this one:

The frame was in overall good shape.  I believe it once held a large mirror and is made out of particle board.  It is HEAVY!  There was some damage to the front of the frame that allowed the particle board to show through in a couple of places.

Sweet Amanda plans on having her wedding program written out on the chalkboard as everyone enters the wedding chapel so she wanted it to be fancy yet rustic/vintage… just her style. I could not figure out how to fix the damage to the front of the frame without totally redoing the finish…so I repainted and refinished it.  I sure wish I were more talented and could have just touched it up but it would have not looked right with my lack of skill.

Between showers I laid the frame outside and got out spray paint.  I am not the best spray painter in the world.  I tend to spray too much in one spot.  I really focused on thin even coats of gold spray paint this time.  I also had some shiny silver paint in the cabinet so I very lightly sprayed a coat of the silver over the gold.

The frame looked a little scary at this point.  I had visions of having to call Sweet Amanda to tell her I ruined the frame.

After the frame dried and before the rain came, I brought it in to the Garagemahal.  The frame is really divided into four concentric rectangles so I decided to work on applying the antiquing glaze one whole rectangle at a time.

Working with such deep detail on a large frame meant really working fast.  Even as humid as it was the glaze dried quickly.  I use cut up t shirts to wipe off the excess because the cotton really seems to pick up any puddles and it allows me to get into the small spaces.  I have two t shirt towels going at one time.  One is for the first wipe over and it is really gross, the other is for the second wipe over and is more clean.  When the second rag starts to get dirty I demote it to the first wipe over rag and get a new second rag.

After I finished the entire frame, I went back over everything at one time with a fresh rag… really rubbing hard. Some gold and some silver shows through the glaze.

I loved the results.  The frame really does look like an old plaster frame for $7.00 in gold paint and left over silver paint I would have to say the frame was a success.

The next step was to make the chalkboard part.  Hubby cut a piece of hardboard to fit the frame on his table saw.  We buy tons of hardboard.  It comes in 4 X 8 by 1/8 sheets and costs about $8.00 a sheet.  I use it to put backs on furniture we recycle, I paint on in like canvas and about a million other uses.  I primed the hardboard with Kiltz primer before I started painting on the chalkboard paint.  I bought Rustoelum chalkboard paint in a can to use and got out the foam roller and small paint tray.  My advice is that if the chalkboard you are making is small, go with the spray paint version. The paint on version of the paint was a pain in the neck. I wanted the finish to be smooth so I rolled on thin layers of the paint.  It took 4 coats to get the finish I could tolerate and it is still not perfectly smooth.

The picture above is after coat number one.

After the chalkboard paint dried over night I put the board into the frame.  We were really lucky here, the frame had some easy to use tabs that made putting the board in a snap.  I was pleased with the results.  According to the directions, I have to wait three days for the paint to cure then condition the chalkboard by rubbing the entire board with chalk then wiping it off.  After that it will be ready for use.  I will make sure to post a picture from the wedding.

On the Internet there are several crafters who have posted making their own chalkboard paint by adding un-sanded powered grout to regular latex paint.  I may try that down the line.

TADAH!  At the wedding.  Not bad for a resale find.

Project Weekend

Leave a comment

Whew!  We are back from Star Hill.  We had a VERY productive weekend.  Over the next few days I will show you the projects we got accomplished in spite of the rain and a sick hubby. Everything at Star Hill is green and beautiful right now.  We spent almost every minute outside under the porches.  There weren’t even any mosquitoes!  We only got an inch of rain all weekend but the skies were cloudy an it kept the temperature down.  It is hard to imagine that it is mid July with weather in the 80’s.

Our first project to begin and the last to finish was a cabinet that the love birds needed in their kitchen.  There is not any counter space beside the stove- just 36 inches of open space.  In a kitchen that is short on counter space we knew that a cabinet needed to be built to use all the available space for appliance storage and provide a place for the trashcan. We decided to challenge ourselves by only using materials we had on hand.  Our goal was to make this cabinet from scratch out of supplies left over from our kitchen remodel last summer and other projects.  I really thought it was going to be a two by four basic box but Hubby got busy going through the garage and found some colonial legs that were left by the previous owner and he pulled out the tile left from the kitchen floor. 

When Hubby and I start a project I have learned that he is a visual person.  If I can show him what I want it to look like he can probably build it. He measured the space and we went from there.

My rough drawing of the cabinet.

We started bright and early Friday morning and things moved along pretty quickly.

The top was cut to measure
The legs were cut to measure.  They were a little too long to start with.
The cement board was cut and attached to the top plywood.
Assembly of the legs, compartment, and top rails went well. 
We wrapped up about 4:00 pm and I thought that all was fine.  The next morning while making the bed I heard sawing and nailing in the garage.  I was so proud.  I just knew that Hubby was out in the garage finishing the cabinet so that we could get on with our other projects.
I could not have been more wrong!  When I got out to the garage, the entire cabinet was pretty much disassembled.  Hubby sheepishly told me that he did not like the original plan.  He wanted the cabinet to be better looking.  He had already cut more plywood from our left overs and had redesigned the cabinet. 
Here is the second draft of the cabinet.  2:00 pm Saturday.

 The dark brown is paint.  The wood he used was once used to cover a hole left in the house when we removed a door.

 I started working on the ceramic tile top.  Hubby and I both knew that we did not want to get out the tile saw so we designed the top to use six full one foot tiles.  I found the center tile on the bottom row and drew around the tile.  I applied adhesive to the cement backer board then laid out the tiles on the top. 

I wanted the smallest grout lines possible so I used pennies as spacers and unsanded grout that we used in tiling our backsplash.

 Hubby mixed the grout for me because I was nervous.  I got out wet sponges and a float.

  It only took a few minutes to get the grout into the spaces between the tiles.  I am used to the whole room all day ordeal so this was a treat.  The trick was the small spaces between the tiles.  I really had to push to get the grout all the way into the spaces and Hubby had to provide guidance.

After the grout was done, I painted the entire cabinet while Hubby drove into the city to help Baby Boy get more stuff moved in to the apartment.  The paint was the door and trim paint from when the Garagemahal was built.  Saturday 6:30 pm

The picture above was taken this morning.  The trim (reclaimed cedar from the house) was applied to the top edges.

Hubby woke up this morning running a fever and feeling awful, but like a trooper he got the cabinet all finished up then went back to bed.  I applied the second coat of paint, touched up the rough spots and waited for it to dry.  It was delivered this evening on our way home from Star Hill.

This is not a very glamorous picture but it looks great!  It fits perfectly and is going to really help the lovebirds use their kitchen more efficiently.  Total cost- 0

Weekend Projects

Leave a comment

It looks like we are going to have a rainy weekend at Star Hill.  I just love working four day weeks during the summer because I get to be a weekend country girl for three days! The wedding is just over a week away so we are going to use our time working on projects for the love birds and the wedding.  Here is my list of things that are getting packed into the truck:
ceramic tile, adhesive, grout- sanded and unsanded varieties, 2 X4 scraps, left over plywood, hardboard, ornate picture molding, chalkboard paint, gold spray paint, antiquing glaze, two part epoxy, angle brackets, vintage plates, broken dishes, foam roller, screws, PVC tubing,and clear poly acrylic.
The tools are already at the Garagemahal along with 1X4 and 1X6 lumber, and more plywood.

I will post pictures when we return to the city because there is no Internet at Star Hill. ( Just another thing I love about that place!)

In addition to the above supplies that will become four separate projects; I am packing tall clear vases, Christmas lights, hurricane glass, crystal candle holders, a vintage globe and microscope along with a stack of treasures that have been collected around the house.  I will let Sweet Amanda choose what stays at Star Hill and what makes it to the wedding and or rehearsal dinner.  The rest will just have to go into my hoard.

We have to be done with all the projects by Saturday night because the Garagemahal needs a good clean up Sunday before we leave…company is coming.  If I am brave enough I will post some pictures of the Garagemahal in its current state along with some after the clean up pictures. 

My buddy Tanis has been shopping resale shops, garage sales, antique stores and Goodwills all over Harris County today so I can’t wait for her to arrive with her treasures on Friday. 

By this time next week my  oldest, our southern bell, and her fiancee will be in route to Texas.  I miss them so much and am thrilled that we get to spend a little time together next week and that they will be a part of the wedding.  The southern girl is planning her wedding too so hopefully I will get to make some regular visits to the the southeast.  She is so far ahead of where I was at this point in the wedding planning.  Hubby and I decided to get married and got the whole thing planned in four months.  She already has her colors and brides maid dresses picked out, the photographer booked, has the reception site nailed down, the church is reserved for a wedding next June! Oh if only I could be as organized as she is.  She sure did not inherit that trait from either of her parents so she must have developed it in order to survive our chaotic lives.

I hope you all have a wonderful weekend.

Finished Product- The Glazed Furniture

1 Comment

Today Hubby and the soon-to-be-newly -weds got the furniture safely moved in to the apartment. I arrived in time to see the final results. We are pretty proud of our efforts.

Sometimes Hoarding Pays Off- Empty Frame Art

Leave a comment

Sweet Amanda did one thing in the last two homes she lived in… she painted her kitchen walls purple.  By purple I mean dark eggplant colored purple. Baby Boy even helped with the painting but I think that secretly he is a little thrilled that the apartment they are living in cannot be painted. Even though Baby Boy may not be thrilled with purple, I am.  It is my favorite! I wanted Amanda to have her beloved purple in the kitchen area.  I turned to Pinterest for inspiration. 
Here is what I found:
Empty frames on walls

and I found this:
More frames on the wall.

I remembered that over the years I had accumulated a lot of frames. I just can’t seem to throw out an old frame.  I even pick up frames that I love when out garage sale shopping … even if I have no idea what to do with them.  They have stacked up in the garage.  Hubby refers to my stuff as my hoarding and he may be right, but at least I keep it out in the garage.

Sweet Amanda and I sorte through the frames and this is what we came up with:

We will add as we find more.
We drug those nasty frames from the hoard into the house and removed the glass, backing and everything that wasn’t frame.  Hubby and Baby Boy even helped but they didn’t know what we were up to.
The frames don’t look to bad. We will post the progress. This project will be totally free and will let Sweet Amanda have some purple in her kitchen.

Giving Birth to a New Home

1 Comment

I am so blessed that Sweet Amanda and Baby Boy have an eclectic vibe and are willing to let me participate in finding their furniture and crafting. 

Here are some of our finds after we helped them to become amazing.  I did not start this process taking pictures of the stuff before we worked on them so I will have to tell you about them.

I LOVE Pinterest!  I saw the idea to put a letter on glass and leave the back out of the frame.  What could be better than Baby Boy and Sweet Amanda’s initials?  This gave me a chance to practice the glazing on the furniture I have posted below.

No this picture is not upside down.  Hubby figured out a way to spray it from both angles so that nothing was missed.  Sweet Amanda picked out the color (Rapids) for the furniture from the Valspar Paint Color Ipad app.  That app is like having all the paint chips in the store on the Ipad.  We found the furniture on Craigslist for $150.00. The set includes a headboard, chest, dresser, and mirror.  I will post them set up in the love birds’ nest next week.

Everything had to be sprayed with bonding primer, then two coats of paint then Valspar Glaze.

Close up of glazing.  I was proud of my first effort. Just need to add the hardware back on and get it moved without tearing it up.

The primer and paint had it rough.  Using a sprayer does take more paint than brushing but the results are so much better that it is worth every bit it takes.  Hubby is an expert furniture painter. After finishing the paint layers and glaze he sprayed on a coat of polyacrylic. Everything had to be moved into the house because it is so humid here.  The wedding is in less than two weeks… we are really under the gun to get it done. We ended up going with Olympic One Coat for durability with a color that matched the Valspar one.

The house is overflowing with furniture.  I LOVE having the opportunity to do this for the love birds.

Here is the rescued table and the resale lamp we have for their living room.  This is the “ugly” lamp that the resale guy gave me basically because he was so happy to see it go.  Sputnik era with a drum shade and walnut base.  Just needed love, steel wool, elbow grease and polyacrylic.

The lamp looks perfect on a table that my mom was going to sell in a garage sale before I snatched it.  It is going to look great with the vintage couch.

Say What?: You Don’t Have to Sit on an Empty Nest!

Leave a comment

Say What?: You Don’t Have to Sit on an Empty Nest!

Older Entries Newer Entries