Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Chalk it up

For those of you that know me, you know that I spend a pretty good bit of my free time thrifting. I stop by regularly to browse through other people's old junk, but I only visit particular areas of each store. I spend most of my time in the household items, rarely stepping foot into the clothing aisles. I'm not sure, but something about racks of  old stained bras and underwear hanging next to my head freaks me out. I have to seek refuge amongst the vases and old lamps.

One of the more successful thrifting trips I have gone on recently, took place just a few miles down from my house at the local Value Village. I like this VV because the pickings are never slim in terms of the household items I go searching for. Frames, Candle Holders, Glassware a plenty!

This VV sits on the cusp of a very bad neighborhood. There are a lot of drugs, violence, and an overwhelming amount of poverty. There are not a lot of savvy thrifters like myself hunting for DIY treasures on the regular, and therefore there is always a bounty. As much as I do not like to profit from other's misfortune, in this case I just consider myself to be rescuing these items from despair.
Most of the people who live around this VV are not concerned with what kind of frames they can find to paint, and which wreaths they can restore and reuse. They are only concerned with how they can afford to feed their families and make it to the next paycheck.

My favorite pick of the trip by far, was the god awful frame that I picked up for $1.00.
Here she is. Poor thing.
Whoever owned this completely botched the paint job. There is absolutely no way that someone intended for it to look this way.
If they did, I feel sorry for them.
No wonder it ended up on the thrift store shelves.
The frame itself was spray painted silver and black in a camo-esque fashion, but I spotted it from afar as I frolicked down the aisles, and I could tell is was in good condition. The shape was what really caught my eye, and I knew in an instant that it was bound to come home with me and be mine.
I had been wanting a chalkboard in my kitchen for a while, and had been wanting to try out a DIY chalk paint recipe simultaneously. This piece seemed like the perfect candidate for me to try it on.
Unfortunately, I was not thinking and did not take any pictures during the process. Just believe me when I tell you how easy it was.
Before I give you my recipe for success and a quick tutorial on the process itself, here she is after!

Ahhh! So much better.
I used this tutorial from Elsie & Emma over at A Beautiful Mess
First, I painted the frame with Rustoleum's Heirloom White. (my favorite) I wanted the frame to be a little bit weathered and shabby so I sanded the edges to let some of that black and silver shine through. I simply used a block sander in a fine grit.
Then I made my chalk paint using black acrylic craft paint and black unsanded grout powder. I knew that I wanted the traditional black chalk board, so I chose the black grout on purpose.
Picture courtesy of Lowes.com
The paint itself was chunky and bubbly, and I thought to myself..... just keep stirring. It smoothed out just fine, and I painted right over the existing floral picture canvas. Bye Bye 1970.
You want to make sure you let it dry overnight. Don't be impatient. And before you write on it you have to "season" it like a cast iron skillet.
I could slap myself for not taking pictures of all of these details, because you're probably wondering what the hell I am talking about when I tell you to season a chalkboard. But trust me it's important.
For tips on seasoning and decorative chalk writing, check this out, by Diane at In My Own Style.
I hope you enjoyed reading about my kitchen chalkboard that went from boo to ooooh!
I love it so much, and I have used it more ways than one.
Thanks for reading!