As we were brainstorming about what Brandin wanted for the vibe of her wedding and how to present the menus we decided to go with chalkboards. The best part of this idea is that she has a friend who is a chalkboard artists so all I had to do was make the actual boards. As you can see her friend did a great job with her part of the project.
FYI: The entire wedding was a local food lovers delight. AZO is a local wine (AZO is also the airport in Kalamazoo).
Palazzolo's is a local Fennville, gelato manufacturer who make the BEST gelato. I know this because I eat it all the time-thankfully my local grocery store carries it.
Before we get to the tutorial, I want to talk about Annie Sloan Chalk Paint and Chalkboard Paint. They are NOT the same thing. Annie Sloan Chalk Paint is a fabulous paint that goes on easily without having to prep or prime the wood. It leaves an amazing finish and with the appropriate waxes you can develop a beautiful patina. It is perfect for restoring or repurposing old or ugly furniture. The Annie Sloan website has a lot of great information and videos.
If you have read any home dec blogs in the last few years I am sure you have come across this amazing paint and now I can see why it is so popular. I loved working with this paint and I love the end result. I used a can that Brandin had leftover from another project soI didn't choose the color. I hear from a friend who uses it a lot that the Old Ochre is THE color. The paint comes in 32 colors but there are recipes on their website to make other colors. I am planning on several projects this summer and I promise I will be using this brand of paint on all of them.
While I am hooked, there are two major downsides to Annie Sloan Chalk Paint: 1) it is hard to find and 2) it is not cheap. The paint is only carried in a few stores; in Michigan that means there are a total of seven stores and I couldn't find a legitimate online retailer. I may be wrong on that front- I did find Ebay sellers offering it. You can check the website to find a store "near" you. The expense is often discussed on the blogs. I feel like it is worth it because it is so easy to use and leave such a nice patina, however I also understand that not everyone can spend around $36 for a quart of paint. The high price of the paint has brought out the recipes for the faux. Want to know more? Hit up Pinterest and you will find a lot of mentions. My feeling? You get what you pay for.
Chalkboard paint is the paint that produces a chalkboard surface for writing on with chalk- a very different product. Do NOT confuse the two...you will have a hot mess. Chalkboard paint comes in a can or spray can. It is easy to work with- be sure to mix the paint well and season the board by rubbing a piece of chalk-turned on its side- across the board to completely cover it in chalk, erase and you are ready to make beautiful chalk art- or let your kids play school.
To make your own chalkboard you will need:
Frames- I used some basic frames that came just as you see them pictured below- no glass, no backers.
I got them at Michael's for less than $15 each.
Annie Sloan White Chalk Paint
Annie Sloan Clear Soft Wax
Colored Wax-I used a deep brown furniture wax
3/16 Black Chalk Board- this is an MDF product that comes ready to go and is about $10/sheet at
As I mentioned- there is no prep for the Chalk Paint. Love that there is no sanding, no priming- it makes the impatient part of me very happy.
Look how well 1 coat covers the dark wood. I do believe that good brushes are a must and Annie Sloan has a line of brushes. If I do any more projects I will invest in their brushes.
I gave each frame 2 coats just to be sure.
After the paint was throughly dry it is time to apply the wax. Annie Sloan has a line of waxes. The first thing to do is apply the soft clear wax. Again there are brushes made for this- I didn't have them so I used a terry cloth towel- not the best but it worked for this small project. I will get the proper brushes for future projects.
|After the clear wax dried and was buffed.|
After the soft clear wax dries it is time to age the piece by sing a dark brown wax. Again I didn't have the Annie Sloan version but did have an OLD can of a dark brown furniture wax. I used what I had on hand and again applied with terry cloth towel. When it was dry I buffed it using a clean side of the same towel.
|After I added the brown wax.|
I will admit that in hindsight I was too heavy handed with the dark wax. You will see in tomorrow's post about another chalkboard (made using a big mirror) I used a lighter touch and it looks better.
Here is a "before and after". I love the way it turned out. But it isn't a chalkboard yet...
|3/16 MDF Black Chalk Board from Home Depot|
I sent my husband to Home Depot to get something I could paint with chalkboard paint-I was thinking MDF or a smooth plywood product. He came back with this time saver- 3/16 MDF Black Chalk Board. It comes in sheets- for $9 which was big enough to do all 3 larger boards. Home Depot even cut it for us. The smaller frame (shown in the Before and After photo) didn't actually make it's way into being a full-fledged chalkboard because Home Depot didn't cut the sheet accurately and it was just short of fitting in the frame. The Board was held in place using glazing points. We propped the chalkboards up on various items but you could easily add picture frame wire and eye hooks to the back of each frame and hang them up or use easels.