Chalkboard paint is an easy, low-cost way to instantly revamp an old piece of furniture. All you need to know how to do is use a paint brush!
BLECH. What an ugly old cabinet, right? And it’s made from pressed board wood–no variances in the grain, no unique characteristics of the wood. Just a boring old HEAVY thing. Pressed board–just why, America?
It’s actually an old phone cabinet (hey, land lines, remember those??). I think I had one similar growing up in the 80’s. You had to have a cabinet for all the phone books and Rolodexes and other garbage you needed to help you find the number you wanted to call. I found this at the Goodwill on 31st in Temple on one of those days where I had just SWORE to myself I wasn’t going to buy anymore furniture pieces until I cleared out some of my
beautiful special babies inventory. But it was only $15. FIFTEEN DOLLARS YOU GUISSE!!!! #pleasestopmeiknowihaveaproblem
I’m sorry, but I just could not resist. I can’t say no to a cheap piece of wood furniture, especially when I know I can turn it into something remarkable.
I immediately knew what I would do with this. I have been dying to do something with chalkboard paint.
I want to do my hole house in this. LITERALLY EVERY INCH. (Chris says ‘no’.) When the guy at the paint section at Home Depot told me I could get it tinted with almost any color I want I had to clasp the edge of the counter to stop from collapse in a fit of joy.
I really wanted to replicate this cool cabinet that they did over on Apartment Therapy. They used a poem their son wrote (awww) to cover the cabinet with. I have a lot of mostly terrible poetry I wrote as a disillusioned 20-something-year-old film/photography student, so this was a perfect fit.
I started with a $15 quart of Rustoleum Specialty Chalk Board paint (And I still have PLENTY left over). I used a $5 brush. I’m not too picky about brushes, since first of all, I like the homemade look of hand-painted furniture and I mostly look care that the bristles won’t come out and get stuck to the paint. That never looks good. But, chalkboard paint also comes in a spray paint variety, so you can try it that way too.
All you have to do is first remove the hardware. (*PRO TIP: Remember how everything was placed or make notes. You don’t want to be like me and have to keep removing and reattaching your hinges because you keep putting them on backwards) Give it a good sanding, then wipe/remove all the dust and debris from the surface.
Next, prime every inch of the surface. I use standard artist’s gesso to prime. I’ve tried KILZ, Valspar primer and others, but I still like my gesso. Yes, it is a big more expensive, but it really gives an all-over even consistency to work on.
Essentially, you’re just painting the piece black. I followed the instructions pretty closely, which recommend at least four hours between coats and at least 2 days of drying before you start writing on it with chalk.
I took two poems I wrote in college (what were we smoking back then???) and copied them onto the whole piece. Not really concerned about where to stop and start–it’s mostly the lettering that looks cool.
And here it is!
Close ups and different angles:
We’re using it outside on our veranda to make it look all fancy, but it would be great in any room.
I especially think these types of pieces are great for kids’ rooms, where you can let your children put their own personal stamp on a piece of furniture (of course, remind that this only works on this one piece, not on Mommy’s priceless Eames chair)
Like all the things I make, this piece is available now on my Etsy store. Check it out and follow me/favorite my store if you are so inclined to do such things