Decorating with chalkboards is all the rage. You can find them featured in everything from interior-design magazines to top design blogs. Many retailers have decorator-style chalkboards for sale at pretty steep prices.
You can make your own chalkboard for a fraction of the retail price. Paints such as Plaid brand FolkArt Chalkboard paints come in a variety of colors, can be found at craft stores and are easy on the wallet. Doing it yourself is easy and fun and the results can be outstanding.
The paints work on a variety of surfaces, so the sky is the limit when it comes to design ideas. You can make a chalkboard with an ornate frame, paint over an old globe to make a chalkboard globe, paint directly onto the wall to create a chalkboard surface or make a kitchen chalkboard from an old tile.
To make the kitchen design, you will need to gather a few materials. First is chalkboard paint. This design uses the FolkArt slate-gray color. Next you will need a surface. For this design, a ceramic 16- by 16-inch floor tile was used. You will also need a foam paintbrush, a piece of chalk and a hanger.
The design can be embellish using painted wood letters. For this look, I chose the word "EAT." The materials needed are wood letters, acrylic craft paint, paintbrush, sandpaper, small nails, thumbtacks and heavy-duty glue.
To get started, paint the tile with one coat of slate-gray Chalkboard paint. Be sure to paint only in one direction. Allow to dry for about 1 hour. Working in the opposite direction of the first coat, paint a second coat. Allow to dry. Paint a third coat in the direction of the first coat. Allow to dry.
Next you will need to season the chalkboard. To do this, rub a piece of chalk over the entire surface and wipe clean, and your board is ready for chalking.
To make the word "EAT," paint each letter a different color using acrylic paints. The colors used in the design are tomato red, moon yellow and medium blue. To create an antiqued look, dry-brush over the colors with medium-gray paint. To do this, dip a loose bristle paintbrush into the gray paint, tap off the excess paint and dry brush over the letters. Allow to dry.
Using sandpaper, sand the edges of the letters to create a rustic look. Push thumbtacks and small nails into the letters. Attach the letters to the chalkboard with E6000 glue. Using the same glue, attach a hanger to the back of the tile.
It is that simple and the results are so fun. Hang in a kitchen and jot down what's on the menu or who called or make a shopping list. When friends ask where you got your new chalkboard, be sure to tell them you made it.
(Cathie Filian is a lifestyle expert, Emmy-nominated television host, author and designer. Learn more about Cathie by visiting her blog atwww.cathiefilian.com.)
(Distributed by Scripps Howard News Service, http://www.scrippsnews.com)