Today, I'm sharing a simple tutorial for how to prime a chalkboard.
This summer, I had this wild and crazy idea to paint one of the walls in my office with chalkboard paint. Top to bottom, y'all. It was an all or nothing kind of thing. With a chalkboard this huge, I had to do some serious priming to get it conditioned for regular use. I thought I'd document those steps so I can show all my friends here how to prime a chalkboard...you know, for when you go all kinds of crazy and paint an entire wall that way, too.
Above is what the east wall of my office now looks like. However, this particular story (read: nightmare), begins last March.
I obviously didn't set up a tripod for this before pic...lol. It was taken from my "peeling corner" while I worked. The nightmare began in March when I was all "hey, let's take the wallpaper down...that'll be fun!" Actually, let me back up. The nightmare began eight years ago when I was all "hey, let's put wallpaper up, that'll be fun!"
Please spare me the "if wallpaper is applied correctly, removing it is cake" talk. I get it, people. I messed this up royally. My mom has already reiterated that to me. Multiple times. It's like the mistake that keeps on keeping on.
So, I put up this wallpaper (incorrectly...apparently). And then the take down process turned into a months-long ordeal that was almost the end of me. This photo was taken about month three of take down. It was shortly after this that my husband looked at me and said, "we are done." He picked up the phone and hired a guy. It was the best decision. EVER.
While at first, I was a bit wounded...I mean I've done the whole DIY thing for some time now, y'all. But, we were gutted. I mean. Really.
To paint you a picture of just how badly I messed this up, I not only had to replace those mattresses, I had to re-carpet the carpeted areas of our home...because of the sheer magnitude of drywall dust...everywhere. Drywall dust that I created by taking my ding dang electric sander to the unforgiving wallpaper. That was maybe my worst move, yet.
It quickly spiraled into the summer from H, y'all. And then Thomas came into our life and made it all better. Well, Thomas, his painting crew, and the carpet people. And by came into our life, I mean we forked over bookoos of moola to hire people to clean up our mistakes. And by our, I mean my. Sigh.
But now...we're back in biz-nass. Since Thomas had to do such extensive work in this room, I had time to dream up such crazy things as one wall becoming entirely chalkboard. To do this, he had to float it smoother than the other walls...and skip texture of any kind. When I floated (pun intended) this idea by him, he made it pretty clear that he had never done that, but was willing to...insert deer in the headlights, "you want to do what?!?" kind of look.
So a few well-skimmed coats of mud, two coats of black primer and two coats of black chalkboard paint later...the wall was ready!
Priming a chalkboard is a pretty important step. Chalkboard paint (and any chalkboard surface) is very porous. The first chalk to hit it will sink into those pores. So, if I were to write "HEY" before priming the board, "HEY" would forever appear in the background of everything that was ever written on that board. As the initial "chalk", it would get first dibs at the pores. And basically set up camp forevermore. So, you want your first chalk to be a consistent one...even strokes all over the board. So then your background is always of an even consistency. You'll only use the side of the chalk. It works best once it's flattened and smooth. I like to break my long pieces of chalk in half for this.
I used a box and a half of chalk to prime this bad boy. As soon as I was done, my friend Gina's all "I had this whole bucket of sidewalk chalk you could've totally used." Doh. Sidewalk chalk would've been pretty awesome for a chalkboard of this magnitude. But, I weathered the tiny chalk storm and came out the other side a better person for it. ;)
It's definitely not a hard job. But depending upon the size of your board, it can be long and monotonous. Just the side of the chalk...just the side.
If you're lucky, you can hire it out. I know a guy.
(And just to be clear...I did the high areas myself...he didn't get past the second rung.)
You're probably too busy trying to figure out what in the heehaw is happening here with my peeps...but, LOOK! I pattern-vacuumed just for you. My mom would be so proud. If only she knew how to get to my blog past its Facebook page, y'all. (Five years, mom...been blogging here for almost five years.)
So after one monotonous process comes yet another. It's all fun and games around here. Take a DRY paper towel (it will actually be numerous paper towels...sorry!), and dry erase the board. You're actually not erasing, but rather pushing that layer of chalk into the pores even further. Once one paper towel is filled with chalk, grab a new one. I like them folded the best. Then I just refold and use every available side.
Can we just take a moment to point out that I finally took a decent hair photo in I can't remember how long?!? Of course, it would be of the back of my head. I don't even want to talk about how many photos I had to go through to get here. And all of them still had that stupid neck crease. Oh lawsy...at least with craning my neck, all of my chins didn't show up for the photos...ha!
After dry erasing the entire board, you'll wet erase it. More monotony, I tell ya.
You don't have to wet erase...but I like to.
I also like to go numerous directions to make the board look older and well-loved.
What do you think? Would you ever have floor-to-ceiling chalkboard?