Friday, April 29, 2011

From Simple Frame to a Chalkboard with Style!

I'm very excited because the Powder Room for one of my clients in Santa Barbara is almost complete! Once it is completely finished I'll be adding some pictures here and to my website & talk a little more about the room itself. In the meantime, one of the finishing touches for the Powder Room is this frame turned to chalkboard. Turning a frame into a chalkboard is a very cost-effective way to add a little something extra to a space. You could do this with any frame that you have. The style of this frame works really well with the rest of their Powder Room.
To start - Ikea UNG Drill frame...

Next - a trip to your local hardware store to collect the necessary supplies. I had read on the Ikea Hacker blog a quick tutorial. However, after talking to Sam at Fredericksen's Hardware I changed my approach to the glass surface. I purchased the chalkboard paint that you roll out, as opposed to spray out. It's more durable and has a nicer finish. (Thank goodness for Sam & John at Fredericksen's Paint Store!! They are amazing.)

Rust-oleum: Chalkboard paint, white gloss spray paint, & of utmost importance: primer.

A tray to pour the paint into, a roller with a thin, microfiber foam applicator (yellow cylinder in the picture), gloves to protect your hands from getting the 'spray paint finger', tarp, paint can opener to protect your screw drivers, and a stir stick, just in case you don't get to the project within a week or so.

Remove the glass from the frame - be very careful when doing this and make a note of which direction is facing out of the frame. The frame is cut to fit only one way so you don't want to paint the wrong side of the glass. The glass is very thin and fragile...and well, I'm not always that 'careful' when I do things so I had to make an extra trip to the local glass store, Star Glass (they were awesome) to have a new, thicker, piece cut. Make sure you're in a well ventilated area and begin the priming process. For the frame's glass, just lightly dust the surface but make sure it is entirely covered. Also, try to stay out of the wind...it was really windy when I was doing this so the tarp had to be weighted down on all 4 corners. You also end up wasting a lot of spray paint because the wind picks it up and it misses it's target. Follow the directions on the spray paint can & chalkboard paint can too...sounds obvious but I think it's pretty easy to think 'you know how to do this, how hard can it be' and do it wrong. Yes, that's speaking from experience...but not on this project.

After the primer on the glass has dried, roll the roller in the paint a few times until there is a light, even, covering of paint on the roller. Lightly apply it to the glass, painting with vertical strokes until it is covered. Let it dry completely (about 4 hours) until you apply the next coat.

Two coats of the white gloss spray paint were applied to this frame, post priming.

To be entirely on the safe side, I let the chalkboard painted glass and spray painted frame dry for a few days before putting them together. Here is the finished product.

Ava and I walking down the fully dried and beautiful chalkboard, to ship it to Santa Barbara. We walked because it's just easier, albeit cumbersome/awkward looking but easier overall. We made a stop by Fredericksen's to show Sam how it turned out. He was thrilled to see the results and said it looked awesome. Which of course made me very happy! John was there at that time, he really liked it too.

I talked to the two of them about the slight bubbling of the paint on the glass. They said it was normal and wasn't really what they would call bubbling - more of just normal performance with glass. Glass is very porous so the chemistry behind how the paint adheres to it, versus wood, is much different. The slightest imperfections can show. John suggested that one option could be after the priming of the glass and before the paint is rolled out, to use crocus paper - which is similar to a 1500 wet dry sand paper. This could also be used at the end, it just takes any potential dust off and should be done very light.

For another wall in the Powder Room I'm working on a custom painting...if it turns out and they like it that will get added as well! Very exciting!

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