Sunday, November 21, 2010

Got chalk?

Every since we moved to this house in 2008, I've been toying with the idea of painting a small section of one of the walls in our kitchen with blackboard paint.  You see, I had painted the outside of one of our cabinets at our old house with it (upon the suggestion of a wonderful neighbor :-), and LOVED it.  I was waiting to find the right wall here though.

It dawned on me a couple weeks ago that I couldn't just paint a small section of wall - I needed to find a wall and paint THE WHOLE THING.  This epiphany came when I considered what would happen if Heidi saw Mommy drawing on the wall with chalk, but was told that she couldn't do the same....

So, I found a small wall in one corner of our kitchen that wasn't being utilized, and went for it.  As an added twist, I first painted on several layers of magnetic primer after seeing this used by John and Sherry of Young House Love.  Here's the wall after the first couple coats of magnetic primer (I ultimately used about 5 coats of primer to maximize the "magneticness"):

And here's the wall after the final coat of magnetic primer:

And here's the finished product (I framed it with window/door molding I purchased from Home Depot, and painted the trim with some semi-gloss white paint that I already had purchased for another project):

The magnetic primer works well for those thin floppy fridge magnets, but not really anything more substantial than that.  Not really an issue for us, as the purpose of the magnetic wall was so that Heidi could enjoy playing with our fridge magnets that weren't being used anyway.  The chalkboard itself has proved life-changing - no longer do I have to scrounge around for a scrap of paper to jot down something to remember - I just grab a stick of chalk and write it right on the wall!  I'm sure Heidi will enjoy coloring on the wall as well - once she gets older!  Right now she just tries to chew on the chalk....

As I mentioned, the magnetic wall isn't really strong enough to hold magnets capable of holding multiple pieces of paper, so for organizing bills, coupons, etc., I've been able to put this nifty item back to use:

It's basically a metal grid, which came with those 2 clip on mail holders, 2 pegs/hooks, and a holder for pens/pencils.  I purchase it on clearance from Pottery Barn several years ago for use in our old hallway/office - until now, it was just collecting dust in the basement!  I added those coloful magnets, and a weekly whiteboard calendar, so now we have a "command center"  in our kitchen - and no more piles of mail strewn about the kitchen!

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