Monday, July 16, 2012

Design Tips: How to Use Chalkboard Furniture in your Home

In this digital age, isn't it fun to play with real chalk? Why text someone when you can write a real note. Chalkboards and chalkboard paint are popping up all over, I've been seeing a lot of furniture finished with chalkboard paint. Write a message, help organize your stuff or just have fun decorating with art!

CB2 recently introduced a few clever pieces that work, designed by Diana Lu of Slate Design. Check out this bed, below! Label the drawers so you don't need to open them up to see what's inside. Change up the contents? Just update the drawer! Notice how in this picture from the CB2 catalog, the wall is a chalkboard mural! I love this desk, too, also from CB2. You can write your to-do list on top or let your kids play.

For a DIY approach, you can use chalkboard paint just about anywhere you'd use regular paint. If you want to actually use it as a chalkboard, make sure the surface is smooth, not wall texture. Be sure to clean the surface first, you may need to do a light sanding and then use a primer. Talk with your local paint store about what you want to paint and they should be able to help.

Have a favorite frame or find a cool one at a garage sale? Cut a smooth piece of wood, masonite or art board to size, prepare, prime and paint it with chalkboard paint and look, you have a custom chalkboard message center. This framed chalkboard, pictured below, is from Pottery Barn.

For storage, purchase or make some sturdy, smooth wood or paperboard boxes and paint them. You can write the name of the contents directly onto the box instead of fussing with labels. I always run out of room on the labels! Regular cardboard boxes may not hold up to the moisture of the paint, but they're cheap so it's worth a try.

Cabinet doors on a piece of furniture or even in your kitchen are good candidates for chalkboards, too. Mask the outer trim, if any, and paint the inside panel. Or, paint the whole door! Drawers, too could get the treatment for a more cohesive look. I like the industrial flat black color, but other colors may be available too.

For a pro lettering look, use stencils from an arts and crafts supply store or make your own. Lay down the letters and shade with the side of a piece of chalk, or outline around the edges. To make your own, type out an alphabet in a font you like off of a computer. Make the letters nice and big and print them out on thick paper or card stock. Notice how the classic "stencil" look has lines through parts of the letters? That's to hold the holes in place. Try to cut out your letters that way, or, at least save the holes!

Until next time!
--Elaine Bothe

Photos courtesy of CB2 and Pottery Barn.

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posted by Jennifer Adams Design Group Blog @ 8:42 AM 


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