Thursday, September 22, 2011

Window Chalkboard Project

I bought an old crumbly, dirty window from a girl.  She had bought a load of 50 (!!) of them from some Amish people in Pennsylvania, and only needed 2, so she sold the rest off.  I bought two from her, not really knowing what to do with them, but thinking they could be very cool.

So I decided to make one into a chalk board to hang in my kitchen--something to write lists on, or notes, or reminders, or draw pictures.  So here's what I did...

Here's the window (this is actually the other window, but I didn't photo the chalkboard window before I began painting)

I bought some chalk board paint from the craft store. $7, but you can probably find it cheaper (the red, green, brown, and other colors were $3.50).
On the label, it says, "Create a chalkboard on wood, paper mache, terra cotta, canvas, most porous surfaces. Waterbase. Non-toxic. For best results, at least 2 coats recommended. Single coat coverage approximately 10.75 sq. ft."  Great.  Well, all except for the "porous surfaces" part, because I was planning to paint it straight on the glass in the windows.  Meh, I did it anyway.  Here's the first coat:

 First coat: pretty shabby.  Maybe this won't work.... Second coat:
Okay, not so bad, but still not good.  Proceed with coat 3 and 4.  I was impatient and helped the drying time with a hair dryer, which worked pretty well.  By the 4th coat, I felt like everything was pretty evenly covered and I couldn't see any transparent areas.  Sweet!

Next, put on the "D rings".
I hang paintings for a living (if you can call it that), so I am quite familiar with the ins and outs of hanging paintings/stuff on walls.  These principles apply to most anything you hang on your wall.  Buy "D rings" from the craft/hardware store.  For something heavy, like this window, (probably 10-15 lbs), I like something relatively heavy duty--meaning you want the screws to be substantial.  You don't want screws to rip out of the wood because they're too wimpy to hold your heavy thing.  Better too much than too little, in this case.
The 2 most important things when applying D Rings: #1 Make sure the screws are good and tight and screwed in. #2 The top of the D Rings on both sides of your painting/window need to be exactly the same distance from the top of the window to ensure that the window hangs straight on the wall.  I measured down 4 inches from the top of the window, and made sure to screw in carefully to ensure the ring stayed exactly 4 inches down. (Below: the screw driver is pointing to the line 4 inches down, where I marked the spot to screw in the screws.)
I then hung the window on "nickle plated hooks".  The advantage of hanging straight on the D Ring is that once everything is level (Rings in the same place, hooks level on the wall), your painting/window will never be crooked.  Also, it is MUCH more secure way to hang than with a wire on the back.  It would not work to hang this window on a wire--writing, drawing, and pressing on the chalkboard would cause movement and make it hang crooked.  Obnoxious.  Don't do it.  D Rings and plated hooks.  Yes.
So here it is on the wall:
I use soft pastel "chalk", which is not really chalk like you usually think of it, but the colors are very vibrant and really fun to draw with.  Its probably not so great for kids--its quite a bit messier than normal street/school chalk.  You have to wash it off with a wet paper towel, but its not dusty like normal chalk either.  I like it much better, but I don't have to worry about children.

That's it!  I love my new chalkboard!

1 comment:

  1. I love this! I wish I could run into a girl selling old windows so I could do this!