Chalk Board Wall

Let’s face it, a cinder block wall does not a thing of beauty make.  Ours had once been painted a dull beige, and the paint was peeling and super unattractive.  Ugh. It was time to give it a makeover!

Admit it, you want one too!

The first step was to clean off the old paint with a steel brush and water so that the surface was ready to paint. Then two coats of DriLock primer, to seal out moisture. Next up a coat of outdoor latex paint in a fun shade of blue. Now comes the creative part…

I played with ideas of putting words on the wall, or decorating it with seasonal images, but in the end the idea of a chalk board, where we could play games, put up BBQ menus, or just leave silly messages won out. It worked great, was fun to do, and didn’t cost much.  Here we go..

Step one, tape off a frame in the desired shape and size using blue painters tape.  Our wall is really long, so a good deal of space could be used and still not fill the whole space.

Ready for the fun stuff

Step two, paint the framed section of wall with chalk board paint. You can find this at Lowe’s or Home Depot. Follow the instructions on the can in order to ensure that the paint adheres and can be written on and erased. Pull the blue tape as soon as the paint has set enough not to smudge, so that the tape doesn’t dry into the design and create gaps in the paint. Then let your project dry the full time recommended before going on to the next step. This is hard, if like me you want everything NOW.  However, it really is worth the wait to know that your chalk board will last for a long time.

You will end up with something like the photo below.  Nice enough, but it could use some fun detail, no?

Plain chalk board, ready for hang man or perhaps some decoration is in order

My daughter and I thought it might be nice if we made a border around the chalk board. For this, we searched the garage for all the paint cans left from projects around the house. We love bold color in our rooms, so there were plenty of great colors for us to use.  I wasn’t picky about the paint type, so the border is all from standard latex indoor paint. Two years later this project still looks great and works brilliantly.  I don’t think the paint has suffered from the sun at all.

What is more fun for kids than finger painting? No fancy equipment is required, and we get to play in the paint, create something unique and personalized, and leave a part of us at our house forever (or until someone paints over our masterpiece). We used a sponge brush to paint the palms of our hands, then began to make hand prints around the border of the chalk board.

Too. Much. Fun.

When you do this, make sure that you don’t have so much paint on your hand that it drips or smears. Coat the entire palm and inside of each finger then place your hand firmly on the wall and have another person press the hand evenly so that all the fingers make an impression.  Make sure you vary the position of the hands, and alternate big prints with little.

Ta Da!  A gathering place for kids to play tic tac toe, hang man, or draw and create whatever they wish!

Bring on the chalk!

And the smiles!

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