Thursday, June 25, 2009

Crazy about chalkboards

The Shabby Chic Cottage is hosting a fun event that has everything to do with chalkboards and the numerous ways that people have used them in their homes. Some people have turned picture frames into chalkboards, others have covered trunks with chalkboard paint and people like me have painted a wall with the paint.

If you'd like to see more, head on over to the Shabby Chic Cottage and the Crazy About Chalkboard Party!

I own three condos that I rent out to people going through the Mayo Clinic's transplant program. These are folks who are in need of a heart, lung or liver transplant and since my husband had a liver transplant over three years ago, we are uniquely qualified to understand what transplant patients need in the way of housing. So we renovated, furnished and decorated these condos and continue to enjoy meeting the people who stay with us.

One of our condos is a bit larger than the other two and had this three foot wide divider wall that was begging to be different.

So I painted it with black chalkboard paint and gave specific instructions on how to use chalk. I know, I know... everyone knows how to use chalk, but I wrote out a sidewalk sign board for our coffeehouse for 4 years and I figured out a system.

I learned right away that if I wrapped the chalk up in a wet towel (or paper towels) and let them get good and wet before I used them, they were much easier to use. When I took them out of the towel they would just sail across the chalkboard with ease. The colors were so much more vibrant as well. I loved to write on the sidewalk board. My favorite chalk is the Sidewalk Chalk because it is fat and easy to hold, especially when wet. Not to mention you can find such cool colors.

The wall that I used for the chalkboard installation was quite bumpy and not a good candidate for a nice smooth chalkboard. Armed with a tub of spackle and a 3" flexible metal putty knife I proceeded to spackle the entire wall. I made it as smooth as possible. When dry, I used a sanding block to knock off the rough spots. There are still a few bumpy spots, but overall it's a real nice surface.

One of my tenants had a college aged son, Paul, that came to visit several times. He came to visit his dad, of course, but he also participated in a marathon...actually, I think it was two. The Mayo Clinic had a team of runners and Paul joined in. The marathon started at the Mayo Clinic and ended near the ocean.

It was so wonderful to see this event drawn on the wall. Even after the son went home, my tenant was able to enjoy the visit, the race and the fun.

Many of my tenants have used the chalkboard wall as a calendar, memo pad and drawing board. It's a great space to play and be creative when there isn't a whole lot to do but go to the doctors and wait for that call.

I hope you have enjoyed my chalkboard wall.
Have a fabulous weekend!

***Edited. I forgot to mention. If you want to go the wet chalk route, be sure to designate a towel or two for the chalk and the board because the wet chalk leaves a tie-dyed residue on the towels that don't come out completely in the wash. I used old hand towels or wash cloths for this. Also, if you get the chalkboard wet as well as the chalk, the glide factor doubles!


Unknown said...

What a lovely way to make use of wall space. After spending 6 months in a home like this with my granddaughter last year, I know first hand this would have been a blessing. I admire the fact that you do this for people. It touches my heart deeper than you will ever know.

Keetha Broyles said...

Now THAT'S a chalk board!

Jadehollow said...

My Daughter would love that.. she has already requested a whole wall in her room done.
Thanks for sharing.

Leigh of Tales from Bloggeritaville said...

I LOVE that Kristin! What a great way to allow your tenant to be creative, to allow their minds to wander creatively while they recoop. You are one amazing woman! I am lucky to call you "friend"
Great chalkboard!

Jane said...

Thanks for the chalk tip. You would think as a teacher I would know how to use chalk, but I have been blessed with dry erase! I just painted my fridge with cbp and the dust from writing on it grosses me out. This should really help!

Mason said...

love it! So glad to have found your blog via the chalkboard party! :)

Susan @

Pam said...

WOW, that is amazing! I'm speechless. What a great gift to give a family while they are living there during such a trying time.

Thanks for the wet chalk tip!

Barbara Jean said...

interesting about the wet chalk and chalkboard.
that is new one to me.

Wonder if that is the concept behind the chalkboard pens?


JunkinJane said...

Great job you did!

Tricia said...

Hi again, Kristin.
Love your chalkboard wall.
I also love the advice about the wet chalk. I may know how to use chalk, but obviously you know how to use chalk like a pro.
This will be very helpful.
Have a great weekend!

Marie said...

Hello Kristin - I'm new to your blog! Love what you did with the chalkboard paint! What a great idea.


Moore Minutes said...

What a SPECIAL idea to do and a perfect way to build community and memories. Thank you for sharing. :)


Terrific idea! It looks great!

Jen Bowles said...

Just love your chalkboard wall and all your helpful tips! How wonderful that your family is able to give back and help others in such a meaningful way!!

Vanessa Greenway said...

What a fun wall!! I would love to have one like this in my kitchen! Perhaps I could leave a bigger message to my hubby! lol Have a great day!

Kristin - The Goat said...

Thanks everyone for your lovely comments. It's been a pleasure meeting all of you.

Amanda@Imperfectly Beautiful said...

Love, love, love this! What a wonderful sentiment for your tenants. You are an inspiration! Thanks for sharing.


p.s. Also, thanks for the fabulous wet chalk tip!

Melita said...

wow that is very cool. i made a pink chalkboard check it out