Tuesday, February 4, 2014

DIY Chalkboard Art

**Disclaimer** - I certainly do not consider myself to be an expert in the area of chalk art.  My chalk skills are definitely at the beginner level and I am not sure I should even be venturing into this area of a tutorial, but since so many of you have asked for details...here you go. :)

I consider this a tutorial for people like me who do not have naturally pretty handwriting or gifted artistic skills and just want to achieve some basic chalk designs.

I started with this cute little chalkboard from the thrift store.  My grandma had one almost exactly like this and I can remember fighting with my sisters to write on it when we were little.  I love when I find things at thrift stores that bring back sweet memories from my childhood.  

After it dried, I added a coat of Americana Decor Dark Wax for a more aged look.  This wax is more like a glaze and very easy to apply and work with.  I found I had to work quickly to apply with a brush and wipe off the excess.  It gives a very natural distressed look and leaves a super smooth finish.

I decided to go with a black chalkboard backing because the original green board was in rough shape. I painted the board with chalkboard paint and I allowed it to dry and cure for the specified time.  You will want to season your board by rubbing chalk all over the board.  If you do not do this step, your chalk will stain your board and will not erase all the way.

Wipe your chalkboard with a dry cloth.  I actually repeat the steps to "season" the board 2 times...just to be safe. 

Here is a tip that makes all the difference in the world when writing with chalk.  SHARPEN YOUR CHALK WITH A PENCIL SHARPENER!!!!  The brand of chalk you use is also important.  Some chalks seem waxy or can be too crumbly.  I always stick with old school Crayola. 

I have realized that there is NOT a fast and easy way to make pretty chalk art for those of us that are handwriting challenged.  It is going to take time and lots of erasing and trying again.  Do not get frustrated.  The more practice you give it, the better it will get.  There are several methods I use for writing on chalkboards, but I am going to stick with showing you the one that is easiest to accomplish with the least amount of expense and supplies.

First I print out the design I want to create. For this project I was able to use regular 8.5x11 paper.  For bigger projects you can print LARGE engineering prints at Staples or Office Max for $3.

Flip your paper over and rub your chalk all over the back of the image.  Make sure to rub it really good and cover all the design.  You do not need to cover the entire paper, just the areas where the design is.

Place your paper on the chalkboard with the image facing up.  Gently trace the image with a pencil.  

When you lift the paper, it should leave a faint outline of the image.  It is kind of hard to see in the photo.  Sorry.

Go over the image with your sharpened chalk.  On some projects I will use a chalk marker.  It gives a more semi-permanent finish that will come off with a wet rag, but will stay put if you have little fingers in your house that like to touch your masterpiece. 

I ended up using regular chalk on the final product.  I also use some q-tips and small paint brushes to go in and clean up areas around the art that need it.

And here are a few other ideas from my past chalkboard designs...


Joy said...

Wow I'm so impressed! I feel like I could actually have writing on my chalkboards now!

Amee said...

Love this! How have I never known you can sharpen chalk? Thanks for sharing!