Have you ever wanted to make your own blackboard feature wall, but worried slightly about what your landlords (or boyfriend) would say when they discovered you had painted an entire wall black? Well fear no more!
Last Sunday, Mario and I were passing some time at a cafe waiting for friends, and we happened to be sitting directly facing a wonderful blackboard feature wall. I’ve seen blackboards around everywhere lately, and I guess I caught the bug. After a very late brunch, I went straight to Bunnings and picked up a tin of blackboard paint and some masking tape.
Now I know that Pinterest is absolutely full of recipes for DIY chalkboard paint, but in this case, I found it easier (and probably cheaper) to just buy it. A 250ml tin was about $15 – not too unreasonable.
I raced home and began to cover our chosen wall (really more in the nature of the side of a cabinet, than an actual wall) with masking tape. Why, I hear you ask? Because, as I alluded to above, I was worried that painting the wall black irreversibly might convince my loved ones that I had returned to the dark years of teenager-hood, where I longed to have an all-black bedroom. Also, I wasn’t sure I would like it.
So I covered the wall with masking tape, overlapping each strip slightly, with the idea that I could paint over the tape, and completely remove both tape and paint in one go if necessary. I haven’t tried it, but hopefully if I ever need to revert to plain wall, it will work! I was a bit worried about the tape lines under the paint, but I actually really like the effect!
The paint was oil based, so smelled terrible and got everywhere. I used a small roller and tray to put it on. As I always do, I rolled a bit too vigorously, and got a bit of black paint on our beautiful wood floors. At this point I made the MOST AMAZING DISCOVERY EVER. I’ve tried washing oil based paints off with water before. It doesn’t work. Like, really doesn’t work. So in my slightly worried state, I had a brainwave. If water gets water based paints off, shouldn’t oil get oil based paint off? I grabbed the bottle of olive oil from the pantry, put a bit on some paper towel, and wiped up the paint. It came off literally like MAGIC. Magic.
Once I had finished painting the wall, I decided to test my new discovery by seeing if olive oil would be able to clean the roller, the tray and my hands. IT DID. I had paint ALL OVER my hands, and it all came off! I rubbed olive oil on my hands (and the other things), wiped it off with paper towel, and voila! Magic. You might be able to tell that I was a little excited about this discovery. Olive oil is amazing for your skin, and heaps better for everything, including the environment, than turpentine.
Anyway, back to the wall. The paint needed 48 hours to dry completely, and then I got to work with some decorating. You might notice that I didn’t paint all the way to the edges – this is a point of contention between Mario and I. I think it looks rustic, but he thinks it would look neater with clean edges. Maybe we will change it one day.
I used Google and Pinterest to find some chalkboard related inspiration, and got to work.
I did this part with a “chalkboard pen” from Officeworks ($5.95), which doesn’t rub or wash off. After experimenting with normal chalk, I don’t think I’d bother with a chalkboard pen again. It’s as hard to use as a normal paint pen in terms of the ink running out all the time, and its pretty unforgiving if you make a mistake.
Drawing and writing with chalk takes a little bit of getting used to, but I found my stride after a while. I used a damp micro fibre cloth to clean off any mistakes or smudges, couldn’t have been easier.
Here are some shots of the work in progress:
So there you go – a completely temporary DIY chalkboard feature wall! Give it a try!