Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Tales of a Craigslist Adventure

I moved over Christmas break!  (Goodbye leaking roof and terrible landlord!) I love my new place, but it was missing a pantry in the kitchen.  This is a huge problem for me because: (1) I am addicted to kitchen gadgets and (2) I am addicted to food.  So as soon as I moved, I set off to find something I could use as a pantry.  I'd already decided I wanted a cabinet of some sort, basically a tv armoire or a computer cabinet.  And 2 short weeks later, Craigslist came to my rescue (again).

Not a bad way to spend 20 bucks
I knew it was going to be an adventure when it required I rent a giant moving truck from Home Depot to pick the bad boy up.  It was quite the sight watching my tiny self drive this giant "man's man" truck through the streets of Dallas.  And to the relief of the Home Depot guy I managed to drive it without injuring the truck, myself, or innocent bystanders.
Driving the giant truck.
If it looks like I'm cracking up laughing, that would be correct.
I've been wanting to chalkboard paint something forever and I figured a makeshift pantry would be the perfect place to start.  And even better, my favorite column, "before and after basics",  on my favorite blog, Design Sponge,  recently posted some helpful hints about chalkboard paint and tape designs, so I figured it might just be divine intervention. I fully plan on scribbling recipes and my grocery list all over that thing.

Want to create one yourself?  Here's the how-to:

  • Chalkboard paint
  • Painters tape
  • foam paint roller  (Don't buy the cheap-o ones.  Get a nice smooth one, because it's essential for the paint to be a smooth as possible.)
  • Something to paint
  • First step is to tape off any letters or designs you do not want to be painted.  I chose "eat" because it's going in  my kitchen, and I needed something to make it look less like a TV cabinet.  The trick to tapping the letters is going slow and being precise!  Seriously, taping the letters took up the bulk of the total project time.  The other key is to press firmly on the tape to ensure that it adheres to the wood.  The better your tape is stuck down the cleaner your lines will be in the end.

  • Paint.  It took two coats of the chalkboard paint to get good coverage on the cabinet.    There's also a 4 hour drying time between coats, so that slowed the process up some.
And no, I generally do not paint or do craft projects in my kitchen, but that thing was too heavy to drag out of there so I improvised. 
Coat #2

  • Peel off the painters tape- slowly.  It also helps to pull in the same direction, with the same amount of pressure.  This helps gets as clean of lines as possible.  If you find a mistake (and believe me, I had several) you can always go back and touch it up or scratch it off with something.  (I find that fingernails work wonders.)

I love the contrast of the matte chalkboard paint against the slightly glossy wood.  

In context without the painting mess. Once the 3 day curing process finishes, the thing is going to be covered in chalk.  :)

Now to finish the inside shelving, which will involve an electric drill, a 3/16" bit, shelf pins and a bit of hilarity if I'm guessing correctly.  

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