How to Make a Chalkboard Surface Desk | Pretty Handy Girl

As part of the makeover of my son’s bedroom, I wanted to create a fun chalkboard desk surface for him to write and build legos on. The idea of a chalkboard coated surface came to me when I remembered how much he liked the mini-chalkboard decals that used to be on his room wall.

Creating a chalkboard surface on any desk or flat surface couldn’t be easier with the right tools. Here’s how you can create your own chalkboard desk!

Materials:

  • 3M fine grit sanding block
  • Valspar High-Hiding Primer tinted gray
  • Rustoleum chalkboard paint
  • 2″ paint brush
  • Foam brush
  • Small craft paintbrush
  • Desk surface (I used pre-cut finish grade plywood)
  • ScotchBlue painter’s Tape
  • General Finishes Water-based sealer (or satin Minwax Polycrylic)

Instructions:

Begin by lightly sanding your desktop with the sanding block. Wipe any dust off with a damp rag.

Paint one coat of primer on your desktop surface. (A little note about my primer: I asked the Lowe’s paint department to tint it as dark as they could with black colorant. This helps when you are painting over the primer with a dark color.)

How to Make a Chalkboard Surface Desk | Pretty Handy Girl

After the primer has dried, create a border on your desktop with painter’s tape. Press the edges down firmly with your fingers. Paint one coat of chalkboard paint with the paint brush. Brush the paint in one direction. Let that layer dry. Repeat with a second coat brushing across the original strokes (i.e. vertical then horizontal.) Read more

PHG_Christmas_Home_Tour

Welcome, welcome! I see you made it here from Songbird’s beautiful home. If you are coming here first, be sure to check out Marianne’s home:

songbird-house-tour

I can not tell you how excited I am to have you in for the tour. Last Christmas we were living in a demolition zone. So, it feels wonderful to have our kitchen complete and be able to focus on decorating for the holidays.

Pretty Handy Girl's Christmas Home Tour

I’m also enjoying low fuss decorating. Like this fake wreath that looks fabulous when you tuck some live greenery inside (thanks for the idea Colleen.)

Pretty Handy Girl's Christmas Home Tour

Pretty Handy Girl's Christmas Home Tour

Another lazy decorating trick is to wrap garlands around the chandelier. Read more

Paint Can Hostess Gift Idea | Pretty Handy Girl

As the holiday party invites start to roll in, you might be struggling to come up with a new hostess gift idea. These chalkboard painted buckets are a quick and easy way to throw together a unique gift basket that will fill the recipient with joyful scents and treats. I took half an hour and lined up a bunch of these metal paint cans to paint a stripe around the center.

Paint Can Hostess Gift Idea | Pretty Handy Girl

When dry and seasoned I can grab one and write a personalized message. Then I’ll fill it with a candle, DIY scented room spray, a pillow case, lotion or soap dispenser, a gift card to Lowe’s and of course some Hershey’s kisses! If you have an eagle eye, you may have picked up that I used paint stirrers decorated with washi tape (or painted with chalkboard paint) to use as the gift tag.

(I’ve included affiliate links for your convenience. I earn a small percentage from a purchase using these links. There is no additional cost to you. You can read more about affiliate links here.)

Materials:

Paint Can Hostess Gift Idea | Pretty Handy Girl

 

Instructions: Read more

Easy Wooden Chalkboard Sign | Pretty Handy Girl

Do you keep scraps of wood and say to yourself, “I might need that for something someday.” Well, today is your someday! Grab a scrap (or ask Lowe’s for their scraps) and create this super easy wooden chalkboard sign.

When you’re done, you can turn it into a sign that displays your favorite quote; a plaque welcoming friends; or you could create a fun Christmas Countdown sign!

Easy Wooden Chalkboard Sign | Pretty Handy Girl

Materials:

Easy Wooden Chalkboard Sign | Pretty Handy Girl

  • Scrap wood (3/4″ thickness works the best)
  • Chalkboard spray paint
  • Painter’s Tape
  • Red paint (I used Miss Mustard Seed Tricycle Milk Paint)
  • White paint pen
  • Chalk
  • Pencil
  • Eye hooks
  • Drill
  • Drill bit slightly smaller than the eye bolts
  • Ribbon
  • Pencil
  • Safety glasses

 

Instructions: Read more

Chalkboard Painted Mugs | Pretty Handy Girl

Have you seen those cute chalkboard mugs at Starbucks? They are so fun and I think it would be funny to write crazy messages on them daily. I decided to try my hand at a DIY painted version. Let me say up front that I did a little test using Rustoleum Chalkboard paint on one mug and Porcelaine Chalkboard paint (made for glass and ceramics) on a second one. I expected the regular chalkboard paint to flake off, especially after seeing this happen after just one coat:

Chalkboard Painted Mugs | Pretty Handy Girl

However, after a second coat and baking it in the oven, it appeared to hold up after an initial dishwasher run. I can chip off some of the regular paint with my fingernail on the edges. But,overall the paint seems to be hanging onto the mug. That being said, based on the way the Porcelaine paint immediately took to the mug and appears to be harder to chip, I expect the Porcelaine painted mug to hold up much longer. So, if you want a chalkboard mug that will last longer, use Porcelaine paint.

Chalkboard Painted Mugs Materials: Read more

close_up_signature_on_table

My grandmother wouldn’t mind that I painted and then wrote all over her coffee table. She was one of the most giving people you’ve ever met. She truly was the type of person that would give you the shirt off her back if you needed it. I strive to live up to her legacy every day of my life.

She was also a very lucky lady. I mean lucky as in she could spot a four-leafed clover in a field of them. She was constantly finding money on the ground.

gma_in_silver_sweater

When I was living with her my freshman year in college, she made me do a U-turn on a street because she saw a five dollar bill in the middle of the road! She was a hoot and loved to make people laugh with her jokes or just dressing up as a bunny every Easter.

gma_bunny

(That’s my sisters and me in the floral skirt.)

She also won several contests in her life. But, she rarely kept her winnings. One of the things she won was a solid construction coffee table. When I was moving into my first apartment, she gave it to me. We used it for years until my design tastes changed and I bought a new one. Grandma’s coffee table moved into our attic. It sat there for years, buried under bags and suitcases.

When the big tree fell on our house, we did some serious purging in the attic. I should have taken the coffee table to Goodwill or sold it at our yard sale. But, something made me keep it a little longer. Read more

Dear Beautiful Table, your scandinavian antique beauty has us mesmerized. What’s your story? Did a family of four sit around you and talk about the day’s adventures on the farm? Or were you an antique table brought over from Europe and passed down for generations?  Or were you simply an ugly table left by the dumpster of an apartment complex in Raleigh, NC? {insert record scratch sound bite here} Yup, would you believe that a few short weeks ago, this beauty was sprawled in pieces by a dumpster? All the pieces (including the leg bolts) were neatly in a plastic baggy and secured to the table. This is one of the best pieces of furniture I’ve ever found in the trash (well next to it to be exact.) I didn’t have to do any structural repairs, just reattached the legs. But, it looked like the below photo when I picked it up:

Read more


Faux Zinc Painted Chalkboard File Cabinet

This summer I was thrifting with a few friends and stumbled across an ugly cabinet at the Goodwill. The metal chest had extra wide and deep storage, but the worst colors imaginable! The hot pink and mint green were disguising the true potential of the chest, but like a color-blind dog, I was able to see beyond its garish appearance. In my mind, I pictured a vintage metal cabinet with a faux zinc side and chalkboard drawer fronts.

I scooped it up and brought it home. Then the poor chest sat in our garage for months and months until I had a chance to work a little spray paint magic and turned it into….this thing of beauty:

Yes, that is the same chest of drawers! You could do the same transformation.

Materials:

(I’ve included affiliate links for your convenience. I earn a small percentage from a purchase using these links. There is no additional cost to you. You can read more about affiliate links here.)

Instructions:

Clean off the drawers. Remove any dirt or debris (I actually had to use a little Goo Gone to get rid of some sticky residue. But, lemon essential oil will also work for this task.)

Remove the drawers from the chest. Tape over the drawer glides and slides. Mask off the drawer sides and insides by covering the drawers with tape and craft paper, leaving only the drawer fronts exposed.

Spray paint the chest and drawers with automotive primer. (I prefer the automotive primer because it sticks to metal and can withstand a lot of abuse.) Let it dry.

Spray paint the drawers with chalkboard paint. (Use three fine coats of paint instead of one or two heavy coats.) Set them aside to dry.

Adding a Faux Zinc Texture:

This is the most exciting part of the tutorial. I created this technique by trial and error and I’m excited by how well this method works for creating a faux zinc texture.

Getting a faux zinc texture is really easy. Just have some gloves on and use a crumpled up piece of craft paper. (A loose crumple works best.)

Spray paint the chest with a thick coat of the hammered silver spray paint, (but not so thick that it runs). Let the paint get tacky by waiting a few seconds. Then use the crumpled piece of craft paper to blot into the wet paint.

Work in small 1 foot sections and pounce the paper a few times. (Too much pouncing and you’ll lose the large textured pattern.)

Let the cabinet dry thoroughly.

Insert the chalkboard drawers back into the cabinet frame.

Add chalkboard art to your drawer fronts.

This metal chest of drawers is the perfect size for my large tablets of art paper.

The cabinet has a wonderful texture now.

I have the flexibility to move my art supplies around and just change the chalkboard label.

Did I mention this little chest is the perfect height to rest my palette on while painting.

I’m soooo thrilled with the results!

 

Hello, this is Pretty Handy Girl reporting from the sick bay this week. If you follow me on Instagram, you’ve probably seen my trip(s) to the pharmacy and my hopes for those little pink babies: Read more

You may remember when we created our Summer calendar and bucket list. The boys really responded well to being able to see what was coming up on the calendar. And I enjoyed not having to pull up my Google Calendar on the computer whenever I was put on the spot for a play date. So, continuing to use a calendar in the kitchen was a no brainer. But, creating new calendars on poster board each month — although fun — seemed a bit tedious.

In a sheer stroke of genius suggested by Pretty Handsome Guy I decided to paint a chalkboard calendar on our fridge: Read more