Chalkboard Paint Tags in 5 Easy Steps!

Benjamin Moore’s Chalkboard Paint is a versatile product that can really bring out the “creative” in us! Here’s an interesting project by Betsy Thompson from our 17th Street Store that might get you thinking about some different ways you can use Chalkboard Paint in your own home!

Chalkboard Storage Tags

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STEP 1

The first step is to gather all your supplies. You’ll need some wooden tags from a local art supply store as well as some light-colored chalk designed specifically for chalkboards. Finally, you’ll want to stop at RepcoLite for some primer, a quart of Benjamin Moore’s Chalkboard Paint (in whatever color you want!), and a sheet of 180 grit sandpaper.

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STEP 2

The second step is to apply primer to the wooden tags. In our project, we used a spray primer to minimize brush strokes or roller marks on the tags and because it’s a little quicker!  Now, even though “Primer-and-Paint-in-one” products are very popular, we still recommend the primer step in a project like this. The reason is that bare wood can be exceptionally porous. The helps fill in the wood grain and creates a smooth surface for the Chalkboard Paint.

STEP 3

The third step involves a light sanding of the primed tags. Depending on how quickly your particular primer dries, you might be able to do this quite soon after application. At any rate, when the primer is sufficiently dry, lightly sand the surface to knock down any raised wood fibers. When finished, wipe the tags clean with a damp cloth. Don’t introduce a lot of water to the surface. We’re only talking about using a damp rag to get the dust that you created from the sanding step off of the surface.

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See Corona Excalibur Brushes in our Shop!

STEP 4

The fourth step is to apply the Chalkboard Paint. Once the tags have dried from step four, apply one or two coats of Benjamin Moore Chalkboard Paint. In our project, we used a high quality Corona Excalibur Brush for application. However you accomplish it, Whether rolling or brushing, make sure you use a high quality applicator. Cheap brushes will be more likely to leave brush strokes (or release bristles into your finish). Cheaper roller covers will provide you with a rougher, orange-peel, texture.

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STEP 5

The final step is to condition the chalkboard surface. After allowing the painted area to cure for at least 3 days, rub the entire chalkboard surface with a piece of white chalk. After you’ve erased that, you’re chalkboard surface is ready for use!

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Benjamin Moore’s Chalkboard Paint is available in any color in the Benjamin Moore spectrum. So, get creative! Think outside the box and see what you can come up with!

Some Hints:

  • For erasing, we recommend using a clean, damp cloth or paper towel. We do not recommend using a chalkboard eraser.
  • You’ll acheive the best results when using light-colored chalk designed for use on chalkboards.

 

 

Stenciled Dresser Project

green_furniture_web_030816Finding and old piece of furniture–something that’s seen it’s better days–and breathing new life into it with a little paint and some creativity is easily one of my favorite do-it-yourself projects. I love it because it’s usually inexpensive (if you’re a smart shopper), doesn’t take much time, and the results can be dramatic.

Today, I want to highlight and recommend a simple project we discovered on a great decorating blog called “Sophia’s Decor“.  (Check it out sometime–you’ll thank us later!)

This is a simple project that anyone can accomplish.  Please head to Sophia’s Decor for some great pictures and more detailed comments about the project.  But to quickly summarize:

Here’s What You Need:

  • A piece of furniture to paint (this is important)
  • Paint (main color and stencil color)
  • TSP
  • Sandpaper
  • Paint Supplies
  • Stencil or Projector

Here’s What You Do:

1 Start by scuff sanding your furniture piece with some 120-150 grit sandpaper.  This doesn’t need to be a complicated, lengthy, arm-breaking, sweat-producing sanding job.  You’re basically just dusting over the piece to dull the previous finish so your paint will bond.
2 After the scuff-sanding, wash the piece down with a TSP and water mixture.  This will remove the sanding dust and will also help to clean away any surface contaminants that might be left from cleaners and so on.
3 When the piece is completely dry, apply your main color.  Brush or roll it directly onto the furniture piece without a primer.  (If you plan to distress it, it’s important to skip the primer step.)
4 Once the piece is painted (it may take one or two coats depending on your color), go ahead and distress it.  This is a bit of an art project and takes a little bit of thought.  It’s not complicated, but you want to be careful to create an authentic distressed look without going too far.  Carefully run your sandpaper over the edges of the drawers and the top and the legs and you’ll notice that very quickly you cut through to the wood beneath.  Work around the spots that would see normal wear over the years:  the drawer pulls, edges and so on. Continue like this until you’ve achieved the look you desire and then wipe the piece clean with a damp rag.
5 When it’s dry, it’s time to apply the stencil.  This part will take some planning and some thinking and some searching to find just the right graphic.  In this case, the blogger at Sophia’s Decor used a projector to display the image on the dresser and then she traced it with a pencil, using an off white paint to fill in the lines.  You could also accomplish the same affect if you found a stencil to your liking.
6 However you put the design on, let it dry a couple days.  Once it’s dry, the last step is a light sanding over the letters.  (Don’t work too hard with this sanding or you’ll remove too much of the lettering!)  The goal here is to lightly distress the lettering and give the piece an aged look.
7 At that point, you can leave the piece as is, or, if you prefer, you could apply a light, single coat of polyurethane in a low-gloss or flat finish.  A solvent-based polyurethane will yellow slightly over time, so be aware of that before you top-coat anything that’s white!

Overall, this project will take you a couple days from start to finish–though most of that time will be just letting it dry in between paint coats. It’s fun, easy and, because the furniture piece is small compared to the room it is eventually placed in, you can experiment with colors that might be too strong for the walls.

If you try something like this, or have a project you think turned out really well, please post a pic on our Facebook page here.  We love to see what you’ve come up with!

Decorating Made Easy: Decorating with the 60-30-10 Rule

The 60-30-10 rule is a tested concept used by interior decorators everywhere.  It’s a simple proportion that spells out the ideal amounts of color to use in your decorating.

To keep it as simple as possible, 60% of your room should be composed of your dominant color, 30% should be composed of a secondary color and that final 10% should be reserved for accents.  Now, maybe that sounds a little confusing . . . so here are some examples:

This room is a perfect example of the 60-30-10 rule in practice. 60% = Lavendar (walls and blanket) 30% = White (bed and fireplace) 10% = brown/tan (chairs, dresser, floor)

This room is a perfect example of the 60-30-10 rule in practice.
60% = Lavendar (walls and blanket)
30% = White (bed and fireplace)
10% = brown/tan (chairs, dresser, floor)

 

 

 

Another great example: 60% = Tan (walls, floors) 30% Brown (couch, tables) 10% Blue and White (pillows, vases, etc.)

Another great example:
60% = Tan (walls, floors) 30% Brown (couch, tables)
10% Blue and White (pillows, vases, etc.)

 

 

 

A classic example showing that you don't need a soft, muted color on your walls to make this work. 60% = Red (walls, accessories) 30% = Cream (furniture, rug) 10% = Tan (floor, accessories)

A classic example showing that you don’t need a soft, muted color on your walls to make this work.
60% = Red (walls, accessories)
30% = Cream (furniture, rug)
10% = Tan (floor, accessories)

 

Another great example that clearly demonstrates that the main color doesn't need to be calm, simple, neutral or BORING! 60% = Green (walls, accessories) 30% = White (furniture, art prints) 10% = Dark Brown (floors, chair legs)

Another great example that clearly demonstrates that the main color doesn’t need to be calm, simple, neutral or BORING!
60% = Green (walls, accessories)
30% = White (furniture, art prints)
10% = Dark Brown (floors, chair legs)

 An example that proves you can use the 60-30-10 rule to work incredibly vibrant and bold colors smoothly into your decorating. 60% = Blue (walls, light) 30% = Pink (bedspread, chair, painted leaves) 10% = White (trim, doors)

An example that proves you can use the 60-30-10 rule to work incredibly vibrant and bold colors smoothly into your decorating.
60% = Blue (walls, light)
30% = Pink (bedspread, chair, painted leaves)
10% = White (trim, doors)

The color options are endless and it’s not difficult to see that using this rule helps you keep your color scheme under control and helps you produce an end result that’s very focused, very clean and very inviting!

Get Creative! Projected Images, Stencils, and Silhouettes

jenisonBy Guest Writer, Shannon VandenBosch

When it comes to creativity, I need some inspiration.  So I go to a few decorating magazines and/or peruse my “Favorites” list of websites for design ideas.  When I feel I have found a few pictures representing the style, image, or technique I would like to achieve, it becomes my muse.  This is when I breathe a sigh of relief because the mental work is done and I can begin the process of tweaking the look I have found in order to make it my own style statement.

Recently, I was challenged to take a blank wall in our recently remodeled RepcoLite store in Jenison, Michigan, and create interest, and hopefully, inspiration.  This empty wall space was located directly above the counter area where customers would sit and contemplate their own design decisions by beginning to choose a color or palette of coordinating colors.

Immediately, I liked the concept of stenciling or projecting an image on the wall to create a mural.  I recalled seeing a large, abstract, flower in a Benjamin Moore color brochure.  Aha!!  The inspiration, my muse!

I began by taking measurements of the wall space and calculated the size of a single petal needed to make the flower, the length the stem needed to be, and the size of a single circle.  Color choices were made to compliment the store’s interior decor.  The single petal and circle were cut out of cardboard and then stenciled or traced onto the wall.  The stem was drawn free-hand in proportion to the flower. Then the image was painted with interior wall paint. The whole process took about 6 hours. (See picture above–or, better yet, stop at our Jenison store and see it in person!)

As alluded to earlier, other ways to create murals is to use a projector to cast an image on a wall and either trace it and then paint or begin painting the image . Click here and here for more info.  You can also check out this site for some more examples of graphic murals. Silhouettes are created by drawing and then painting a picture of something, say a headboard, on the wall instead of actually using a real headboard. This technique is not only creative, but inexpensive! Take a look at current decorating magazines for more information on this technique. Stencils not only can be made but bought at local stores that sell wallcoverings, crafts, or interior decorating items.

I hope you have been inspired to get creative and make the next space you choose to decorate even more uniquely yours.

Quick Project: Paint an Accent Wall

14b_bedroom_darklilac2070_30_lavendarmist2070-60 It’s been a while since we tossed up a “quick hitter” project–a project that should take you less than a couple hours and cost you less than $40–so I thought I’d pitch this one to you:  painting an accent wall.

Painting an accent wall is an ideal project for the decorator on a budget.  You can usually get by with less than a gallon of paint and the time it takes to paint one wall is, typically, about 1/4 of the time it takes to paint an entire room.  (I’m throwing fractions around here just to show off  my vast knowledge of math.)

Alright, with that said, let’s clarify what we’re talking about here.  Painting an accent wall means taking a wall–the focal point of the room–and painting it a different (typically darker) color than the rest of the room.  And that’s it.  You don’t paint the other 3 walls, you don’t repaint your trim or your ceilings.  You paint one wall a different color than the other 3 and you’re done.

Now, while that sounds easy, there are a couple things to think about when you tackle this project:

PICK THE RIGHT WALL

This is probably the biggest question folks deal with when they tackle this accent wall project:  which wall do I choose?  Typically, the answer you’ll get from paint people and do-it-yourself decorators alike is “paint the first wall you see when you walk into a room.”

Now, while that may not be always wrong, it’s certainly not always right.  The correct answer is this:  “paint the wall that your eye is naturally drawn to after you’ve entered a room.”

For example, if you walk into a bedroom, often times, as you approach the room, the first wall you see through the doorway is the side wall.  Once you enter the room, your eye doesn’t linger there, though.  Instead, your eye is naturally drawn to the wall that the bed stands against.  That wall is the “focal” wall, the wall that you should consider for your accent wall.

So don’t spend so much time considering which wall you see first upon entering a room.  Instead, spend more time looking around and noticing where your eyes are drawn.  If you’ve got a fireplace in a living room, that wall is typically the focal wall.  Painting an accent color against that wall will make your fireplace stand out, will draw attention in that direction and will give your room that “designer feel.”  Other typical, natural focal points can be large paintings or a mirror, dominant pieces of furniture (a couch against a wall for example), or even an archway or a set of french doors.  The walls that these items sit against, on, or in are candidates for the focal wall of the room.

PICK THE RIGHT COLOR13a_chestvignette_SmolderingRed_2007_10

Once you’ve selected the right wall for your project, the next thing to consider (and, honestly, the last thing) is this:  what color?

Often, when we hear the word “accent color” we think of orange.  Or red.  Or bright green.  Or maybe a dark, dark blue.  Basically, we think of bold, crazy colors.  But don’t limit yourself in that regard.

Always remember that the depth or “boldness” of a color is subjective–it’s determined largely by the colors around it.  If you’ve got a soft tan or an off white on all the walls of a room, even a mid-range blue or an earthy green would function as an “accent color”.  In fact, an orange in a room like that would be really difficult (not impossible, but difficult) to pull off.

Conversely, if you have a room of medium to dark tones, you could go either direction.  A bold orange, green, red, blue, brown could potentially be a tremendous accent color to put on that one focal wall.  But, so also could an off white.  If the rest of your room has some color and depth to it, even an off white can function as an accent color.

So, all that to say, don’t limit yourself (and scare yourself away from the project) by thinking that in order to do the project justice, you’ll need to pop open a can of “safety orange” and kiss your calm, peaceful room goodbye.

A great way to pick a color for an accent wall is to look to your fabrics–pull one of the colors out of the throw pillows on the couch or the comforter on the bed.  Look to any art you have on the walls–is there a color in there that would look great on one single wall of the room–possibly the wall the picture itself is hanging on?  What about the carpet?  The window treatments?

Anyway, you get the idea.  Find a wall, pick a color and spend a couple hours this weekend or next painting that one single wall and you’ll be amazed at the results!