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This past summer I picked up a rather ratty looking memo board at an auction. I think I probably paid about $3.
The cork was dry and rotted, so I knew that would need to be replaced. I also decided to repaint the chalkboard, as it wasn’t even possible to erase the original one anymore. I started out by removing the cork and giving the entire thing a good cleaning with a damp cloth.
I taped off the wood frame around the chalkboard, so that it could be repainted without slopping chalkboard paint all over the wood frame. (I am not a neat painter.)
I used Rust-Oleum chalkboard paint (affiliate link)and a dense foam roller to apply the paint. It went on very smoothly and I was please with the finish I got. It did take several coats to really get the coverage I wanted, but it dried quickly between coats. The instructions state that you need to allow the paint to cure for at least three days prior to writing on it.
Because I am a sloppy painter, I knew I needed to protect that chalkboard while I painted the frame, so I taped off the edges and went to work with acrylic craft paint. I used a sponge brush and about three coats to cover it. Then, I completely covered the chalkboard with a layer of protective paper and sprayed the frame with a clear sealer. This gave it a bit of a shine and should keep the acrylic paint from flaking off too easily.
Here’s the part where you learn from my mistakes:
When the painting and sealing was done, I removed the masking tape from the chalkboard, and along with the tape came a lot of the chalkboard paint. Talk about disappointment. I never should have used the masking tape, or at the least, I should have made sure I was using a much less sticky version.
This error in judgment forced me to sand a good portion of the chalkboard and repaint the entire thing, without the aid of tape. I did most of the repainting with a foam brush and used the roller at the end to finish off. I kept a damp rag handy to quickly wipe any mistakes off the frame as quickly as possible.
Before I knew about the frustration of masking tape, my biggest concern was replacing that cork board. I decided to create a French style memo board using some pretty gold flecked burlap that I found at Hobby Lobby. I knew I would need to use something rigid, but flexible for the backing so that I could actually get the board back into the frame. I found a piece of corrugated plastic signage material that fit while still giving me enough wiggle room to add the burlap and ribbons. Figuring out just the right measurements was a trick! Trial and error. That’s my usual method!
It’s hard to see, but the burlap has a little bit of gold woven into it. The fabric on the left is a thick flannel that I used as the padding for the board.
I cut the flannel just a smidge (technical term) smaller than the backing so that I wouldn’t add any additional bulk that would make it harder to wedge the finished piece back into the frame. I used a double layer of the flannel to give it extra padding and attached it to the base piece with double sided tape.
I cut the burlap big enough to give me plenty of overlap, then placed the backing board flannel side down on the burlap and applied strips of double sided tapes around the edges. I stretched the burlap around the edges and trimmed the corners a bit to reduce the bulk. The corners were still a little rough, but I knew they wouldn’t be noticeable once it was framed.
When it came time to place the ribbons, I simply did some cutting and eyeballing. I placed all the “back slash” pieces first and evened them up a bit. Then went back and added the “forward slash” pieces adjusting as necessary. To keep it all in place while I glued them down, I placed a straight pin into the middle of each crisscross. Then I glued the ribbon ends to the back of the board.
This is the glue. I love this stuff. Beacon 3-in-1 Advanced Craft Glue (affiliate link). It’s like hot glue in a bottle without the heat or the gun. It’s strong and dries fast. It’s advanced, kids! I am not so advanced. It took me twenty minutes to realize that the brand new bottle had a foil seal under the lid that was keeping the glue from coming out of the bottle. I thought it was just cold.
In order to keep the ribbons tight, I added embellished brads to the center of each crisscross. My trusty cropadile allowed me to punch through all those layers of corrugated plastic, flannel, burlap and ribbon. This is one tough tool. Then I could easily attached the brads.
The brads were some cute Teresa Collins ones that I had in my stash. I love the extra bit of embellishment they added.
The final step was wedging the board back into the frame. There was lots of bending, twisting, pushing and praying.
And, there it is! I couldn’t be happier with this. (Okay, I would be happier if I hadn’t had to do all that repainting, but all’s well that ends well!)
Now, that’s a satisfying comparison!