The Foyer :: A Chalk Board

I love it when a plan starts to come together, how about you? For instance, the foyer “command center.” Although this part of the grand master plan was completed a few weeks ago, it’s just now that we’ve actually started using it… the foyer chalk board!

Foyer Chalk Board

I know that chalk boards are trending out and are a little over done but we all loved our chalkboard in our last house, and I couldn’t wait to put another one up as soon as we bought our new home. This is what our last studio / chalk board looked like…

Studio Chalk Board

Blood, sweat, and tears went into that chalk board, let me tell you! And honestly, the studio never looked this clean, trust me. This was a photo we took to put the house up on the market when it was time to move and I’m pretty sure that ten seconds after the photo was taken, the kids came in a threw stuff all over the floor. Sigh. I really miss that house. This chalk board is painted with Rustoelum’s Chalk Board Paint, five layers in the Peapod shade, sanded to the smoothness of a baby’s bottom, with three undercoats of Rustoleum’s Magentic Paint. The magnetic paint, BTW, was a total loss; couldn’t hold a magnet to save its life. I think the wall was just a bit too textured from 100 previous years of painting, which is the reason I sanded the wall so finely; all that texture made it nearly impossible to draw on the board. After I was done sanding it though, you couldn’t tell the difference between it and a slate board… and MAN did I get some guns from all those days of sanding!

First Drawing on the Board

Back to our new board; I knew I wanted another chalkboard wall for the kids, but it took a while to figure out where to place it. This wall is the last section of foyer before you enter the hallway that leads to the main living area. Because it’s mainly a pass through area, it was too narrow to put any furniture, so I thought maybe I would make it a gallery wall. Then I took a trip to visit some friends in San Francisco and came across this wall calendar at Paper Source (oh no! It’s looks like they don’t have it anymore… I hope they make some more in the Fall!) and I thought this wall would be the perfect place to hang them! A central location where I would walk past everyday, reminding me of all our appointments and keeping track of who is coming to visit when. So why not make it a chalk board as well?

Another Angle

I decided to try the Hudson Chalk Board Paint, which I will be the first to admit, was not the cheapest gallon I’ve ever purchased. The shade I chose was Oil Spill, which I thought would complement the blue and green shades I had selected for the rest of the foyer walls. Choosing the color was a bit difficult; picking a shade from a website is really tricky (calibrating monitors is nearly impossible) and when I requested a sample card, the paint colors were not chips, but rather printed with CYMK (Cyan, Yellow, Magenta, and Black) mixes. As a designer I can tell you that this is not a true representation of the actual color; it’s like showing someone a picture of the color you painted your walls. It’s very difficult to capture the true color. For as much money as the paint cost, I would have expected a card that had actual paint chips, but alas, that’s not what I received.

Getting Cleaned Up

I wish I can say that was the only disappointment I had with the paint, but in my humble opinion, is no better than a gallon of straight up eggshell latex. It is certainly not worth the $75 plus shipping I spent on the gallon. Never again. The Rustoleum is a much better product, albeit with a more limited palette, with a flat matte finish which allowed me to sand it as soon as it was dry to get it as smooth as possible. The Hudson paint has a bit of shine to the finish, and does not sand well at all, balling up as a normal latex would before it’s done curing. I think it’s safe to say that should I ever decide to paint another chalk board I will either go back to the Rustoleum or use a flat, good quality latex paint which is what I did before chalk board paint became a “thing.” All you need for a working chalk board is a paint with a bit of tooth that can take a bit of scrubbing. Although I have read a few blog posts that add plaster powder to the paint mix, I’ve found that a nice, flat latex grabs the chalk just fine.

Live and learn… live and learn.

I have a few more things I’d like to add to the wall, a design of some sort in chalk marker above the calendars, a tide clock, maybe two or three other clocks in time zones where our most beloveds live… I have a few ideas and I’m not sure where I’ll end up. But I think those finishing touches can wait until after I get those stripes worked up!


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