April 3, 2014

How To (room project edition) - Spruce up a plain wall

This post is going to be the first in a series of posts about a small project of mine - decorating my room. I plan on documenting my processes and also hopefully giving you guys some ideas for yourselves!

At the start of this year I decided I needed a fresh start, to commemorate the beginning of a new chapter in my life, the end of school and the new world of independence and young adulthood. (Corny I know... bare with me). I did a MASSIVE clear out of my room (incredibly refreshing) and following that I decided I also wanted to move rooms. I bought some new furniture and painted up some old furniture, and got really excited. After moving in...... I hit a slump. I was all "moved out". I was happy to just live in my room rather than dress it up and inject any personality into it. But after six months now I've decided to get going again, and really have a go with livening up and seriously decorating the room.

The theme I'm going for? No clue. None whatsoever. Maybe it will become clear to me soon as things start to get moving but for now I'm happy to focus on little projects to slowly get this room up to standard.

My first order of business was to find a way to liven up the dead space that was the corner of my wardrobe. (I stupidly did not take a before photo to show you all). Basically my wardrobe is all white, and intersects with a while wall, ceiling and door, quite plain. So I came up with the idea to chalkboard the corner of my wardrobe! Practical and exciting! Here's how.


For this tutorial I bought some pre-made chalkboard paint and primer, but if you want to try making your own chalkboard paint there is a great and simple tutorial here, from the two lovely bloggers over at A Beautiful Mess.  

the chalkboard paint i used

and the primer
What you need:

- Chalkboard paint (whether it's bought or made by yourself)
- Primer
- Sandpaper
- Brushes or Rollers (I think for larger areas use rollers and smaller areas use brushes)

How to:

1. The very first thing I did was tape off the sections of the wall I was painting. I needed to protect the rest of my wardrobe, the side wall and the floor. Doing a thorough job will pay off in the long run. 

2. After that step I needed to sand my wall with some fairly rough sandpaper, as it was a pre-painted with white gloss paint. It's important to sand the surface so that the new paint will stick properly. Make sure to clean the surface after you have sanded it, to get rid of the dust. It's tempting to skip this step but if you want a proper job, I would definitely spend the extra time on it. 

2. The next thing to do was paint one coat of primer/ undercoat. When I went into the store to buy the undercoat, the guy at the counter said he would add some black colour to it (it was originally white). The end colour was a dark grey. It was at no extra cost, and it ensured that the chalk board paint (which is black) would show up better and not have any dark streaks. I would recommend asking for this when you buy the undercoat. Only one coat of the primer is required, so think about this when you decide how much you need to buy. 

3. Let the undercoat dry for on hour. 

4. Now paint one coat of chalkboard paint. This is a thicker paint than normal so make sure to paint/ stir well before use. 

5. Leave to dry for an hour or two, until the surface looks quite dry. Now paint a second coat, and leave to dry for at least 48 hours. 

6. The chalkboard is now ready to be drawn on!!!

Note: Please make sure you open a window or doors and you paint in a well ventilated place. Not only is this a general recommendation for painting, but this chalkboard paint smells baaaaaaaddddddd so you will be wanting some fresh air. After drying the paint does not smell at all. Also!! Remember to seal any left over paint, for use again in the future. 

Before you ask, my younger cousin came to visit AND I SWEAR IT WASN'T ME THAT DREW ONE DIRECTION ON MY CHALK WALL.

Now that was easy wasn't it!! It's a great feature to the room, and I use it for little notes to myself, reminders etc. My friends also love to draw on it, so it's been of great use! Another idea would be to chalkboard paint over a stencil, so you can have different chalkboard shapes on your walls! 

Love Lauren