DIY SPECIAL - Chalk it Up to Creativity (and Entertainment)

This is a guest post by Erin Couch, the sales and marketing manager for the North American Retail Hardware Association (NRHA), an organization that supports and helps independent hardware store retailers become better and more profitable merchants. When she is not painting chalkboard walls, she enjoys hiking with her dog, scouring antique stores for one-of-a-kind pieces and learning the ropes of becoming a DIYer.
When I was little, my grandparents had this fantastic chalkboard in the hallway of their farmhouse. As a very creative, and sometimes ornery six-year old left in the deep country of Northern Indiana, the chalkboard was a perfect outlet for me to stay out of my Grandmother’s hair and away from trouble.

This deep desire for the ability to inherently “draw on the walls” has since translated into adulthood and now, my home.

You will want to give the wall about 24 hours to fully dry before you start to doodle on it.I have been a first time homeowner for almost two years now and have begun the slow process of getting into the grove in decorating my home to my personal style and taste.

I love vintage inspired decorum and will go for anything that is a little adventurous…like chalkboard paint.

My initial plan for this project was to break up one of the two tall, white walls that separate my kitchen from my living room with a simple chalkboard “menu” where I was to write the week’s dinner plan.

After a couple of months of a swatch of black paint on my white wall, my inner six-year old started to think how great it would be to paint both walls, ceiling to floor in the chalkboard paint and turn that area into a place where anything goes.

WallAfterAs a novice DIYer, this project was perfect for me. It took about 30 minutes to complete and involved very little prep time. However, since you are dealing with black paint, I recommend laying down tarp in your painting area to protect your flooring from paint splatters. (Click the photo on the left to enlarge. You can see that it's perfect for lists and doodles! Just be sure to leave at least 24 hours before you start chalking the wall.)
You can get chalkboard paint from your neighborhood hardware store and for those that are feeling really adventurous, you can get a magnetic paint to turn your wall into a bonafide schoolroom chalkboard.

As for me, I bypassed the magnetic paint and kept my walls as a place where my visitors can leave messages and I can post my grocery list and doodle.

cannistersFor those on the conservative side, this paint is also perfect for labeling. In my case I took some plain storage canisters and turned them into identifiable holders for my flour, sugar and baking powder.

Whether you are doing an entire wall, half of a wall or labeling recycling containers or kitchen storage, chalkboard paint is a great way to shake things up and give your household an eclectic and fun look for all ages.

Material Shortlist:

Have fun and be creative!

Follow Erin as she covers hardware and industry related news in North America on Twitter: @NRHA_Erin
For a more personal look at social media marketing and shopping the independents follow her personal Twitter:

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