Friday, 11 December 2009

Chalkboard Placecards & Menus

Following on from my post about chalkboard menus I've been keeping my eyes open for nice ones I can use.

I came across this tutorial today from Canadian House and Home on how to make your own chalkboard place cards.  If I do have trouble finding the right chalkboards for our menus this wouldn't be too hard to follow and I think I could do it quite cheaply.

Materials and Tools
  • 4” x 6” picture frames 
  • 1 sheet hardboard 
  • 1 primer (for hardboard) 
  • 1 blackboard paint (for hardboard) 
  • 1 L latex primer (for frame) 
  • 1 L latex paint (for frame)
Inexpensive wood picture frames are widely available at décor and craft stores. Ours measured 4” x 6”. A 1/8”-thick sheet of Masonite (also known as “hardboard”) can be purchased in sheet form at building supply stores. At the store, get this sheet cut into 12 pieces, each measuring 5-7/8” x 3-7/8”.

Step 1: Prepare frames

Remove the glass inserts and cardboard backings from each frame.

Step 2: Apply blackboard paint

The keys to success are to apply several coats (two to three), let each dry thoroughly, and allow the final coat to cure for several days before writing on the surface.
To prepare the surfaces, lightly sand the area with 120- or 140-grit sandpaper (this will allow the paint to adhere best to the surface). Wipe the surface with a damp cloth to clean away all dust.
Using low-tack masking tape, carefully tape off the area you will be painting.
Apply a coat of primer
Leave to dry overnight.
Apply a coat of blackboard paint
Leave to dry overnight.
Apply a second coat of blackboard paint. Leave to dry thoroughly. If needed, apply a third coat.  Wait at least three days (and ideally seven) before writing on the blackboard surface.

Step 3: Paint picture frames

Paint the picture frames to finish the look.
Once all paint is dry, reassemble frames (with Masonite in place of glass).

It actually sounds like quite a fun little project to do!

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