Saturday, May 28, 2011

Chalk it Up

J and I spent his 6 day 'vacation' getting some of our yard projects knocked out so that we could enjoy them for the whole summer. We dug holes in our rocky, clay-rich soil for 5 new trees and then built a play structure for the boys over the next two days; all this in addition to our normal training schedule. It was a lot of tedious work, but that thing is worth its weight in gold for all the time my kids are getting their crazy energy out and playing nicely with one another. Also, I feel like they have something more concrete to do when they have friends over.

We still need to stain the fence and extend our patio, but the weather gods didn't have that in store for us, so at least we now have the stain and supplies sitting in the garage for a sunny day (looks like it's coming up!)

J is competing in an Olympic-distance triathlon this weekend (his first) and I have my first marathon next weekend. Yes, we know how to pack in the fun!

With some of the outdoor projects tackled, I've turned my attentions back inside. My neighbor has a cool collection of salvaged windows in her garage that she has slated for projects around her house and promised to let me tag along the next time she made a trip out to her 'supplier'. We loaded up the pre-schoolers and headed over this week. With a barn and couple outbuildings full of windows to sift through, I was a little overwhelmed. Then, she pulled out a window that had cool hardware still attached and when she flipped it to the back, my breath pulled in a sharp intake and I was a goner. A shock of lime green paint was still clinging to the frame on three sides and I exclaimed 'that is IT!'

After trying to think of how I'd re-arrange the things already on my wall (namely a large mirror that I love), I decided to get it anyhow and I'd make it work. When I got home with it, my neighbor offered to hold it up in different places and then it was like a lightening bolt of inspiration; it's going to go on it's side, the hardware moved to the 'wrong' side, some coats of satin finish poly-urethane applied to the frame to keep the paint from flaking off and chalkboard paint on the window panes and I'll have the weekly menu board I've been searching for!

Here it is before any work:

A little glass cleaner and a dry dust cloth, plus two coats of poly later:

(the last coat is still drying, and I'm not concerned about the white spray paint on the glass because I'm painting it anyhow)

And the sad, lonely wall it will grace when it's done:

I'll start painting on the chalkboard paint when the kiddos are in bed tonight, and think it'll take 2-3 coats. I got a one-quart can of the roll-on paint, as I've heard mixed reviews of the spray paint. I also ordered a package of chalk pens  at the advice of my friend and some chalkboard cleaner. It was actually her faux stained-glass window that she has hanging in the pass-through from dining room to living room that inspired my quest for salvage windows. I also ordered new dining room chairs from World Market, so it will no longer be a gamble each time a guest sits down on our rickety IKEA chairs.

I decided to start with just one window to make sure I used it, and to limit the amount of 'projects-to-do' living in our garage, but I already told the woman that I wanted to find a set of three square windows to faux stain and hang above the transom in the living room. First, I should probably use the tile for our bath-tub back splash if I want J to take me seriously in the future!

Stay tuned for the final project...


That Girl said...

I made a 4x4 chalkboard/corkboard for little j and it has been the best thing. I also used the roll on paint, much better than the spray. I found these adorable little galvanized pails at world market to hold the chalk and erasers and hang them from a peg hanger painted black to match the board. We use it all the time for math/spelling/schedules/pictures/whatever.

Sally HP said...

How fun! I'm separating the boys' bedrooms because bedtime is taking WAY too long, so I'm painting different colored squared on one wall in H's new room and making some of them chalkboard squares and some magnetic. Should be fun!