>> Grace Bonney is a Brooklyn-based freelance writer and the founder/
editor of Design*Sponge ( designspongeonline.com). She also runs
a national series of Biz Lady Meetups, designed to connect women who
run design-based businesses.
Use chalkboard paint to create a utilitarian piece.
It’s amazing what just one coat of paint
can do. Whether you’re refinishing a yard-sale
chair or just brightening up the back of your bookshelf, a coat of paint is one of the easiest and most
affordable ways to brighten up your home.
Though we’re all familiar with what a coat of white
paint can do for a piece of furniture, think of the
added benefits of magnetic or chalkboard paint. For
the last few months, I’ve noticed DIYers applying
these nontraditional types of paints to found objects
in order to create functional, one-of-a-kind designs.
DIYers are applying
paints to create func-
Magnetized paint contains microscopic particles
with metallic properties that make the painted surface attractive to magnets. Chalkboard paint dries
with a finish that’s comparable to a chalkboard for
easy chalk writing.
Both may require touch-ups every now and then,
but they’ll turn practically anything into a functional surface onto which you can write notes or
attach pieces of paper. Rather than just making an
aesthetic change, these paints bring a new level of
functionality — great for those in small apartments
where space is limited.
I’ve seen chalkboard and magnetized paint on
doors, refrigerators, office walls, kitchen cabinets
(great for describing their contents or for grocery
lists), and even on the tops of tables, where chalk
drawings can serve as place cards and placemats.
But my favorite application of these functional
paints is creating chalk or magnet boards with
vintage frames. I first saw one at Blue Bell Bazaar’s
shop on Etsy ( bluebellbazaar.etsy.com). Gosia
Korsakowski had fitted a chalkboard-painted board
inside a beautiful vintage frame, and when I saw it,
I instantly fell in love.
I shared the link with friends and readers, and was
thrilled to hear back from people who had made
something similar using chalkboard or magnetized
paint. We agreed that using a lovely frame as a place
to jot down notes gave the piece an added sense of
importance, as if each note you leave is a piece of
art worthy of being studied and admired.
Instead of having to settle for poorly made, mass-marketed objects, we can now use our own two
hands and a bucket of paint to create something
that serves our needs and fits our unique style.
» VINTAGE OR NEW PICTURE FRAME I SUGGEST
FLEA MARKETS AND YARD SALES FOR THE
» MAGNETIC PAINT OR CHALKBOARD PAINT
» SMALL FINISHING NAILS OR BRADS
» 1" PLYWOOD OR MEDIUM-DENSITY
FIBERBOARD (MDF) CUT TO SIZE
» PAINT FOR FRAME (OPTIONAL)