Nov 9, 2010

Chalkboard signs

Ah, signage. So functional and yet an opportunity to get a little creative. There are so many ways to make a sign, but a fun, sturdy DIY option is a good ole' chalkboard sign. I feel like I just discovered chalkboard paint, and I loved seeing M use it in her kitchen.

In terms of signs (see below), they can be playful, with illustrations on the chalkboard itself (upper left, from Wildflower Photos) or simple with an ornamental frame (center right, from 100 Layer Cake). As a menu (lower left and lower right, both from 100 Layer Cake), it communicates a more "casual cafe" atmosphere, as opposed to printed menus, which read more as "fancy restaurant" (which is great too! but different...). This one (top right, from Ruffled) isn't actually a chalkboard, but I loved (and appropriated) the mini-bunting look, using scraps from my oilcloth bunting.

In terms of making chalkboards, it's easy to get spray paint at the hardware store. I recommend using masonite board, which has a super slick side and is usually available at the lumber store for a couple bucks a slab. Know what sized boards you want and have the lumber yard cut the slab down for you on the spot - this will save you a a huge hassle. Also, it's used for really cheap siding in construction, so you may get a question on what you plan to use it for because they may want to advise you to try something sturdier - go ahead and let them know its for a chalkboard sign (not building a house) and they'll probably understand.

Photo Credit: Torrey Mandell Freeman
Photo Credit: Torry M F

The paint instructions will tell you to prep the board BEFORE writing on them by coating it once, using the side of a white chalk stick. What they don't tell you is that it may be be hard to then dust the whole thing off, so be prepared with more than a box of kleenex to wipe it down.

Photo credit: Julia C

Another tip I got was using chalk PENS to get the bold, crisp look that you see on some restaurant menu chalkboards. As you can see, the color is quite bold. Just remember to plan your sign before starting because these chalk pens do NOT like to erase.

Dormain & Anthony Wedding 159
Photo credit: Sara V

1 comment:

  1. Those chalk pens do create such a clean look. I was totally about to get some for our walls until you said that they don't clean off very well.


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