Chalk it Up to 2007

Ok confession time. I'm a massive stickler for organization. Like HUGE. Ask my husband; he's quite used to my rants and raves when our gift cards aren't alphabetized in their correct file folders, complete with the running total of amounts, dated in the mm/dd/yyyy format.

Sad, but true.

Chalk it Up to 2007

So you can imagine my excitement when Martha Stewart Living paid homage to my new favorite organizational trend: chalkboard paint. I've been eyeing this trend for months now, but have only seen it utilized in playrooms, kitchens, and entryways. I'm loving this fresh take on the wall calendar, and can't wait to try it in my home office!

Here's how:

Paint it. Paint your entire wall (or desired surface area of calendar) a black chalkboard paint from any retailer. Be sure to allow ample drying time before moving to step two (approximately 2-3 hours).

Mark it. Mark your perimeters for the calendar. Want a thirty-day planner? Try eight-inch squares. Sixty-days? Maybe six-inches. I'd recommend drawing the measurements on paper before marking up your wall, and settle on the most organizationally-effective method for your needs.

Tape it. Tape your measured squares using painter's tape. This will require the most effort on your behalf; you'll want to use a level to make sure your lines are straight.

Mix it. Create a lighter shade of the dark chalkboard paint by mixing your own! Mix black chalkboard paint with white (also needs to be chalkboard paint) until you reach a desired color. You can also create three of four shades by adding more or less black to your white.

Square it. Be creative. Paint your taped squares to your discretion, alternating your new colors. Martha Stewart Living provides a diagram (pictured right) for those of you who aren't too keen on wingin' it. Otherwise, get to work, and get organized for 2007! 

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Nimue on Jan 08, 2007:

Ceststeph, chalkboard paint is not lead-based (it's acrylic-based), nor is the magnetic paint (it's water-based latex) - at least the stuff I bought at HD was/is.

ceststeph on Jan 07, 2007:

looks great - but I thought that chalkboard paint was lead-based?

Nimue on Jan 07, 2007:

I love the idea and it looks great!  And I have to agree with gabe.tippery about magnetic paint - it's hell to work with.  I used some on my son's wooen headboard and it took at least a dozen coats before anything would stick.

sparkie on Jan 07, 2007:

P.S. Erin...As a huge organization fanatic, could I borrow you for a weekend.  I like to be organized but get hung up on finding the appropriate "homes" for stuff.

sparkie on Jan 07, 2007:

I wonder if some brands are better than others, in addition to proper prep.  Painting work is 90% prep, as the saying goes.

gabe.tippery on Jan 05, 2007:

About a year ago, we did chalkboard on a wall and magnetic on the bottom half. Let me tell you, that magnetic paint is a pain in the tush. It was thick, heavy, and had the worst coverage I have ever delt with. To seal the deal... it hardly works. I can usually get magnets to stick, but you have to find "Sweet Spots." Needless to say, my two-year-old daughter can't get a single letter to stick. I also didnt prep the wall as well as I could of, and the wall eats through chalk and it is difficult to make smaller writing. You need to get that wall SMOOTH AS GLASS. And apply by hand, not roller which will caues a texture on your super smooth wall. good luck.

timbenzinger on Jan 05, 2007:

This stuff is great! About a year ago I bought some for my office. I was going to paint one of the walls with it so we can doodle on it while doing brainstorms for our graphic design projects. Unfortunately I never used it and it is still sitting in the closet in its box. In the near future, we are moving out of this temp office and will definitely take advantage of it this time around.

There is a design studio that I used to freelance for that had a few brainstorming rooms that were shaped as circles and in these circular rooms the walls were using the chalkboard paint. Very neat stuff; wish I took some photos.

(A side thought... would it be strange to paint a desk with this?) 

erika on Jan 05, 2007:

I love chalk board paint! Here are 2 more ideas for the stuff-



erika on Jan 05, 2007:

What a terrific idea! I wish I had smooth walls so I could do that. (all of So Cal has stucco walls, gross)

Manzabar on Jan 05, 2007:

Lifehacker posted about this MSL article too.  One of the commenters on their site suggested kickin' it up a notch by using magnetic chalkboard paint.  The idea of hanging a magnet with the bill in a specific square (or whatever you'd use it for) seems really cool to me.

myaimistrue on Jan 05, 2007:

I saw this in the magazine and thought it was such an awesome idea!

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