DIY for the Homeschool Room Day 3: CHALKBOARD MAKEOVER FAIL (your complete tutorial for what NOT to do)

~5 Days of DIY for the Homeschool Room~

Day 3: Chalkboard Makeover FAIL

I usually post the highlights and successes from ~Our Holistic Homeschool~ Journey. In fact, when this DIY went oh so terribly wrong, I had this post headed for the trash bin, along with a heap of painter’s tape and destroyed paint rollers. But then it hit me: DIY projects are hit and miss. And so is Homeschooling, for that matter. Homeschooling is not a perfect journey. Homeschooling can be messy. Some Homeschool days are a total FAIL. Like this sad, sad saga of “Chalky” the janky chalkboard . . . some Homeschool days are downright frustrating, and your efforts do nothing but add to the mess. But mistakes mean you’re trying, right? So, in the names of authenticity, transparency, tenacity, and solidarity in our perfectly imperfect and messy journey together, I give you our very own Pinterest-worthy DIY FAIL.

I decided to tackle this DIY project on my very own, without any help from my handy hubby. (Mistake #1). While I worked in the hot sun, I was humming a sort of spoofed version of “Baby Bumblebee” (I blame the heat) which went something like this:

I’m stirring up this paint as you can see, won’t my hubby be so proud of me? I’m stirring up this paint as you can see . . . Oooops! It’s gunky!

I’m taping up this chalkboard nice and neat, won’t my hubby be so proud of me? I’m taping up this chalkboard nice and neat . . . Oooops! It’s sticky!

I’m painting up this chalkboard so pre-tty, won’t me hubby be so proud of me? I’m painting up this chalkboard so pre-tty . . . Oooops! It’s janky!

Despite my best intentions and efforts, I literally made every mistake possible for this DIY project . . . including completely destroying an old blackboard slate I was attempting to repurpose. And that was just the beginning of the failures ahead.

back to school 28
Back-To-School Bibliotherapy Book List

My MESS of Mistakes:

1.) I braved the heat.

As it turns out, hot chalkboard paint is like . . . tar. And painting with tar is sticky business, come to find out.

2.) I let it soak up the sun.

I wanted to get one last end-of-summer tan while I worked, but the only tan I got was a tanned hide from this can of chalkboard paint that does not agree with me that the sun is really super fun.

3.) I used a paintbrush.

Turns out, chalkboard paint wants you to just roll with it.

4.) I took my time.

I figured a slow and steady approach would ensure a nice, even coverage. Nope. I tortoised my way to disaster. This paint dries super fast and once it claims it’s territory it does not like trespassers.

5.) I tried to be smooth.

I used my brush to try and smooth out lumps . . . but that just angered it all the more. Here were the results from my two hours of sweat and . . . tar:

school room34

In the end, I had to . . . erase . . . and start all over. I let my mess dry, sanded it all off, waited for the sun to begin to set, got out a roller, and rolled on a nice new coat in the cool of the evening.

Ok. None of that is even remotely true.

As I confessed last week, I’m really only good at about five things in life, and having the patience to sand off a mess of tar and start all over again is not one of them.

What actually happened is that my husband came home from work, saw my pitiful mess of tar on the back porch, offered to help, and then HE proceeded to sand, stir, and roll in the cool of the evening. And I assisted by making huckleberry cobbler.

There is a lot of Amelia Bedelia about me.

Finally, our chalkboard was finished! And overall, we were pretty happy with the results.

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is chalkboard.jpg

Then, this sad, sad, saga of “Chalky” the janky chalkboard got even sadder. I wrote on Chalky. With beautiful new chalkboard markers I had bought for the occasion. They looked lovely and vibrant on the board. Success! Then, I made a goof and erased my work. The only problem was . . . IT DIDN’T ERASE. Not with a cloth, not with water, not with elbow grease, nothing. We’re not sure if the chalkboard paint is defective, or the markers are defective, or the world is defective, but this chalkboard is permanently marked “BA” (the beginning of “Back to School”). I think Chalky must be trying to tell us something.

So, if you want to attempt your own Chalky-the-janky-chalkboard makeover, add one more DON’T to my above list: don’t use chalkboard markers. I guess plain old chalk will have to do. And if you know of a chalkboard paint and set of markers that aren’t rivals, please share the love!

Our now permanent Cozy Corner Bucket!

I had no idea when I was writing this that it would be my only attempt. The only way to erase this bucket would be to paint over it. We’ll just keep it like this for a few years.

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is cozy-corner2.jpg

Subscribe below to follow the rest of our DIY Homeschool décor projects this week (you know, the ones that didn’t fail) plus end-of-the-week room reveal!

Thanks for reading,

Love, ~Our Holistic Homeschool~

5 Replies to “DIY for the Homeschool Room Day 3: CHALKBOARD MAKEOVER FAIL (your complete tutorial for what NOT to do)”

  1. So funny!!! I had the same issues with a chalkboard years ago… you have to “prime” your board with real chalk first, roll the chalk on its side and then erase with a cloth, do this for a few days and let the board age… then you can use chalk pens!!

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: