Monday, 10 September 2012

The Wall.

My entry into Shwin&Shwin's Link Party  sponsored by Appliances Online.

So, we've got this wall in our house.

What??  A WALL, you say??

Yes, several actually.  But there's this one wall.

A wall that vexed me for many a month.

I have often wondered what to do with this wall.  You know.  Late at night, when sleep is evading me.  Or when I'm in the 'thinking room' (aka the toilet).

One thought was to remove it.  But no, couldn't do that because there's a fireplace on the other side.

Another thought was to put a cupboard or shelves on it.  But no, couldn't do that either because there's a door at one end of it that would be partially blocked.

And I didn't want to just put a picture on it like so many other walls in this world.

And so you see my conundrum.

And finally, one day, while Pinteresting, or surfing the net, or reading a home decorating magazine, or something along those lines, I had a brainwave.

A GIANT BLACKBOARD!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Being one of those people that don't like things stuck to the fridge I have often wondered what I was going to do when my children began presenting me with their artistic creations, expecting them to take pride of place on the fridge, like in many other homes.  And so the giant blackboard gradually morphed into a giant, MAGNETISED blackboard.  Solutions all round!  

So I filed the idea away in my head several months ago, quietly waiting until I had the time and inclination to actually make good on it.  And finally I have.  Of course, there's no better time than just before hosting a major event in your home.  I find that there is nothing more motivating than a good deadline.

And my lovely husband humoured me :)  The conversation went something like this...

Me, on the phone to my husband: "I'm going to paint that wall into a giant, magnetised blackboard."
Husband: "So you mean I'LL end up painting that wall into a giant, magnetised blackboard?"

In the end it was a combined effort.  So, both the husband AND the wife made this one.  The husband did the bits that the pregnant wife couldn't (usually involving extremely smelly paint).

And I couldn't be happier with it.

I used it for the first time to show the menu of the dinner party my husband and I hosted last night.  And the Rosebud gave it a work out this morning as well :)

I have a retro-look metal clock from Ikea especially for the new wall, and I've got a few ideas to put some photos on it, but for now I like it just as it is.  A reminder of the delicious food we devoured last night.

It was quite simple to do, and a 'relatively' (because cost is extremely relative, as I'm sure you know) budget-friendly project (approximately $120, but we already had paintbrushes and rollers so the price will jump up a bit if you have to invest in these items as well.  This was just for the primers and paint).

To start with, I removed any hooks or nails that were in the wall.  Then, using one of these thingies (a palette knife, I think??  I should know this, my Dad is a plasterer after all!)...

I scraped off any chunky bits to make sure it was as smooth a finish as possible (my Dad taught me that bit!).  Then, I bogged up any holes left behind from the nails, or dints or any imperfections I wanted covered up, using Polyfilla (not sure what the generic name is for this type of product... hole-filler-upper-er?).

The wall took on a dalmatian-esque look for a little while...

Then, (here's where the husband stepped in), the wall got a really good sanding, with some fairly fine sandpaper, just to get it even smoother and the first coats of primer were applied.  I say coats plural because to make the wall magnetised you use a specific magnetic primer.  We applied three thin coats of magnetic primer to the bottom half of the wall, and the top right quarter.  The top left was left unmagnetised (at $40/L I was on rations!) and primed using a normal one-coat-only primer.  The priming stage was done over a day, to allow for drying time between coats.

Next, using a roller, we applied three coats of chalkboard paint.  Only two is necessary, but I wasn't happy with the rills that I had left behind from using the roller, so I did another coat.  And, after leaving for 48 hours to harden, you're done! A giant, magnetised chalkboard wall.  Ready to use.

It's a great little feature to have in the home.  It's something that I can see will be well-used by my little family.  And I can also see the need to make sure Rosie understands it's only ok to draw on ONE wall in the house!  

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