Colette

Our new chalkboard

15

I’m in a bit of a frenzy with organizing and decorating the studio lately. I feel like I need a good clean sweep as I close out the year, I guess.

One thing I’ve been meaning to do for months is get some kind of whiteboard or chalkboard in here, mostly to keep track of things we need to buy, but also just for notes and fun stuff. There’s this short (well, 7 1/2 feet) divider wall near my big work table that seemed the perfect spot for it. It separates the main workspace from the kitchenette.

I bought a big roll of black contact paper on amazon for about 30 bucks. You get 75 feet in a roll, so more than enough for a wall like this. Chalkboard contact paper is the same as plain black contact paper, by the way.

First, I tested it out by papering the side of one of my ikea bookshelves. I tried cutting the right length and removing the backing, then sticking the whole thing up.

Needless to say, it was a DISASTER. The stuff was sticking to everything, sticking to itself, bubbling like crazy. This approach might work if there’d been someone to help, but I was all alone.

When I got to the wall, I had a different and much better method.

First, I unpeeled about a foot of backing from the top and trimmed it off, folding down a little lip for me to grab onto.

I aligned the top of the strip with the edges of the wall and smoothed it down. Then I began pulling off the rest of the backing, smoothing it to the wall as I went. This worked beautifully and was actually really easy. Afterwards, I smoothed it more with the edge of a credit card.

If your wall has any imperfections or lumps, they’ll show through a bit. Mine definitely isn’t perfectly smooth, but I don’t particularly care. You can also see the seams when you look closely, but I’m not fussy about that either.

I did four panels all together, then trimmed the top and bottom edges when it was done.

And that’s it, I have a massive chalkboard in the studio for $30! Not only that, but it’s easily removable and I have a ton left over for other projects.

I really like the way the black breaks up the room a bit. Dark walls feel so cozy to me, and in a loft like this, coziness is very welcome.

I think I have an idea of how I’ll use some of the leftovers, so I’ll be back with that project soon, I’m sure.

One more thing: I bought a chalk marker to use with it, since you can write precisely with it. I bought this chalk ink fine tip pen, and it works beautifully.

Sarai Mitnick   —   Founder

Sarai started Colette back in 2009. She believes the primary role of a business should be to help people. Her roles include communication, strategy, and creative direction. She also edits Seamwork magazine. She often thinks and writes about the way sewing impacts our lives – through body image, identity, and social awareness.

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Comments 15

Lisa

I might draw stitches along the seamlines… just for funsies.

Nothy Lane aftagley.blogspot.ca

Oh I just love the blackboard you made. COntact paper is so versatile. I used the clear stuff to cover my basement windows – it lets the sun in but you can’t see through them!

Alice

Take it from one who has been through the horrors of wall paper with and without adhesive, as well as contact paper….you did GREAT! Looking really good, I think I’ll have to find a space to put some up, just for the satisfaction. My parents nearly divorced trying to apply contact paper to a wall many years ago. <:~)

hannah thehannahblog.tumblr.com

In college when I needed a bunch of whiteboards in my apartment, I picked up a bunch of large picture frames with glass from goodwill, and painted the frames to match my furniture. I wrapped the frame’s cardboard backing in a white, lightly patterned wrapping paper, and then put it back in the frame and hung the whole thing on walls where it would be most convenient. I have one I use as a calendar (I put a calendar grid on the wrapping paper for this use so the month/dates can easily be erased and rewritten), and another one I use as a grocery list, and both of them have worked better than any actual whiteboard I’ve ever used and look great in the space.

Angela bonnechanceblogspot.blogspot.com

So cool, I had no idea black contact paper could be used for a chalk board. I must get some!

Anne Sharkey tulleandtweed.com

Great idea, thanks for this, currently looking around for what I could stick some of this on! This is the danger especially if there is a lot of it!

Marissa

The chalkboard wall looks great!

kind of off topic question – where did you get your chair pads on the white chairs? We are ordering the same chairs but I am struggling to find cute chair pads. thanks!

Marissa

Never mind! i’m dense :) i found the post. thanks!

Munaiba sewjournal.com

I have a chalkboard decal which is marginally easier because you can reposition it but that said I couldn’t get all the air bubbles out and even when I appeared to they reappeared overnight! Help!

Sarai colettepatterns.com

Did you try poking them with a pin? That sometimes works.

Robin H.

Chalkboard paint might have been easier.

Sarai colettepatterns.com

Not in a rental! Ever tried to repaint black walls?

Dalila

Could the contact paper leave stickiness behind though?
The chalkboard paint does work fine on masonite too and you can move it around (and take it with you) but definitely would not be as fast as the contact paper. It would probably cost more than the contact paper [although I’m not sure on the price of masonite currently (the paint is $10-20)].
Great project!

Pam pamsknitting.blogspot.com

I think any little imperfections will be harder to see once you’re using this as a chalkboard.

Marie fragaugglan.se

Hi!
I did the very same thing last night! Same paper, same marker (at least it’s the same brand). And – it’s great, I love it, BUT… when erasing the chalk ink, it won’t come off completely. The text still shows, not strong but if you look closely. Have you had this problem? Any ideas on how to get the contact paper completely clean? Thanks!

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