Sunday, September 18, 2011

Creating A Silver Leafed Chalkboard

Recycling and reuse are not only green living concepts, but they can be pragmatic and stylish additions to your home or office. This project is so easy, it almost doesn't need a tutorial. I could use this in my kitchen as a grocery list or recipe board. I could use this for schoolwork. But, I had to share with you because this is hanging in my office and I will use it to keep track of genealogy research and art projects. For now, looking at it as I type posts for Domestic Empress just makes me happy.

Here's how it's done. I had several large wall hangings that just weren't my style, but the frames were sealed and I can't imagine ever replacing the print inside because this particular piece is 32 inches square. It's large!
 Grab the window cleaner and wipe the entire thing down, frame and all, then dry it very well. Next, use these products. In applying the first coat of chalkboard paint, don't worry that it's a streaky, see-through mess. Just apply strokes in one direction. If you dribble bits of paint on the frame, don't sweat it. Paint the frame after you put the first coat on the glass. It looks really great! Go slowly and be patient and the coverage will be even. After you paint the frame, layer another coat on the chalkboard surface. Try not to leave bubbles by using one directional strokes with plenty of paint on your foam brush. Walk away and let it dry for several minutes. You may or may not want to put another coat on, depending on how well your coverage was with the first two coats. If you've gotten complete coverage and you're happy with how smooth the surface is, let this completely dry while you move to the silver leaf step. If you need another coat, go right for it.

$4.30 & $8.99
When the frame is completely dry, pull out your clean, small, flat headed paint brush and crack open your Adhesive Size. [It's a special glue for applying silver, copper & gold leaf.] I got a 2 ounce bottle from the craft store for less than $5. Spread the glue evenly along one side of your frame. If you want a spotty coverage or designs on your frame apply the glue in those patterns. (Polka dots or stripes would be really cute!) The leaf only adheres to adhesive prepared surfaces. If you want complete coverage, make sure you apply the glue very thoroughly. When you apply it, it should look milky. When it is ready for leaf application, it will be clear and tacky to the touch. After you paint the entire frame, pull a sheet of leaf out and lay it on the frame, shiny side down. Rub the sheet with firm pressure. Gently pull away and you'll see the design you intended your frame to have. Repeat this process until you get the coverage you like. Reuse the leaf sheets until they are empty. My frame used 12 leaf sheets. It certainly doesn't look like a $30 project, but that's the entire point! Have fun trying this one and use your creativity! I have plenty of products left over to do a few other projects, and I intend to find another creative use!


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