Getting Started: MaterialsYour local Home Depot will definitely have everything you need to do this project. I assume that any general hardware store will too, but I found everything I needed at the depot. Supplies will run about $55 and the project itself will take about a full day including drying time between coats. You will need:
- 1 qt. of Magnetic Primer ($19.99) Rustoleum is the brand I've seen used most and what I used myself. The Rustoleum brand is actually black too, which is especially helpful if you're painting a white fridge
- 1 qt. of Rustoleum Chalk board paint in any color ($19.99.) There are so many fun options for different colored chalkboard paint. I even saw a recipe on Pinterest to make your own, so if you'd like to go that route it could save some money (just search "chalkboard paint" on Pinterest.)
- Painters tape.
- A drop cloth or if you want to save a buck, an old sheet or garbage bag works too, but don't forget this step. I assumed being "extremely careful" would be enough and didn't consider all the little splashes of pin size paint droplets that would fly from my roller. I ruined the floor around the (my husband would say it was all a part of my ploy to replace our kitchen floor. He might not be entirely wrong. Black and white check is adorable and one of the reasons I fell in love with our house, but holy moly it is IMPOSSIBLE to keep clean.)
- A roller frame and extra rollers (at least one for each paint.) ($5-10) I chose a 1in. roller so that I could fit it between my cabinets and fridge to paint the side. As for the extra rollers, there are ways to store your used roller so it doesn't dry out while you're waiting in between coats, but it's always good to have another one handy in case it does dry. If you're like me and don't have an uninterrupted day to do this project, storing your roller is inevitable.
-A small detail brush, about 1in. or less.
Next, use your painters tape to cover any brand labels, the rubber seals and any other metal etc. that you don't want to paint. I chose to paint the inner frame of my fridge too because I thought it would just look strange if I didn't.
|The first layer of magnetic primer after the|
painters tape is applied to cover
the hardware, rubber and brand.
|Tape covering the side of the rubber seal.|
A little primer smudged and immediately stained
the inside of the seal: BEWARE!
|Please ignore the contents of my freezer, but do notice the inner|
frame that I painted. It would just look silly if left white.
First Layer: Magnetic Primer
Adding the Chalkboard Paint
Note: At this point I was left the project for a while and eventually came back to it. I tend to have a million projects going at once and am easily bored and distracted by them, if not by my full time teaching responsibilities and other such wifely and motherly duties. Thus, we lived with the primed fridge for a while and in crept the doubts.
At first I felt like made the room feel smaller and darker, but I got used to it after a day. My biggest issue was the texture of the paint. The primer is thick, thick, thick and the finished product was as rough as concrete. In comparison to the smooth surface of your standard refrigerator it's a bit of a change. No big deal if you don't happen to have the world's most clumsy toddler. Bless her little heart, my Violet is the only child I know who can trip over thin air while standing still (admittedly a trait that was inherited from yours truly.) We call her our floppy child. She has her head in the clouds and dances every other step she takes, while stumbling through the rest and we love her for it. Still, you can imagine my trepidation when I realized that we now had a giant cinder block in the middle of our kitchen just waiting to scrape her all up.
Taking Control of the Texture
This is when I did a little experimenting (almost 2 months later.) With a medium weight sandpaper I lightly sanded over the primed surface to see what it would do to the texture. I was pleasantly surprised to feel that the result was much smoother and kid friendly. I have to say, the texture might vary a bit depending on the nap of the roller you use. It's totally your judgement call. I read many a blog where people never mentioned sanding anything and didn't seem to have any issues with a rough surface, but should you have the same experience I did, that is the solution.
Ok, now you can crack open the chalkboard paint, I promise.
As you might have guessed, a few more months went by before I actually finished 2 coats of chalkboard paint on the whole fridge. As easy as it was to do, life got in the way, but when the time came I rolled it on following the same steps as I did with the primer (1/2 hour between coats is dry to the touch, 2 hours to handle.) In the time that elapsed, sticky finger prints, spills and crayon drawing decorated the primed surface of my household-appliance-turned-craft-project. I quickly wiped them off with a sponge, but some of the stain were more stubborn. I painted right over them and have yet to notice any difference.
The Finished Look
I used the side of your standard piece of Crayola chalk and rubber it all over (not including the top.)
|The paw print culprit, Hickory|
caught in the act.
Still, I can honestly tell you it was well worth it. Who am I kidding? My floors are usually a mess anyway, now I just have an excuse!
Kiss that pretty, matte black goodbye.I must admit, I was a bit disgruntled after conditioning. I knew that the ever present white haze would mar the surface of my meticulous paint application, but I did find myself wishing I had skipped this all together. Still, after having lived with it for a few months now, to expect it to look even close to pristine when it was done to occupy and 2 year old- that's just silly talk.
The reality is that once you do this project you have welcomed the chalk dust into your life, and lots of it. If this project is really going to be worthwhile for you it will be a welcomed distraction every time someone walks by the fridge. My hubby and I have written cute little notes back and forth, I have started a shopping list and sometimes find my self going to the fridge for a snack and ending up sitting on the floor doodling away.
Will the novelty wear off? I don't know really, but so far we're having a lot of fun with it...even with all the colorful dust :)
Try it! You won't be sorry.