We have a small nook area on one side of the kitchen that took us a long time to decide what to do with. The space was designed for a small kitchen table but since we use the dining table for all eating, we wanted to use this as a designated Montessori activity space for the kids. The space has great lighting (west facing, big window), laminate flooring (easily cleanable), and is inviting.
In terms of furniture, we added a side cupboard and some higher cubbie shelves for art supply/activity material storage and otherwise left the space open. Since the room was open to the main hallway, we also added a barn door, which slides against the wall to take up minimal space and add some visual interest, as well as blocking sound. We hung some local :) art on the wall and found a second-hand easel for our artists.
After some thought, we recently we decided to try a chalkboard wall on the far side of the room. In planning, we wanted the wall to be used for creating and displaying art, as well as family organization. Because of this we decided we wanted to use magnetic paint as well as chalkboard paint.
The full process took four days including a day to research and purchase supplies:
Wall putty for filling holes
Plastic floor covering (or other that you don't mind covered in paint specks)
Roller painting container
Magnetic paint (optional) - *get more than you think you will need
Chalkboard wall paint
Screwdriver (to remove and replace fixtures)
Determine the wall and area for the chalkboard. We decided to do the full back room wall area, up to the ceiling, boarding the pantry, and right to the wall edges.
Fill in any holes or gaps in the wall with wall putty
Smooth out the wall after the putty dries with sandpaper (very dusty!)
Remove any light switch fixtures, or outlets
Remove or tape off the baseboards and tape off ceiling / adjoining wall boarders
Cover the floor area by the wall for drips (it travels!)
Painting the wall:
Magnetic paint is applied first using the roller brush as smoothly and evenly as possible. Always buy more than you think you will need, as it is thick and runs out quickly. Also, if you want to actually use magnets on the wall, you will need at least three full coats of paint.
Allow paint to dry fully (overnight, or at least 3 hours)
Apply chalkboard paint in at least three even, full coats
Allow 72 hours to dry fully
Note: This is a VERY smelly process. Especially the magnetic paint. If you are sensitive to fumes, or have small children in the house, it is worth preparing to spend the night away if you can't completely seal off the room (even with fans blowing and windows open, I found it really strong and took the kids to Grandma and Grandpa's for a sleepover!)
Seasoning the wall:
After a full 72 hours, season the wall by covering the entire space with a coat of chalk. Best to use the side of a stick of chalk to cover full area faster.
Wipe chalk off using chalkboard brush and work chalk into all nooks and any dips or area that weren't fully covered. This is a VERY dusty process, keep floor covered and vacuum on hand!
We found it was then best to use a damp cloth to further remove chalk dust
Ready to use!
Besides the very smelly few days of painting and not using enough magnetic paint to hold normal fridge magnets, the wall is a hit! The bottom is designated as artist space, and the top for family organization.
Local artists at work:
We have made some initial attempts at a family organization system. Currently we have a hand drawn calendar template and are entering important dates for the current month. We want to add "to do" space and possibly meal planning, and activity planning. We are seeking inspiration!
What are your organization strategies, favourite graphics, or templates for a chalkboard wall?