Sarah Moodley got her hands on the Rust-Oleum Chalkboard Spray aerosol can and, with a bit of guidance from the instructions, made a beautiful little chalkboard for her kitchen to help her remember important things.
The 3mm Masonite hardboard was bought from an art shop for R18. This type of material need to be primed to seal the surface as water-based paint will penetrate and make the material swell and warp. Sarah didn’t have any primer on hand, so we suggested a shortcut. We sealed the surface with a single coat of chalkboard paint. Not too thick, just enough and evenly spread to cover the surface. Then we let it dry properly before continuing.
Step 1: Prepare the surface by cleaning, sanding and priming.
Step 2: If the surface is dry and dust free, mark off the borders with masking tape.
Step 3: Work in an well-ventilated area and remember that when using spray-paint, there will be paint drifting through the air, so wear old clothes and apply the paint away from other surfaces. A generous amount of newspaper or drop sheets will do the trick. Always secure them with something because even on a still day, Murphy’s Law states that a gust of wind will blow a corner of the newspaper onto your still-wet painted project and ruin it.
Step 4: With a steady hand, apply the first coat with even movements from one side to the other. Keep the movements straight across and don’t go in circles. You will not cover the surface in one pass. You will have to apply several coats before the surface is covered and perfectly smooth. The beauty of spray-paint is that if done correctly, the surface will be as smooth as you can possibly get. Normal paint will always leave visible brush strokes.
Step 5: Sarah allowed each coat to dry properly before applying the next. Altogether, she applied about seven coats.
Step 6: After the paint has dried properly, remove the masking tape. You can now paint the border with any paint or colour of your choice. Sarah used acrylic paint and an art paintbrush and got a neat finish.
All in all, the aerosol chalkboard paint works like a bomb. It is easy to apply, easier to clean and leaves a much smoother surface than any brush applied paint. The downside, however, is the amount of paint particles that are carried through the air, which can adhere to any nearby surface. If you are painting an object that you can move into a paint booth, outside or into the workshop, use the chalkboard spray-paint. If you are painting onto a stationary surface like an indoor wall, we advise that you use a chalkboard paint applied by brush or roller.