Penmanship is not my forte.
I was once told by a friend that I had “the handwriting of a serial killer.”
It could make a guy self-conscious.
I include a handwritten notes with every Etsy order I send and I always picture the customer opening the package and exclaiming: “oh look honey! Jeffrey Dahlmer sent us some coasters. How thoughtful!”
So, while I have admired all the cool chalkboard art and lettering that you see all over the place it seemed pretty thoroughly out of reach for someone with my, um, limitations.
But the folks at Folk Art have come to my rescue!
As part of my Plaid Ambassadorship they sent me Chalkboard Paint, their new, smudge-proof, erasable, liquid chalk as well as line of stencils that let you create that cool, handwritten text.
I was eager to try them out but not sure what to make.
A while back, on a whim, I’d picked up a $10 lazy susan from Ikea and I thought it would be cool to make a versatile, chalkboard, lazy susan for parties and such.
The chalkboard paint was easy to apply – two coasts with a light sanding in-between and then a 24 hour cure time.
I liked this product (I’ve used chalkboard spray paint in the past). It went on smoothly and dried quickly.
Once cured, as directed, I tempered the surface by rubbing some actual chalk over it and then wiping it away.
Now it was stencil time! …….. And learning curve time!
The stencil set is by Lily and Val and it’s actually a two-parter.
To create the hand-lettered effect you lay down the first stencil and apply the liquid chalk.
After a few minutes of drying time you lay the other stencil over it and complete the letter.
It took me a few tries to get the results I wanted (more on that in a sec) but I’m happy with the final look. And I like that the set also includes versatile shapes – like the banner around the “enjoy” text.
It does, however, take a while to lay out a word (no Gorgonzola at this party!). To speed things along I ended up mixing an matching with some other Folk Art stencils I had on hand. And, of course, it’s just paint – you don’t have to use a stencil at all if,unlike me, your free-hand skills are solid.
I am not a very practiced stenclier and while the bottle of liquid chalk comes with a spouncer attached I could never, for the life of me, get it to work satisfactorily so I switched over to a standard stencil brush.
The main learning curve for me was the amount of paint needed. Even after I thought I’d removed a lot of paint from the brush I still ended up with paint bleeding under the stencil (Bright side! it was easy to wash away the paint and try again). Once I took almost all the paint off the results were much better.
And then came the test!
The claim is that the paint won’t smudge or fade but that you can easily wipe it off and do a new design.
My idea was that this would be a versatile piece. It could be a cheese tray at one party and then a dessert tray, or condiment tray at another. This, of course, wouldn’t work if the paint “ghosted” when you tried to remove it.
So, I let everything dry (sitting in a sunny window actually) for a couple of days.
I couldn’t rub the paint away with my fingers no matter how hard I tried.
But, a quick wipe with a damp towel and it was gone. No ghosting.
The chalkboard doesn’t look used and grey – just back to good-as-new. Perfect!
So, I have a multi-use serving tray AND I got to eat a lot of cheese! BEST. PROJECT. EVER!!!!!
NOTE: The Chalkboard paint is dishwasher safe and non-toxic. It is not, however, labeled at “food safe” hence all the cheese is on wax paper and the crackers in containers.
The liquid chalk paint and stencils are available at JoAnn and A.C. Moore stores (Michaels carries the stencils but not the liquid chalk for some reason)
Disclaimer: The folk at Plaid have provided me with the chalkboard paint, stencils and liquid chalk for this project as part of my Plaid Ambassadorship. There was no other financial remuneration. The idea for the project and the opinions expressed are 100% my own.