DIY Chalkboard Bookcase

As some of you may know, Nick and I have been selling some of our honey at the local farmer's market. Before we got started, though, I knew we needed a display for the products. I've always wanted to try chalkboard painting, and I love bookshelves, so it seemed like the perfect choice.

Chalkboard painting is really easy - even you can do it. If you've never tried this before, here's the easiest tutorial you'll ever read. 

What You'll Need:
- bookshelves  (we purchased ours for $8/piece from a secondhand store, they are cheapies from Walmart, originally.)
- sandpaper
- primer
- chalkboard paint (we bought a small $15 can from Canadian Tire)
- matte paint in antique white (or whatever other colour you like)

Step One - Sanding

This is the most time consuming of all the steps. I don't know about any of you, but I hate sanding. It's hard on your hands, dust gets everywhere, and it makes an awful sound. However, it's vital to sand the WHOLE darn bookshelf if you want the paint to stick. So don't chinse out. Use pressure and make sure you have that whole awful posture board bookcase scratched up. You want to take every ounce of polish off.

Step Two - Priming

As important as sanding, it's a good idea to prime the bookshelf before you paint it. I decided against distressing the edges, so a solid coat of primer went on without worrying about wiping down edges. If you do want to distress the bookshelf, keep a wet cloth handy and take the primer off around the corners and edges to prep for the distressed look.

Step Three - Painting the Base Colour

This step is easy. You use your base colour - in our case, CIL's Antique White - and paint the shelf, and outside of the bookshelf. It's important not to fill the holes where the shelf hooks go, as you'll need those at the end. You'll also want to wait about 15-20 minutes between coats. We were outside, so the warm sun dried the paint quickly. At this point in the game, you also don't need to worry so much about your lines. If you get a bit of paint on the back, no worries - the chalk paint will cover it. I suggest 3 coats total before moving on to your chalk paint.

Step Four - Chalkboard Paint

Now you're going to carefully paint the backing. I chose not to tape around the edges, since I wanted the antique white paint to set properly. Instead, I used a steady hand to keep my interior edges as straight as possible. We did about 4 coats of chalkboard paint and probably could have done another, but the garden was calling. 

Step Five - Add the Shelf

Once your bookshelf is completely dry, add your shelf back on. What an improvement from the original! No more tacky posture board bookshelves for me - I love the look of these. They work so well for our honey display! 

What about you? Is there anything you want to chalkboard paint that you just haven't gotten around to doing? 

If you have chalkboard painted, have you had good experiences? 

I would definitely recommend doing this to any of your cheap laminate furniture. This is pretty much fool-proof for even the most skeptical DIYer. 


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