Paint Board with Chalk Lettering

My beautiful board with all my paints and inks.

My beautiful board with all my paints and inks.

Ever since I saw this paint storage board on Pinterest, I knew that I would one day make my own.  I’ve been wanting to get my paints out off the shelf above my desk to free up some space, but I also wanted them to be more accessible–such a pain to lift out all the trays and sift through to find the right color….or not really, but you have to remove obstacles to encourage creativity.  You get dressed to your shoes in the morning so you don’t pass the overflowing garbage can and think, “I really should take that out…but then I’d have to put on my shoes.”  Insignificant barriers, but barriers just the same.  So free up space and make the paints and inks more accessible, and that board fit the bill.  I just finished making an elbow-high work table, so I had some plywood leftover that happened to be the perfect size for the little bit of wall next to my desk.  I grabbed some iron tacks, my jar of rusty nails soaking in vinegar, and a chalk pencil.  I stained the wood with my vinegar soaked rusty mess and sanded it down for a nice weathered look.  I measured the length of the paint tubes including the binder clip with which to hang it and the width of the tubes and made a grid of 72 dots on the board.

Cool geometric pattern that no one will ever see because it will be cover with paint tubes.

Cool geometric pattern that no one will ever see because it will be cover with paint tubes.

Then I made a cool geometric pattern just because I felt like it.  I saw this phrase on Pinterest (there are 7 days in the week and someday isn’t one of them), and it spoke to the recurring time-management theme you may have noticed on my blog (here, here, here, here, and here).  When you have any number of kids and still want to do things that enrich you as an individual, you have to be so focused and committed and you have to stop procrastinating and piddle-farting.  There’s no time to waste browsing Pinterest (if you follow me, you may have noticed a significant decrease in activity.  I’m trying to limit myself to one day/week) or reorienting yourself to the task.  Just do it; don’t wait.  So I took that phrase and sketched it out on some handy dandy graph paper.

I do most of my lettering experiments on 11x17 graph paper.

I do most of my lettering experiments on 11×17 graph paper.

Then I traced it and colored the back of the tracing paper  with chalk to transfer it to my board.  To do that, you just tape it to your substrate and go over your drawing with a pen–I find ballpoint works best.  One cramped hand later, the lettering was transferred and I used my chalk pencil to darken the lines.  I wet the tip because it makes the chalk more opaque and I really wanted the lettering to stand out.

lettering closeup

There are 7 days in the week and someday isn’t one of them.

I waxed the wood to seal it.  Definitely my favorite way to finish wood.  Some finishes can look really unprofessional if not done by a professional (fancy that), but not this one.  It’s amateur-proof, and it really enhances the weathered look, making the wood sliver-proof without being shiny. Just rub the wax on with a cloth, wait 10-15 minutes, then buff it with a clean rag.  There are solvents in it so you want to do it outside.

Then I recruited some slave labor in the form of my daughter while I nursed my son.  She is now a card-carrying member of the smashed-thumbs club.  She hammered in 72 iron tacks, more or less straight.

She's happy when she feels useful.

She’s happy when she feels useful.

Ta-da!  I set it up on my desk and arranged my paints and printing inks according to color.

Isn't she a beaute?

Isn’t she a beaute?

It makes the OCD in me positively giddy.

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About sappling

When God created the world, he did it in six days and rested on the seventh. I always wished there was just one more day in the week, an eighth day just for me to pursue the thoughts in my head and translate them to the physical world. There are only seven days, however, so I steal my creative moments in between being a mom and my work binding books and making boxes for clients all over New York City. I love working with my hands, learning new things, and I'm here to share those lessons with you. There are only seven days in a week. Why not eight? Guess I'll ask when I get there.
This entry was posted in Arts and Crafts, Lettering, Painting, Visual Arts and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

10 Responses to Paint Board with Chalk Lettering

  1. Marci says:

    So awesome! I am devastated that you don’t live close enough for me to piggyback on the idea and work on it at the same time as you were. Great work, beautiful work, lovely results.

  2. Liesbeth says:

    beautiful, so well done!

  3. Amy says:

    Really gorgeous, Sarah! I love organizing things, too, so I can understand giddy 🙂

  4. I love this! Thanks for sharing all the details.

  5. Junquemail Contessa (Casey Nelson) says:

    Fantastic work…the two of you! 🙂

  6. Pingback: Paint – Craft Storage Ideas | Over the Moon

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