My 10 year old loves geography. He spends many nights staying up way past his bed time reading a book with facts about the United States. That was my inspiration for a piece of artwork that I created for his new room.
I know it's uncommon to have the artwork ready before the walls are painted but part of the process in this household is creating when you have the materials on hand.
My wheels kept turning on the subject of what to make for his room. I knew I wanted it to be something with the outline of the U.S. At first I was thinking pallet boards and stain but as I was walking down the basement stairs one day it hit me.
We had 5 canvases hanging out there already painted from a project we did when we first moved into our house. We have since moved on from that decor and these were just hanging out on the ledge on the way to the basement.
Ding, ding, ding. Chalkboard paint and the U.S. of A!
So simple and definitely the look I was going for. Added bonus. . . I get to practice chalkboard art.
I proceeded to pull the old canvas outside and layer it with 2 coats of chalkboard paint.
24 hours later I primed the chalkboard by giving it a coat of chalk.
24 hours after that I wiped the chalkboard with a damp paper towel (I would recommend an old t-shirt. Leaves no white residue behind.)
I got to work free handing an outline of the United States. This took a couple of tries and erasing lines. I wanted it to fill the whole canvas and be as accurate without crazy detail as possible.
I also knew I wanted some cool print inside the outline. I came up with a pencil approximation I was happy with and then converted to the chalkboard. Again, it took a little wetting and wiping but finally came up with something I am happy with.
My tips for working on chalkboard art
1. Use an old t-shirt for erasing. Paper towel will leave behind pieces of white residue.
2. Keep a small cup of water close by. It's nice to dip the chalk into. It makes the white darker and crisper for the finished product.
3. Relax and have fun. It's easy to erase and start over.
I think when my 10 year old gets home from school he is going to be ecstatic with how it turned out. Maybe I should keep it a secret until his room is done. Hmmmmm......
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