Closet Changeover, Part Three

Finally, finally, finally done with this tiny little space.  I fallaciously thought that since it was technically zero floorspace, it would come together in no time flat.  Boy howdy, I was cocky.

The main issue is what will be known as the “Martha Stewart product debacle of 2013.”  I never expected when I read the back label of the chalkboard paint bottle that the “two or more coats” would turn into six.  SIX.  And it could have stood seven!  AND my lines seeped underneath (despite me burnishing) my masked lines, and parts peeled up when I removed my pricey blue tape.  Not happy with that product or the time it absorbed from my life, I kinda felt like I HAD to sully forth and find out if it was a craptastic product all the way to the end– and it sort of is.  It works fine, as a chalkboard, but when you wipe it, it stays copiously dusty (just sort of evenly distributes the chalk).  And in its *clean* and wet rag wiped-off state it doesn’t look smooth, it has sort of a patchy black look, like it needed more coats, which, like I said, is crazy.  No product should require seven coats to be successful…  I mean, I could maybe see it if I were applying layers of some sort of protective non-atomospheric-burnup juice to my homemade backyard rocket ship, but otherwise?  Nope.

Freshly Painted

Freshly Painted

So, the project went like this– I painted the wee closet Benjamin Moore’s “Pike’s Peak Gray,” a fabulous mid-grey shade with a touch of lavender undertone.  I failed to spackle before doing so because I thought, (again, cocky) “Who would hammer nails into closet walls?” but apparently, a previous resident had…  two whole lines of them, like six or eight holes an inch apart for each row.  On each side near the desk/ shelf thing, opposite of each other.  I cannot figure out the why of this.

Annoyed by that, I went back and spackled, and touched up with the Ben, not wanting the chalkboard step to ‘take’ any differently in those areas.  (With how persnickety that paint ended up being, I am sooo glad I did.)  While waiting for all of those steps to have plenty of dry time, I proceeded to tape of my designated area for the chalkboard paint.

This city skyline effect was actually quite easy: I used a high-quality painter’s tape; scissors for cirsper, 90 degree cuts to the tape; and an index card (with a little loop of masking tape on the back to allow me to tack it in place) to help me maintain nice, sharp, squared-off angles.  I simply created a ‘top line’ with one horizontal stripe where the break in the back wall is, and a ‘bottom line’ along the level of the desk.  After this, I taped off random sections along the top to simulate the different stair-steps and angles found in a generic city at night.  As final precautions before I painted, I burnished the tape a little on its edges to get a secure adhesion, and I took teensy neon pink post-it arrows to indicated where I DIDN’T want my paint to go.  The last thing I wanted to do was get into the painty groove and forget what my desired effect was, and accidentally paint in some of those above areas, so these were actually really, really helpful.   (See pic below right.)

Taped-off Skyline

Taped-off Skyline

I also taped off a normal rectangle on the inside of the office’s door, along with two tinier boxes for keeping score.  This was partially to offset the area where the knob is, so that the larger rectangle isn’t oddly spaced around it, and also because I decided to hang his nerf basketball goal on the inside of this door, and this makes it feel more ‘official’ and cute.  (We have discovered that if I hang the hoop on the inside of his room, we cannot fully open the door, and in the end, this was the logical place for it.)

Four Coats of Paint On the Door

Four Coats of Paint On the Door

I began applying the Martha Stewart chalkboard paint with a foam brush.  After the first coat of paint, I upgraded to a better brush because I was worried that it was part of the problem.   Things only got moderately better.  The pic at left, of the door panel, is after four coats.  You can click on the pic a couple of times to see it larger.  No, that’s not glare or wet spots you see, that’s where after four coats, you can STILL see the white showing through.  At this stage of the game, I’m peeved and pressing on.  (You can read my product review of this loathsome chalkboard paint, its the previous post on this blog.)

After applying the sixth coat, I leave the paint to “cure” as the bottle instructed (I was NOT going to be blamed for ‘not doing it right’ with their terrible product) for a full 24 hours.  I then condition the chalkboard– using the side of a piece of chalk I coated the surface in both directions– with the original blue tape still intact, thinking that this way I could go completely to the edge with no worries of getting the chalk on my Pike’s Peak.  That’s right where I was in the lower right pic.

The Conditioned Chalkboard

The Conditioned Chalkboard

I wipe the chalk off (Grrr!  This product!), and then I pull my blue tape extremely carefully, trying to pull from the inside/ bottom of the tape, upwards, rather than pulling down and some of the paint off.  Some of the chalkboard paint still peels, and it had also seeped under the tape, despite my burnishing.   At this point, I’m so behind on the schedule I’m trying keep in my head, it is silly.  Yes, these are self-imposed deadlines, so maybe I’m the one that’s daft, but I really wanted it done by the time our house guests came the next day, and I had a ton of other normal household stuff to do.

Glad that I still have my bucket of Ben handy, I once again got a little paintbrush and did some touching up in the annoying tape-seepage areas.  Feeling hasty, I will admit that I totally used a sharpie on those tiny areas where the tape peeled my chalkboard…. there weren’t *that* many of them, and it seemed like the only sensible thing to do, other than be crazy and touch them up six times.  Not gonna happen!  I decided I would place my pinboards and calendars and whatnots carefully in order to cover them.

Little Storage Area

Little Storage Area

Anyway, once all of this chalkboard mess was over, it was fast-forward to doneness!  I vacuumed the closet corners out using the hose, and stored my vintage bags full of crafty goodness into their designated area.  I used purple duct tape to tack down the extension cord and keep it out of kiddos footspace.  Its the cheapo kind, so it should pull up fine when its done there, and not leave much residue.  (This cord goes around the corner into the playroom, but it supplies all of the power to the wee closet office.)  The first painted and distressed plank was placed, then the lamp was positioned on it so that when the second board is placed, there’s a wee bit of space for the cord.  This second plank already has velcro glued to the other side of it, and I have a flat panel of grey cotton which I affix to it at this point.  Then the third and last desktop board is fitted as tightly as possible against it.  (The grey panel is flipped up onto the front of the desk in the pic to the left, to show you the access to the little stash zone.)

At this point, all of the hard work is DONE, and it is time to pile in the accessories and show it to the boy!  Wanna see it?  The big reveal will be coming up ASAP….

 

 


Mar 24, 2013 | Category: Home Journaling | Comments: none | Tags: , , , , , , ,

 


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