Monday, June 18, 2012

Chalkboard Countess

 I have been lazy today.  Our university's team - the Carolina Gamecocks are in the College World Series in Omaha, and we have been staying up late to watch the games.  After cleaning the pool this morning, getting the trash and recycling ready for pickup, painting a small project, I was pooped!  So I decided to swim a few laps and do some water aerobics for a boost of energy.  About two hours later, Chucks came out to ask if I had meant to fall asleep in the pool for so long.  No, but it certainly was enjoyable.  I am nice and relaxed now.  I recommend a daily nap in the pool for your health.  I just float along on my back or on a pool noodle and snooze!

For my reveal today I present the Chalkboard Countess.  She turned out so elegant that I cannot use her in my house, but I am sure she will find a home somewhere.
My inspiration for this project was Rosemary at Villa Barnes (  If you have not visited her, please take the time to go over and look at her creations.  Today's post involves a chair and a vase that are gorgeous!  

But I digress (as I usually do). I found this mirror frame when looking for a bike wheel for my bike rental sign.  It was gaudy, gold, and plastic, but also, cheap!  I painted this at the same time as the Mum's The Word table so I could use up all the homemade chalk paint I had mixed.
I took flat white latex added a mixture of unsanded grout and water.  Then I threw in some sea mist craft paint to make a pale blue-green color.

I used a brush with messy bristles (my scrumble brush) to get in all the cracks and crevices. 

The chalk paint covered in one coat, BUT  would it stick to the plastic and not come off?  Remember I had not primed it!

It was a hot day so it did not take long at all to dry. It was ready for the next step:  sanding.  I used a medium grit sanding sponge to distress, distress, and distress some more. 

Guess what?  Not only did the paint stick, but I had to switch to a heavier sandpaper grit to get the paint off!

You can see some of the gold shining through the paint.

While I was searching for a place that sold dark wax, I prepared the chalkboard insert.  I did two of these at one time - one for the Countess and one for an upcoming project.  

First Chucks helped cut a Masonite board into pieces.  Then I primed with latex Kilz on the shiny side.  When using a primer, complete coverage is not necessary. 
I used real, honest-to-goodness chalkboard paint.  I had a new can on hand for some other projects I have not begun (maybe I need to cut down on the pool naps!)

I painted three coats using a foam brush.  I brushed vertically, then horizontally, and then a third coat vertically.   You need to let this paint cure for several hours between coats for the best finish.  Next condition the board by chalking over the entire board and carefully wiping off the excess with a soft cloth.

Back to the frame, I highlighted with a metallic silver craft paint not completely covering the color.  I also was careful to leave some of the gold showing through.  You can see the before and after in the photo of one corner.
I finally found some dark wax (Howard Citrus Shield Finishing Paste Wax) at a small paint store.  He was not going to carry it any more and offered two cans for the price of one.  I chose dark oak for this piece and also got golden oak to save for later.  I really like this wax - I may have to go back and buy the rest of what he had. I laid the wax on thick with a foam brush - pushing it in every crack.  I was outside so the wax was nice and soft, but next time I will use a brush.  The foam brushes kept falling apart on me.
After the wax became hazy, I buffed with a shoe polishing brush and a rag.  I was pleased with the result.  The blue-green, the silver, and the original gold all were visible through the dark wax.  This wax has a pleasant orange smell and was easy to work with.  No sticky residue either.  I did have to work fast before the wax was too difficult to remove.  If this happens, you can easily fix the problem by adding clear finishing paste wax (Minwax) to remove the dark.

Here is the Countess awaiting her royal chalkboard. I took her on a tour of the house to see if she fit in anywhere, but she declined my offer of a permanent home.  She does not mingle with the masses of primitives!

(One day I must vacuum this stairway!  One day when I am not napping in the pool, that is!)

Confession time.  The Countess is wearing her chalkboard and she looks so regal standing there.  However, I have not decided how to attach the chalkboard to the frame.  It fits just right into the frame. (thanks, Chucks!), but I don't want goopy glue to show on the front.  I'm thinking a bead of sealant around the back edge might do the trick!

The hanging hardware on the back has her oriented to hang vertically and I am leaving her this way.  I tried her out on a door and she fit perfectly!

Look at those beautiful details.  I am so pleased with this frame project that I might do another.  Thanks, Rosemary at Villa Barnes. 

Gosh, what if I change the living room to include silver-accented pieces. 

 Would the primitives complain?  

Could they adapt? 

Could they be silvered?  

All the blanket chests and cupboards just shivered in their milk paint!

O-O-O-O-H!  Here comes the silver paint!

Come back again to visit.  Make sure you give a shout out - I'll be swimming, er, napping in the pool!

See y'all!

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  1. I just did a frame myself - talk about coincidental!!!
    Love yours
    Your newest follower - would love to have you follow back
    My frame:

  2. Oh Wow!!! So that's what you've been up to!! I love it! Nice score on the frame. I have yet to do a chalk board project, but I will! Great job!

  3. Beautiful, Donna! I love it! Great colors that really show off the detail in this frame and make it look so regal.

    visiting from Nifty Thrifty Tuesday : )

  4. Great job on the Countess! She's beautiful!

  5. And now I know where you get all your crafting the pool! I'm so jealous~
    I'm passing along the Sunshine Award to you today for all of your creativity and inspiration. Come on over to Etcetorize to check it all out!

  6. Love that frame! I have painted a few like that myself. Gorgeous! Found you today at Coastal Charm~Angie

  7. Thanks for visiting my Concrete Cottage Donna! Your chalkboard is awesome and the frame... fabulous!!!!! Great job! I'd certainly hang this beauty in my house!

  8. How lovely! Visiting from DIY Dreamer. Would love it if you would share this post at my Make it Pretty Monday link party @TheDedicatedHouse. Wishing you a grand evening. Toodles, Kathryn @TheDedicatedHouse

  9. This is SO lovely! I love seeing what you do Donna. =D

  10. Awesome transformation!! Glad to hear about the wax since I really struggle with the AS dark wax! I may have to get some Howard's to try. Blessings!

  11. That was a wonderful makeover for that frame. Too bad you aren't using it in your home. But it would be too fancy for my home as well.

  12. Your chalkboard is just gorgeous, Donna! You would never guess that frame wasn't hand carved wood! I love hunting for neat vintage frames that I can turn into chalkboards. Several months ago, I found a frame that looks just like yours, that I painted heirloom white and turned into a chalkboard. I would have loved to keep it for myself, but I sold it in my Etsy shop:)

  13. Donna, thank you for sharing this at Make it Pretty Monday at The Dedicated House!! I hope to see you again on Monday. Wishing you a grand weekend!! Toodles, Kathryn @TheDedicatedHouse

  14. Fantastic! Really lovely proejct. I need to find a frame like that - you really transformed it!!


  15. Donna - that frame is seriously amazing, girl! LOVE the technique you used on it! The color and depth and detailing is beautiful!!! Great job! Now....go back to floating in your lovely pool. lol!

    xoxo laurie

  16. Donna, This is simply Gorgeous!!! You are scaring me--sleeping in the pool! I love your Countess! Thank you for sharing this at Rustic Restorations Weekend! :)

  17. Beautiful frame Donna. Love your color choices. Isn't it great to have a friend like Rosemary for some added inspiration!!! Blessings ~ Judy

  18. Donna, I LOVE all of your transformations. This chalkboard is AMAZING!!

    Thanks so much for sharing this at The DIY Dreamer.. From Dream To Reality! I can't wait to see what you'll be linking up this evening!

  19. Donna, I am featuring your post over on Shabbilicious Friday at Shaby Art Boutique today. Thanks for linking up ♥


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