This project is something I have been wanting to do for a very long time, but the list of higher priority, critical tasks of building a house took precedent over covering my ugly old refrigerator with chalkboard paint. Since we have finally arrived at a “finished enough” status – drywall, mud, paint, windows, doors, tile, floor, plumbing and electricity (the process of which will be documented in retrospect here soon) – the little aesthetic touches like designing a spice rack or hanging mugs on decorative hooks can now occupy some time. And so, on an unplanned wave of motivation, I pulled out the chalkboard paint I had purchased with great intention long ago, unwrapped a nice new paint brush, and got to work.
I did a little bit of preliminary research, and after talking with the guy at the paint store (who was really helpful, and REALLY enthusiastic about the project), I decided to take the extra time to do a first coat of primer. This ensures an even, longer lasting finish since the surface of the refrigerator is textured. We pulled the fridge out and maneuvered a drop cloth underneath to protect our tile floor, this probably being the hardest job of the whole day.
After the primer dried completely, which didn’t take long at all, I applied the first coat of black chalkboard paint. You can get a variety of colors, but I was going for classic and a hue that matched some of the details in our kitchen. The paint is pretty liquid-y and went on smooth and easy. I waited until the first coat was dry and decided to apply another coat to really feel good about it.
I felt so satisfied with myself, and then realized that the work wasn’t done. According to the instructions on the back of the paint can, you must “condition” the paint with chalk before actually using it as a chalkboard.
To condition the surface, you have to cover the entire surface with chalk and then erase it all. This process leaves it really smudged and grey, but you then have to wait a few days for it to “cure” before using a damp cloth to wipe it clean. Delayed gratification, but still really worth the effort.