Tuesday, March 01, 2011

the homework room

I would be remiss to not post a picture of this, which is the future homework room.




You have to imagine it without all the furniture (this picture is from the realtor website, so it all belonged to the previous owners) and with the one full wall opposite the three windows repainted with chalkboard paint.  SO WE CAN WRITE OUT ALL OUR MATHEMATICAL THEOREMS.  Also, we can re-enact that scene from "Apollo 13" where Ed Harris talks about using the moon's gravity to slingshot the astronauts back to earth.  I have the NASA-era glasses already!  Now I just need to start chain smoking!

No, but seriously, I'll just be glad not to have workbooks and crayons all over the dining room table anymore.  Everyone's a winner!

(While on the subject, does anyone have any actual experience with using chalkboard paint? We bought the kind from Benjamin Moore.  Any good tips or things we should know before we make a big mess of things?)

35 comments:

  1. We just used it and it was shockingly easy to apply.

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  2. I have found that painting with chalkboard paint is a bit more difficult than regular paint. I'm not sure of your painting experience, but two major differences are that it is black and that it has a very matte finish. This means that it will REALLY show the imperfections of your wall, so be sure to fill in any holes and sand them. Another thing is the paint tends to seep under the painter's tape. A lot of people fix this by putting decorative molding or a frame around the "chalkboard." Since yours is a whole wall, I don't think that would work. That said, you could always just touch it up with your wall paint (which hopefully the new owners have left for you)! You will also probably need a few coats. Hope this helps! Can't wait to see the homework room as it progresses! As a student for the past 20 years, I would love to have a homework room! So jealous.

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  3. It is incredibly easy peasy. Paint like you usually would - it takes a few coats to get a good chalk board feel - but it is the same as paint. We bordered ours with white trim mold to match our doorframes.

    I will say that we put ours up to leave notes for eachother and be goofy - with five kids it helped, but we didn't use it for homework, nor did we put it on a whole wall in a main living area.

    Can't wait to see the lil' guys become the next two doctors in your house. At this rate I am thinking 7-8 years.

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  4. Anonymous9:18 PM

    we put it on an entire wall, two coats, and it still wipes off and works just fine with chalk 3 years later, 3 kids. woot!

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  5. If you want to be really fancy, you can use magnetic primer. Then you'll have a magnetic chalkboard wall. That's what I did on a little wall between my kitchen and living room- great for grocery lists and menus.

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  6. Robin9:44 PM

    My mom was just telling me about a paint she heard of the other day. It's not chalkboard paint, it's paint that turns your walls into a dry erase board. It's called Idea Paint.

    http://www.ideapaint.com/

    Link for home usage: http://www.ideapaint.com/home/ideapaint

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  7. I'm so tempted to get the dry erase board paint to use for when i start studying for the usmle next month...

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  8. Anonymous10:08 PM

    make sure you put at least 3 coats.

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  9. We considered the whiteboard option, but I was concerned about "ghosting" (meaning marker residuals that are near impossible to erase) and the graffiti-looking aspect of it all. Chalkboard paint seems like it would look more modern and dramatic and be easier to clean.

    (Also, there are serious concerns with Mack not being able to distinguish the white board wall from the other seemingly identical white-painted walls in the house. From experience, this is why we no longer hang dry-erase boards below a height of four feet.)

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  10. Anonymous10:10 PM

    Totally jealous of the homework room! As a med student I would love a room for homework (instead of spreading stuff all over my place).

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  11. Chalkboard wall on one side, and using dry erase markers on the glass windows would be the best/nerdiest combo ever

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  12. Anonymous10:43 PM

    I haven't used chalkboard paint myself, but they put some on a wall in the bathroom at the coffee shop I frequent, and I can tell you that if your wall has any texture at all, you're going to have to use water to get the bits of chalk out of the little crevices, and you'll never get nice clear lines. Try to get it as smooth as possible first.

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  13. Anonymous10:52 PM

    *ahem* "theorems"

    Normally I wouldn't nitpick but it's in all caps PLUS it's in a sentence where you're trying to sound intelligent. ;)

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  14. Anonymous12:19 AM

    Another way to keep it from seeping, if you don't want to frame it with molding is to put the painter's tape in place, and then run the tiniest bead--smoothed of course-- of clear drying caulk down the seam. Let dry, then paint.

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  15. I love all the light. What a terrific place to study.

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  16. what a beautiful room! :D i want a homework room (for myself, lol)

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  17. This looks like a really beautiful house. Congrats!

    I hope this entire room isn't going to be dedicated simply to homework.

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  18. Anonymous @ 12:19am -- Sheesh! Spelling error corrected! :) I have very a very meticulous readership.

    Thanks for the advice, everyone! It's going to be fun. Really going to be more of a work and craft room for the kids than a pure "homework room" (in case anyone's going to get all Tiger Mom accusatory on my ass--it's all a little tongue in cheek, of course), but yes, I love the light too, and I think it's going to be fun to get it up to speed! More pictures along the way, of course

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  19. Anonymous7:10 AM

    curious, does the chalk board paint come in a variety of colors? Or just one..

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  20. Louise7:20 AM

    My equivalent of a 'homework room' as a child (i.e. where we had our little desks and kept toys etc.) was called the play room... Perhaps this is just a US/British thing, or perhaps it was a part of the 'learning is fun' ideology!

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  21. Oh, play room (meaning the eyesore toy dumping grounds) is in a different part of the house. A part with a door.

    Also I do think they make chalkboard paint that can be custom tinted to your specifications. Can't remember the brand but I want to say Magna Magic? (They also sell magnetic primer, hence the name.)

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  22. Ruth Carver9:04 AM

    Great plan! One thing to consider -- chalk DUST. There's more of it than you'd think, and it accumulates at the bottom, which, if that's your floor, means it'll then get tracked around. Consider one 'a them tray thingies to hold the chalk & catch the dust, even if it's at floor level.

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  23. Wow! That room is beautiful! I can't wait to see pictures of the chalkboard wall.

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  24. Heather12:40 PM

    What about an entire mirrored wall (using mirror tiles)? Then, you can use white board OR permanent markers (that both come off with Windex). I've used this to study before. It'd be really pretty with all of your windows!

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  25. If you go with magnetic primer under the chalkboard paint, word on the street is that you need to apply it within a few hours of getting it mixed at the store. Otherwise, the heavier magnetic bits settle at the bottom of the can and it is less magnetic than one might hope.

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  26. RE: magnetic paint. You want to paint a small area rather thickly, maybe several coats, to make sure you can stick up all the precious drawings, alphabet letters or what not and they will stay in place. Good strong magnets help too.

    Just suggesting this as an alternative to the refrigerator becoming the art wall.

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  27. I have always wanted a chalkboard wall in my kitchen. it sounds like a really cool idea and if it does not woek out as you envision - paint over it.

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  28. Anonymous10:53 PM

    Michelle, congratulations on your new house. It is such a big deal to own your first house.

    I want to point out few things with the wall business. From the aesthetic point of view, your study, room is so well lit and green house-like, a mirrored wall seems to be more appropriate. The mirror will also seem to double the space.

    I am concerned about the health hazard that can be caused by the chalk powder(if you decide on black) and the windex (if you decide on mirror).

    Have you considered a large drawing pad suspended from somewhere for scribbling purposes?

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  29. It says much about the readers of this blog - in a great way - that so many have this degree of familiarity and expertise with chalkboard paint.

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  30. Anonymous5:39 PM

    My daughter painted her closet doors with chalkboard paint...people who would visit would sign their names on the door.

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  31. Anonymous9:48 PM

    Let the chalkboard paint dry for 24 hours between coats. Put a border around it and make it about 8x4 at a kindergarten height ( or teen friendly) with a dust tray underneath -same as in a schoolroom or you will have chalk dust everywhere. Make sure the walls are super prepped and flat for all of the above posts reasons.

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