After my experiment with washi tape and instagram prints, and my creation of the World’s Fastest Ever Bunting (TM) it seems I might be definitely in a phase of small home updates. This isn’t perhaps surprising, when I am juggling the girls, and being a local councillor, and chair of governors, and all that this entails. I wonder also whether I am doing small house updates as some distraction from the larger, and more difficult question of whether, when and how we re-do our kitchen…?
Anyway. The practical upshot is I have two small projects to share. The first is an idea I had to paint a step with chalkboard paint. This idea actually sneaked up on me without my realising. My friend Ellie has a step in her hall, was wondering what to do with it, and I (always a fan of home decor, and of foisting my advice on people) said, “You should paint it a dark colour to draw attention to it. No! You should paint it with chalkboard paint, and then write ‘Mind the step’ on it with chalk!”
I was so pleased with this idea that it took me at least a day to realise that I actually had a step in my OWN hall, which was unloved and in need of some paint. Once I’d made that connection, it was immediately clear what needed to happen.
I scooched down with a brush, the paint, and a craft mat belonging the girls, and got painting.
It was one of those great projects which almost immediately look fab. It even looked good when it was just plain and painted, with no lettering on it. It also gives me a chance to show off the beautiful colour and lovely lines on our newly sanded and stained floorboards. Aren’t they great?
However, at this stage of the project I stalled slightly. I knew the kind of thing I wanted: ‘Mind the step’ in different fonts, in a typical ‘chalkboard’ style. But I couldn’t quite imagine how it would look. So I armed myself with the laptop and a google images search for ‘chalkboard lettering’ and I just went for it.
I wasn’t convinced initially. Then once I’d done the ‘the’, I knew it was all falling into place.Once I’d noticed that a lot of chalkboard prints have little arrows on them, and added two to mine, it suddenly all looked exactly as I’d wanted it to.
In theory, I would like to change the wording frequently. To welcome specific visitors, wish people happy birthday, to have different quotations on and all sorts. In reality, it took a bit of time and effort to get ‘mind the step’ looking good, so I expect we’ll be minding the step for some time yet. But when it looks this nice, I don’t mind.
The other small update that I finally got around to doing was that I found a bright, dry afternoon, and spray painted one of our kitchen chairs bright yellow, so that we could use it as a desk chair. I had initially been slightly paralysed by indecision about the type of paint. Was now the time, I pondered on the school run, to finally try out this chalk paint stuff that has been setting the blogosphere alight? And if so, how much should I buy? And what about this pesky wax business… and …. and …
In the end I dismissed it all, and bought another can of spray paint. A can of yellow spray paint is fast becoming one of my household staples. There are few rooms, I think, that wouldn’t benefit from something cheery and yellow in. And I began.
Here’s the before. I don’t want to slag off this chair too much, as it was very kindly given to me as part of a set by my parents, when we had no kitchen chairs, and was very gratefully received. But I think we can agree that in style and finish it is a little bit dated. I have seen some pictures though of chairs in this style which had been painted in bright colours. Turquoise! Bright pink! Sunshine yellow! So I got out my spray cans of primer and paint, and set to work.
There is a point part way through spray painting anything where one starts to believe that it will never work. It’s patchy. It’s thin. I try to stick to lots of thin coats, but it’s hard when at the beginning you feel as though you are trying to paint a chair by putting it outside in the mist, and hoping that some kind of colour will stick.
But then, then just as your finger aches from the spray can, and you’re wondering whether the fumes might knock out next door’s cat…
… suddenly it’s done! And it’s flawless, and shiny, and smooth, and the colour is deep and rich and glorious. Here is my finished chair. I love it. I waited a reasonable time for it to be dry, and then dragged it inside to sit in situ, where if anything it looked even more wonderful.
Here it is. My ‘workspace’ project is still very much in its infancy. But with the bunting, and the yellow chair, and the pink letter rack, it is starting to take shape…
Two small updates, then. A chalkboard step and a yellow chair. Both of which still cheer me every time I see them. Has anyone else been doing any small, cheering updates to sustain them through the dark, post-Winter months?