Saturday, July 27, 2013

Kitchen chalkboard wall and pot rack

You'd think I'd get tired of kitchen projects.

I've been mulling over ideas to make our very long blank wall less long and blank and more interesting since we moved in our house almost 2 years ago. I went through various incarnations of ideas that included murals and/or lots of artwork.

I was having trouble coming up with enough ideas for artwork that I liked. Currently I have a few pieces on there.

The photos of my critters I love (of course) and the 12.x12 "All You Need is Love" piece I made a while back I also plan on keeping around. The little quote in the frame? Eh. Not so much.

Despite the amazing amount of art supplies I own, I just couldn't think of anything to make this wall 'interesting.'

Another dilemma we have is that while we have a decent-sized kitchen, the layout is horrid. There are cabinets where the fridge should be, a door that is right next to the cabinets (so if you're trying to get something out of the cabinet - say a pot or pan - and someone is coming in from the garage, there will likely be a collision. Also, on the other side of the fridge is this very narrow area to get to the basement.

Now, there are multiple ways we can fix this problem, but the vast majority of them are expensive and require contractors. I need to find a way to make my life easier... and aesthetically pleasing.

Our large blank wall also gets smeared with fingerprints, dog drool and other things.... I needed something that would look okay if it was a little dirty, or could "hide" dirt well. Chalkboard paint?

I started with being completely and entirely in love with my little wall chalkboard I made a while back. It was handy for writing down what we were planning for dinner, but it really wasn't enough room for the two-weeks-worth of meals I plan. Usually I'd do one week and then forget the second week. :(

I also needed to be able to leave notes for Garry. We work different shifts and sometimes it's just easier to write a note for him (in big BOLD letters) to do something than it is to text him.

So the idea of painting that ENTIRE wall in chalkboard paint was born. I saw a lot of kitchens with large expanses of black chalkboard wall and to me... it's a little dark. I was thinking of green chalkboard (kind of like the ones we had in school once upon a time before SmartBoards came around), but even the green color was still a little too dark and too "green" for me.

I know! I'm *trying* to embrace color! I really am! Just give me a little credit here!

I found this photo and thought it was perfect!

Found on BHG

So that's the green I went for.

I found the recipe for chalkboard paint on Martha Stewart's website. I looked through my Glidden master deck to find a color that worked with the tones in our house and *originally* picked English Garden. However, I forgot to take my paint deck with me to Home Depot and they didn't have that particular swatch there so I had to look through ALL of the other swatches to find something close. Eventually I ended up with Behr's (). It's a little darker than the original color I picked, but I think it will look great after it's *primed* with chalk.

Okay, so now we have the chalkboard portion figured out - what about the interesting?

Other than the notes, meal plans, and other chalk-related pieces I'll have room for - I'm also planning on making (more) shelves and adding a pot rack to free-up some space in my cabinets. I'm also hoping that having them on display will encourage Garry and I to take better care of our pots.

We currently have one long shelf in the kitchen for our cookbooks and other kitchen-y stuff. I am going to cut that shelf in half and make two 3-foot shelves that will be mounted right where the chalkboard currently is. On the bottom shelf, I'm going to attach a dowel (I'm going to stain it to match the shelves) with a screw eye (is that what they're called?). The pots will hang by S-hooks. I'm also hoping to get some nice glass containers and put my tea collection on display (freeing up some space in yet another cabinet).

Because we're making an effort to repaint the wall (again) I decided to replace the floor molding as well (Auron chewed it up pretty bad when he was a puppy and frankly, I want to replace all of the painted-a-million-times molding in the house with something a little nicer.

So - with all of this Garry is going to teach me how to use the miter saw so I can start replacing all of the trim and molding as I feel ready to do it. The floor molding wasn't too expensive - about $1.50 a foot - and we have a TON of quarter round molding hanging out in the garage rafters. It was a little more expensive because it was already finished - just need to caulk the seams and the finish nail heads. Considering that we have baseboard hot water heat, we don't have a *ton* of base molding to do on the first floor.

I'm hoping to get this project finished over the weekend. It's not a terribly "intense" project, but it will take some time to complete.