Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Kitchen chalkboard

I fear that everything from here on out will feel underwhelming compared to the glory of my newly tiled backsplash (can you tell how pleased with myself I am? just imagine how insufferable I am to the person who has to live with you babe). But, soldier on we must. So here is another little project I did in the kitchen while painting and tiling:

In case you're confused, I didn't just paint the wall black and then color on's now a chalkboard, which I thought could be kind of handy and fun in the kitchen. A place to write sweet quotes. But also to indicate that we really need toilet paper. Also I was trying to figure out what to do with this weird strip of wall that confronts you when you first walk into the kitchen:

The bottom part has brown laminate, maybe to make it look like it's an extension of the cabinets? But it's not. And why would the bottom cabinet extend but not the top cabinet? So many questions. Rather than trying to rip things apart and risk some sort of horror under that laminate, I just decided to slap two coats of chalkboard paint on (already on hand from the faux fireplace I painted a few years ago).

Also you may notice a difference in the before and after photos is that I added a strip of white corner trim running up the side of the wall along the upper cabinets. This was to cover the end of the backsplash, which was a little rough (it's hard to cut tiles to end perfectly smoothly, and I didn't have the forethought to save room for special trim pieces). So I just picked up a piece of corner trim at Home Depot. The only tricky part is that the trim wouldn't have been flush with the wall above the backsplash because the backsplash juts out from the wall (so if the trim was flush with the backsplash, it would then be separated from the backsplash-less wall by the depth of the backsplash). So I also bought a thin, flat piece of trim that I estimated to be the same depth as the backsplash, which I nailed along the edge of the wall above the backsplash like so:

(Ignore the paint on the can see that it's minty green, right? That means it's not my fault! I have since covered it up with some flat white paint.)

Then when I attached the corner trim on top (using a combo of liquid nails and a few actual nails), it fit snugly.

(The lower part, over the end of the backsplash)

(The upper part, along the wall)

I'm not saying I'm a genius (because a genius would have left room for tile trim pieces to make a smooth end...), but at least I know how to adequately cover up my mistakes? My DIY process is basically me stumbling from one issue I create to another, trying ridiculous solutions that then beget their own issues. Just don't look too closely at anything, let's all stand a slight distance away to admire my handiwork.... To be fair I blame a heavy dose of it on the structure I'm working with -- I realized throughout the course of this project that the cabinets are in no way straight, even, parallel to the counters, the same height as one another...really any of the things that you would hope for when doing something precise like tiling. There was a lot of getting creative with caulk, nails, etc to compensate.


  1. Hi Sage... I have often toyed with the idea of making a chalkboard wall. When I was in my late teens I stayed with a friend that had their entire stairwell in chalkboard paint. The kids drew pictures and it was a really welcoming environment.

    Anyway, I enjoyed it! I also thought I'd extend an offer to you if you'd like to be a guest on my blog. I'm trying to make bloggy friends on the playground and it's not as easy as it seems. If you'd like to email me, please do... thoughtcookies(at)

    1. That's so nice Jessica, I'll definitely email you! What's your blog address? I'd love to take a look!