Today’s project was one that I am happy to have accomplished. As you know from last week, we recently built a large bookcase to go into our dining room. We decided to move our flat-screen television from the living room into the dining room, to go on top of this new bookcase. The living room is quite vintage looking, and that flat-screen just didn’t do much to continue that look. But I still had the same problem with it in the dining room–it’s really handy to have there and we enjoy using it, but when it’s not in use it looks just a little too modern.
I made this chalkboard with the idea of creating a tv cover out of it, and it works great! You can make one, too–it’s easy to do.
- a picture frame with glass in it, large enough to cover your TV screen (I picked this up at Goodwill for $10)
- black chalk paint
- antique white chalk paint
- dark glaze
- brackets and screws (more detail to follow below)(around $5 total)
- hot glue gun and glue sticks
The first thing I did was to cover the frame with newspaper and painter’s tape, leaving the glass exposed. This I primed, and then spray painted with chalk paint, allowing it to dry thoroughly in between coats.
I have to say that I do not like the spray chalk paint. The chalk paint did not want to cover the primer evenly, and I used Zinser bonding primer, which I have used in the past and I know it’s a great primer. I don’t like the Zinsser spray primer as well, but in this instance it might have worked better because the paint-on type went on thick and left some brush strokes, which I could not sand off because it took all the primer off even when I sanded very lightly. I don’t know if it was because I was trying to cover glass and it didn’t want to stick to it, but I gave that glass three coats of chalk paint after the primer had thoroughly dried, and it still has a tendency to want to rub off in spots.
I am careful with it, but it’s not a great idea to use water to wash the chalkboard–it also starts to wash off the chalk paint. If I had it to do over again, I’d try the spray-on Zinsser primer for a smoother undercoat, and I would definitely try a brush-on chalk paint, because I think you’d get thicker coverage. I also would save money by making my own chalkpaint–you can find a great recipe and the one I use over at Elizabeth and Co. if you’d like to try this. It is:
- one part plaster of paris, first mixed with water to create a very smooth consistency like paint
- 3 parts flat paint, whatever color you like
Next, I covered up my freshly chalk painted glass with newspaper and painters’ tape, and then I set to work revamping the frame.
It was gold originally, so I made up a batch of antique white chalk paint using the above recipe and painted it on. The frame is a cheap one covered in paper, and I was afraid to try sanding it down to show the detailing, so instead I made up a dark glaze, lightly brushed it on the raised areas that I wanted to detail, and then wiped most of it off, repeating as needed. I wanted a subtle antiqued look, not heavily distressed.
This is my dark glaze recipe that I found from this website, which I’ve used several times and with which I’ve been very happy:
- 1 teaspoon dark brown semi-gloss paint
- 6 teaspoons Floetrol, a paint conditioner
This worked pretty well, and I discovered if I rubbed with more pressure I could also expose some of the gold underneath, the look of which I liked.
So now the chalkboard and the frame were all ready to go! Before I used the chalkboard for the first time, I ran a stick of chalk on its side all over the board, and then gently wiped much of the chalk off. This helps the board to get ready to receive writing. I have read if you don’t take this step before using a new chalkboard, it can leave the words that you write permanently embedded in the chalk paint.
Now to turn the chalkboard into the tv cover. We decided to go with some L-shaped metal brackets, and held them together with flat screws and nuts. They look like this:
We originally tried some regular screws and nuts, but they stuck out of the top of the bracket too far, so we found these that are smooth on both the top and bottom. We use them to bind film scripts as well.
We used short screws and attached the bracket to the back of the chalkboard frame. I wanted to make sure that the bracket would not harm the television set in any way, so I hot-glued cork to the parts of the bracket that come in contact with the tv:
Now you can hang the chalkboard from the tv screen when the TV’s not in use!
To make sure that everything would stay in place (we have inquisitive indoor kitties who like to explore anything new), on the back of the bookcase we added an ordinary C-clamp. This clamps the base of the television set to the top of the bookcase, and I hot-glued felt to the parts that touch the bookcase and tv so it wouldn’t leave any scratches. It’s not particularly pretty, but it’s hidden by the tv so doesn’t show at all, and it works great.
We are enjoying writing favorite quotations for each other on the chalk board–you never know exactly what you’re going to find next up there!
Addendum: Gail from the fantastic blog, My Repurposed Life, left a comment that got me thinking, and I want to share with you my response to her. She featured the project today(!) at her Catch As Catch Can link party, and in the comments made a suggestion about being careful about chalk dust entering the tv vents. This was what I learned today: I went in search of information online about tv vents. What I learned is that they should be cleaned out every 6 months or so, and you can use either a soft cloth or a vaccuum hose on a low setting to give it a more thorough cleaning when needed. The chalkboard is on the front of the tv, and the vents are on the back, so this helps. I do notice that when I erase the board with a soft dry cloth, there are some chalk particles that fall to the bookcase top on which the tv rests, and I just wipe those away with a clean dry cloth. I haven’t noticed any residue on the back parts of the tv. I think if you erase the board often, you would want to check the tv vents and clean them more often, too.
If you have a vintage-styled home, how have you dealt with the television and other modern electronics that you regularly use? I’d love to hear from you in the comments, so stop by for a visit!
If you liked this post, you can subscribe to Minerva’s Garden via email or RSS, Like us on Facebook, and Follow us on Twitter, and connect with us on You Tube, Pinterest and Google +. You can also follow us on Linky!
Thank you so much for your friendship and support–I appreciate it!
Till next time,
I’m participating at:
Primitive and Proper Link Party
Potpourri Friday at 2805
Power of Pinterest party at Debbiedoo’s
Tickled Pink at 504 Main
Sunday’s Best Link Party at My 1929 Charmer