I knew I had to have a kitchen chalkboard wall. We could write cheerful little notes to each other: Went for run! Stefan's birthday tomorrow! or use it as a shopping list:
or else use it to list the week's menus:
Monday - Kale/quinoa bake.
Tuesday - Tacos!
Wednesday - Salmon burgers with spinach souffle
Thursday - Foraged sorrel pesto bucatini
Friday - Quiche, deconstructed
We would be chalkboard people. People with kitchen chalkboard walls don't put things like cake mix or Franzia on their shopping lists. They don't eat ramen noodles coated in peanut butter and siracha for dinner either. I was half-convinced that if I had a kitchen chalkboard wall, I would be thinner and prettier and would stop wearing tragic outfits out of the house. I would learn to write in artistic fonts and put some sort of clever saying on the wall; perhaps a quote from Shakespeare: Tis an ill cook that cannot lick his own fingers. (Romeo and Juliet)
So the plan was to paint the wall with chalkboard paint and then install the pantry shelves on top of it. Here's what Pinterest and the Pottery Barn catalog don't tell you about making a chalkboard wall in your house:
Once again, I failed to think of the unexpected, negative consequences of said piece of aspiration. (Note: it is a major responsibility of my full-time job to think of the unexpected, negative consequences of doing things.)
Anyway, I did all the boring wall prep and applied two coats of black chalkboard paint to the wall. Then we waited for three days for the wall to cure. Once the wall has cured, you must take a piece of white chalk, hold it sideways against the wall and rub it all over the wall, completely covering it with chalk. If you don't do this, the first things you write on it will never entirely erase.
Seamus and I debated extensively on whether or not you must use white chalk for this or not. The internet was unclear, but I didn't want ghosts of blue or pink chalk on my wall, so we used white. This meant waiting an extra day because the local store was out of white chalk, so I had to order it from amazon.
Once you have coated the entire wall with an even covering of white chalk, you wipe it off again with a damp cloth and your chalkboard wall is ready to go. Seamus did this part and when he was finished, for reasons that are unclear to me, he vigorously shook the cloth. A mushroom cloud of chalk dust rose over his head and gently descended on the kitchen. "But it's dustless," he said, surprised at my remonstrance. I pointed out that his hair and eyebrows were white. Note: "low dust" in relation to chalk is a worthless claim. Another thing pinterest doesn't tell you. I really like my chalkboard wall, but now, there is never not a drift of chalkboard dust decorating the adjacent cookbook shelf, the baseboard, or the floor.
Here it is with our original experimental etchings. Those eyes, which reminded me of the Great Gatsby paperback cover, and SUPER FINE supervised kitchen proceedings for quite a while as I worked on the shelf-building part of the project.
Part two of the painting phase of this project was to paint the bead board white. I was really tired of the apple green, and the white looks better against the black chalkboard paint.
For reference, here's how the wall looked before: