Friday, October 17, 2014

Spray-Painted Dry Erase Calendar

When shopping for supplies for my roll-out pantry, I had no idea what to use for the back. Then, low and behold, right at the end of an aisle was a box filled with 23.75 x 23.75 inch pieces of "marker board"--for only $1.98 each. My shelf was going to be just over 5 feet tall and 2 feet wide. I figured a tiny 1/4 inch short split between 2 sides wasn't going to hurt anything I cared about, so I scooped up 3.

Not only did it solve the problem of what to put as a backer for the shelves, but it also made said back functional. I live in little apartments; I am all about dual-function. My living room seating has 2 functions (also this one) and my bed was specifically designed to fit a box of diapers underneath.

The original plan was to just tack the boards on and put some trim around the edges to cover the seams between boards and therefore segment the white board into several sections. This got me to thinking what I could use the sections for, and I thought it would be great if one were a calendar. Of course drawing a calendar in dry erase would be very obnoxious. I was thus thinking I would just do one in permanent marker, but I had done this before with a chart to count linens when I worked in the dorms. It served its purpose, but I wished it looked a bit better.

Then I got a crazy idea: spray paint. Of course, I had my doubts. Would it stick at all? I tried to find record of someone--anyone--who had tried to spray paint a white board and came up with nothing. I found a lot of whiteboards made with glass over paint sample chips, and a fair amount of pages about whiteboard paint, but nothing about spray paint on a white board. This left me to either give up the idea or take the risk myself with no promise of success.

David got the camera took this picture, so forgive if it is a bit 
fuzzy. I say not bad for under 2 years old.
The first test was to put just a tiny bit of paint on the corner of one of my whiteboard squares. I was going to cut part off of one of the squares anyway, so I figured it wouldn't hurt anything. I let the paint dry and, though it would scratch if you were pretty rough about it, it was surprisingly durable.

Then came the hard part. I taped off the entire square that would become my calendar with blue painters tape. Using an X-acto knife, I cut out my calendar. The X-acto will scrape the white board, but since that will become the boarder between the white and your color, it won't be apparent on the finished project. I cut out everything I wanted to be my chosen color (navy blue), and left everything I wanted to be white (and still a whiteboard) covered in the tape

Yes, I described the process in a paragraph (which is impressive considering how long-winded I am), but this was not that quick to actually do. It is kind of time consuming. Especially if you decide (like me) to make the boarder have polka-dots and to paint on the days of the week. Neither of those was a picnic.

In case you want to reproduce my insanity, I did the polka-dots with a hole punch and painters tape. I thought about using dot stickers, but I was nervous they would peel the whiteboard. Halfway through application, I decided it was maybe not worth it (especially considering I didn't really know if my plan would work), but I had already punched out all the dots and it was going to be tedious to take the ones I had put on off again anyway, so I stuck to it. I didn't think about the fact that I was going to have to remove the dots one way or another (either before or after painting), but I really like the way it looks, so maybe that was a good thing.

For the days of the week, I originally was just going to write the days on the tape and cut around it. Then I misspelled Wednesday while writing it out and decided I needed something a little harder to mess up. I printed off a bold font (sans serif because I am not quite that crazy) and then cut through the paper into the tape. It took a long time, but I really do think this was worth it.

I sprayed the calendar with 3 light coats. I started removing the tape just about a half hour after the last coat, but it wasn't coming off as cleanly as I wanted to and I had places to go, so I left it for later (partially in frustration). The tape seemed to come off cleaner after a day.

Perhaps if you had a Silhouette, you could use that for this and save some time, but I am not sure how much as you will still have to lay everything out just so. Frankly the laying out part (the dots) was a lot less fun than the cutting part (the calendar). The Silhouette would probably be great for the days of the week part, though.

It isn't perfect (notably the dots bled a bit), but it isn't bad either. I am overall thrilled with how it came out and it hasn't chipped yet. I consider that a success.

Other posts you might be interested in:
Vanity for Wall-hung Sink
Drawer to Printer Garage Conversion
My Roll-out Pantry

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