The Monolith (Our Chalkboard Fridge)

Now let me begin by stating that I would LOVE to own one of those newfangled, fancy, energy-efficient, and magnificently quiet appliances that are out there on the market these days.  Like one of those dryers that chime a little trill not dissimilar to the sound of Tinkerbell waving her magic wand when it was time for me to turn the page of the read-along 7 inch records/books I had as a kid.

I am dating myself.

 “You’ll know it’s time to turn the page when you hear the chimes ring like this: (sound of chimes ringing). Let’s begin now.”

However, new appliances  are simply not in the budget for the foreseeable future.  And that’s okay.  I’ve had similar white fridges refrigerating my food for decades now. But then, I came across this post at Apartment Therapy’s Kitchn and became convinced that our fridge needed to be chalkboardified.   Thankfully the process is neither difficult nor horribly time consuming; it can be accomplished in a weekend with around $25 worth of supplies.

Here is a before picture, featuring a very cute ten-month-old baby:

It’s a perfectly average white refrigerator, right?

What do you need to transform your fridge  come over to the chalk side?

  • Coarse sandpaper
  • Masking tape
  • A small can of primer (we used Gripper)
  • A couple of cans of chalkboard paint
  • Roller and pan
Okay.  Then what?
First, take the handles off the fridge.  You can put them back on later, should you choose to do so.  I thought that the appliance looked more streamlined without the handles and left them off.  Then give it a brief sanding with the sandpaper to rough up the existing paint.  Next, prime the fridge according to the directions on the primer and let it dry. Then use a roller to apply the chalkboard paint; I used black because I like the look of a blackboard.  However, chalkboard paint is also available in that classic green we all know so well (dating myself yet again) as well as a variety of tinted colors such as pink, powder blue, etc.
Wait four hours for it to dry and then apply a second coat of paint.  It is a really good idea to paint with a roller and to pay attention to the grain of the texture you’re painting on.  It may be necessary to apply a third coat of paint-we only did two coats.  Let the paint harden over the next two or three days.
Once the paint is hardened, it’s time to season the newly painted surface with chalk.  Just rub the entire surface with chalk until it’s completely covered, and then erase.  Sometimes it’s good to have some help with this part of the project. Fortunately I had two helpers on hand.
 Voilà! Your chalkboard fridge is ready to use!
It makes for an excellent rainy day activity:
I have found it to be very handy as a photo backdrop for festive occasions.  Like this:
Or this:
Or this:
And then I found out about chalk markers………..
Nothing says Happy Saint Patrick’s Day quite like this:
Need a background for a Christmas Card photo? You got it.

And here’s another “first day of school” photo:

Having a huge reusable writing surface is handy for making grocery lists, or jotting down phone numbers or appointments quickly but it’s also fun to just draw pictures on it.


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