Create your own blackboard

Our son and daughter (11 and 9 years old) have both asked to have a wall in their bedrooms that they can write on.

Make your own notice board using blackboard paint as the background. It’s easily covered when you are ready for a change.

Dear Debbie:

Our son and daughter (11 and 9 years old) have both asked to have a wall in their bedrooms that they can write on. We have heard of blackboard paint and wonder if you can cover it up when they change their minds and want paint or wallpaper again. Thanks for your kid-friendly ideas. – Melissa

Dear Melissa:

With school about to start, this is the beginning of another year of lists, school assignments, sports practices and music lessons, and all the other important items and dates that will fill your children’s days. A family notice board appears to be a necessity these days just to keep it all straight.

I think it is a great idea for your kids to have a wall that they can divide up as they choose, and blackboard paint is a great solution. This paint can easily be covered with primer and repainted in regular paint, so that is not a concern.

I configured a study wall that took advantage of three surfaces – blackboard paint, cork board and metal. There are three applications for the notice board combination depending on how much you can do to the wall. If this is a rental, then the third option will be the best for you.

The first is to paint the wall in blackboard paint. This should be available in a selection of colours at your paint or hardware store. If not, check the Internet for a supplier near you.

Buy a framed cork bulletin board and hang it on the wall at a comfortable height for your kids to reach. Never glue cork to the wall as it is very difficult to remove.

The metal board should be framed as the edges are sharp. Nail the metal to the cork board and use simple wood trim to frame.

The second method is to buy a large piece of medium density fibreboard (MDF). Cover it with blackboard paint and attach to the wall with screws. Add cork and metal sheets as above. If you cannot put any holes in the wall, then use a flat faced hollow-core door to create the notice board and lean it against the wall.

Blackboard paint is fun. You can use it to paint a desk so your children can doodle and make notes. And this is for adults too, if you have a small desk in the kitchen.

Whatever help we can get to stay organized and have fun is a great idea.

Dear Debbie:

I would like some ideas on how to convert a closet into an office. I’d like my new work area to include a desktop computer and some shelving to store office supplies and books. Closet dimensions are: width 73”, height 95”, depth 22”, door opening 48”. Can I buy products that will fit or does this project require custom fitting? – Randy

Dear Randy:

An unused closet is the perfect place to insert an office work station, and your measurements allow for room to set up a desk and lots of storage. You will need a power outlet for your computer cords and this is worth taking the time to wire in properly to avoid mishaps.

A built in overhead light could be set up at the same time.

Visit a home store or a store that specializes in storage and you will find a combination of shelves, storage units and boxes, filing cabinets and a computer desk that will fit nicely.

It is important to leave space behind and around your computer and pavilion for air to circulate.

Debbie Travis’ House to Home column is produced by Debbie Travis and Barbara Dingle. Please email your questions to house2home@debbietravis.com.

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