Wednesday, April 4, 2012

DIY: Chalk Board Storage Jars

With all the painting I've been doing this spring, I needed a better storage system for my milk paint. Rather than open the bags and scoop out the powder, I wanted to see the paint clearly and be able to neatly store it on a shelf. I needed jars and low and behold, I'd saved a lot of them over the last couple years. Read on to see how I transformed a common Adam's Peanut Butter jar into a practical storage container.

I'm a big fan of Adam's Peanut Butter and not just for the taste - I also appreciate their no nonsense jar. I've been saving these jars for years now, both the big and little ones, waiting until I would find a reason for them. And when I started using milk paint in my art, I finally figured it out.


- Jars
- Chalk paint
- Painter's tape
- Brush or sponge brush
- Spray paint (low VOC if possible)
- Newspaper


1. Make sure all the jars are cleaned really well, especially on the outside where the label can leave a residue. With a little elbow grease and a rough scrub, it will come right off.

2. Separate the jars from the lids on newspaper and keep apart so you don't accidentally get spray paint on the jar.

3. Rather than try and make a perfectly symmetrical and same-sized chalk paint mark, I decided to go with a rough patch. If you have a good hand, you could probably just paint an area on, no tape needed, but I am not that good. So I used painter's tape to create a rough outline. I tore 2 strips off the roll, then tore each strip in half to create a rough edge. This rough edge is then used to create the boundary. If you can't do perfect, then go for a uniform imperfect.

After having done this, I've thought about other ways to get a good edge. There are plenty of stencils out there on the market that would work. But an inexpensive way to get a good label size, would be to use the leftover border from stickon name tags. Not the name tag itself, but the leftover part around it.

4. Shake and stir the chalk paint really well. (I hear you can make your own chalk paint in any color you want, but we already had this on hand from a previous project). Using the sponge brush, paint a thin layer of chalk paint on. Wait for it to dry (be patient). Repeat until you think the layer is thick enough. I did 3 layers.

5. While the chalk paint dries, you can paint the lids. Spray painting is an art and developed only with practice. The goal being to lightly coat evenly and then reapply, rather than trying to drench the whole thing. Again, I sprayed the lids with 3 coats of spray paint and let dry in between each layer.

6. When totally dry, you can peel off the painter's tape, but be careful not to take any chalk paint up with it. Then add whatever you want and screw on the lid.

Viola! Chalk Board Storage Jars. What will you use yours for? Right before Christmas, I did the same thing to the big jars and put homemade granola in them to give away as presents.