Wednesday, February 18, 2009

D.I.Y. Friday - "Kiddie Kitchen Korner"

Ok so this posted early so happy Hump Day!

I love my lil monster and I love LeapFrog's refrigerator toys. However what I don't love is the obstacle that they create when I'm in the kitchen trying to cook. The Fridge Farm keeps my son busy and away from his leg warmer tendency but I'm the type of cook who gets things in and out of the fridge on an "as need" basis. So having my leg warmer sitting in front of the fridge poses a hazard. 1) I have to spend 5 minutes to manuver the farm and all its animals to one side of the fridge (we have a double door fridge) or 2) I scoot the leg warmer out of the way for a minute to open the door and he sees all the goodies, tries climbing in or grabs anything he can reach and refuses to move so that I can close the door. Either way something had to change. Idea! Magnetic Chalkboard.

I've seen sheet metal at a reasonable price for squares at the hardware store and I know that they have great new chalkboard paint as well. Thus my plan was hatched.

I started out by deciding where this chalkboard needed to go, I chose the end of our cabinets (obviously a lower cabinet as my son isn't 8 ft tall). This end happened to be opposite the stove/oven and far away from the fridge. There is plenty of room for him to stand in front of this cabinet and I can still get into any cabinet I want. After measuring the space where the chalkboard would go I headed up to Lowe's and purchased 2 sheets of 18x26 sheet metal, metal primer and chalkboard paint.

Now when painting metal surfaces it's very important to use a primer. I chose a simple gray spray paint primer. I laid the sheets out and lightly coated one side with the primer. Following the directions I let it dry for about 2 hours before applying the 1st coat of chalkboard paint.

I let the 1st coat of chalkboard paint dry for a day, because I had to work, before applying the 2nd coat. After the 2nd coat dried I grabbed my adhesive squares and went to work. Instead of attempting to cut the sheet metal (which you should only do if you have the right equipment) I overlapped my sheets to fit snuggly in the space. After the sheets were secure, I rubbed chalk on them and wiped it off. This sets the paint or something like that, hey I just did what the box told me to do.

I decided I need to add a piece of molding on the bottom to create a finished look, and catch any chalk dust so I'm working on getting that painted and attached. But for now I have a great place for my lil monster to play and stay safe and clear in the kitchen.

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