Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Kids' Art & Learning Room Chalk Paint Ideas

Once you have kids, pursuing creativity becomes a {family} endeavor. Since our family values creativity, learning through trying and getting our hands dirty along the way, we decided to "put our money where our mouth is," or rather, to put our living space where our mouth is, by converting our master bedroom into a family art & learning space. 
Two falls ago, we decided to convert our master bedroom into a family art and learning space. 
We haven't regretted this decision for a second! We spend hours in our art room every day, each of us trying new art forms and learning as we go. I love what Oriah Mountain Dreamer says about cultivating creativity, "To create we have to risk learning something, we have to risk shaking up our assumptions with a new way of seeing. And we have to risk failure." We are trying our best to build these values into our daily family life. 


When it came time to execute this special art and learning space, I found myself drowning in a zillion amazing Pinterest ideas, that would cost a zillion billion dollars to execute. It quickly became obvious that I would need to use what was available to me, simplify and prioritize our spending.

Chalkboard paint became my best friend in this makeover! 

~ The Easel ~

I was able to trash-pick an old wooden easel and transform it into something visually pleasing and very functional. I painted the boards with chalkboard paint and ordered a $10 replacement paint tray. Viola! The kids and their friends have used these trays for hundreds of hours in the past year and a half. 

~ The Desks ~

Next, I got some hand-me-down old school desks from my mother-in-law. 

I bought a cheap can of white spray paint, sprayed the rusty legs & table white, then coated the top with - you guess it! - chalkboard paint. 

Again, these turned out really cute and are essential to the function of the room. We added $1-bin buckets and old metal cans as storage bins across the top. The kids seemed particularly thrilled with the idea of having their own space & their own supplies, which has given me a great path into talking about responsibility. 

If you're concerned about how well this paint wipes off & continues to hold its "chalkboard" quality, I can attest to its durability! My kids draw on their desks constantly (amongst other things, i.e. painting, playdoh, markers, etc.). 

I have been pleasantly surprised by how easily things wipe off the chalkboard paint and by how well the paint job has held up! 

~ The Message Board ~

I also wanted a place to be able to write messages - inspiring quotes & thoughts for the week. We literally found a piece of scrap wood in the garage, did a quick sanding job and added two coats of chalk paint. 

I love being able to update the room with a simple wipe of a hand!  

One of my other must-haves in the room, was plenty of space to display the kids artwork. We have a series of black frames below the chalk plaque, as well as a foam strip on the opposing wall for projects that are still drying. 

~ The Learning Trays ~

I just used the same can of chalkboard paint to coat the inside of a serving tray the other day, which the kids use to practice their writing and numbers. It took two coats, ten minutes and a tiny bit of cleanup. 

And the can of chalkboard paint is still half-full. Best $10 investment ever!  

This art & learning space has been one of the best investments our family has ever made. It has allowed us to spend hours creating, learning, exploring & growing {together}. 

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