This post is a little bit different to normal. I’ve decided to try and be manly and do some DIY which benefits the entire family (well, maybe not the dog).
I’m not a massive fan of DIY or decorating, but there’s something pretty nice about the end result. There’s also a certain satisfaction that comes with knowing that you’ve done the job yourself, even if said job looks like it’s been done by a hyperactive toddler having a tantrum. The point is that you tried and made a (relative) success of it.
We’ve been in our house for 4.5 years now and I’ve got my DIY on a fair few times during that period. We’ve decorated from top-to-bottom in seven rooms ourselves, as well as had the bathroom done by some people who knew what they were doing. The only rooms we’ve not done yet are the stairs, if that even constitutes a room, and the kitchen, which is in pretty decent nick despite not necessarily being to our tastes.
Still, we decided a few months ago to give the kitchen a spruce up – we gave it a proper deep clean, painted any exposed walls in a dark grey, resealed around the cooker and sink, bought a new blind and fitted a new kitchen storage rack on the wall. I also embarked on a quest to replace one of the kitchen cupboards – on moving into the house, a long thin cupboard which housed a pull out wire rack was missing. This obviously made the kitchen look a bit crappy.
So the missus tasked me with coming up with a solution to replace it. We weren’t going to find the exact cupboard door anywhere, so rather than buy one that looked out of place and probably a bit stupid, we decided to embrace the difference.
The plan was to buy some wood, fit some hinges and paint it with grey chalkboard paint – this way it’d go with the new painted walls, but also contrast with the cupboards surrounding it. Doing this would also have its practical benefits such as shopping lists, as well as give Baby L an area to draw on when she’s older. Anything to avoid her doodling all over the walls, floor and settee!
Armed with my trusty tape measure and the dimensions, I headed off to B&Q to buy some wood, some hinges and blackboard paint. Rather that attempt to cut the wood to size myself, I travelled a bit further to the Aylesbury store which had a free wood cutting service.
The journey turned out to be wasted though – they didn’t have any grey blackboard paint and the saw they use to cut the wood had broken. Typical. Still, it’d been a hard day of DIYing as I at least attempted to channel by Handy Andy, so I decided to have a sit down and watch some TV.
Having looked on Amazon, we managed to find some grey blackboard paint which we bought. I then headed back to B&Q a week later in the hope that the saw had now been fixed. It had. I spent what felt like hours looking at the different wood (not a euphemism) before deciding on thick MDF. I got it cut to size and picked up some hinges, prior to heading home.
Fitting the new cupboard door was easier than I expected. I measured where I wanted the hinges and screwed them into the wood, before attaching them to the inside of the cabinet. Now was the moment of truth – I pushed shut the new cupboard door and…it didn’t fit. The wood was about 2mm too long, which meant it didn’t fit flush with the adjacent cupboards. Bloody typical!
What followed consisted of two hours of sanding down the wood along one edge and plenty of dust. However, it was worth it as I eventually managed to make it fit. That’s when the missus showed her jealous streak. The door had been up and functioning perfectly for no more than an hour before the missus decided to drop a heavy jar of Nutella on the top of the new cupboard and cause a massive dent. As would be expected, I was a little angry and may have ‘Hulked’ out slightly.
Anyway, after returning to a calm state, the final step, for now, was to attach the cupboard door handle which we had spare – this was a simple job of drilling two holes and screwing the handle together from the other side. Voila!
The next stage was to give the cupboard door a lick of paint using the blackboard paint that we’d bought. I wasn’t quite sure what the paint would be like, but shock horror, it was just the same as normal paint. I gave it one coat, waited for it to dry, then gave it another. The coverage was good and the door looked pretty awesome – even better than we had hoped.
As well as still being attached, which I’m pretty shocked about, we’ve actually been using the door as a blackboard as originally planned. The inside is the new place to put our shopping list, whilst the outside has become our to-do list and place to draw random smilie faces and pictures of cocks. We may be parents, but it doesn’t mean we have to grow up, well at least until Baby L can start to copy our drawings!
Admit it, just how impressed are you with my ‘carpentry’ skills? Have you ever used blackboard paint to give your little ones a designated place to draw? Would you consider it now that you’ve seen how awesome it can be?!
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