As this is my first blog post I want to start with a small disclaimer. This blog is intended to be a space where I can document current projects and processes. At first I was apprehensive as I take pride in what I produce and fear, like most designers and artists, that putting this information out there is inviting imitation. What I've learned though is that inspiration can come from so many unpredictable sources and we suffer when we deny ourselves interaction with our peers.
It's summer in the Bay Area and our local sports teams are in full swing. The Warriors are in the finals again and anyone who has lived in SF know that it's a baseball town at heart (sorry Niners). This all makes it a good time to stock my inventory of two of the more popular chalkboard designs.
When I first started making chalkboards I used the Valspar chalkboard paint from Lowe's. It's a good product but I knew there were better quality paints out there. After trying numerous brands the clear cut winner was Hudson Paints. Not only do they make a great product but they stock many great colors, and I aspire to have at least one can of each.
With so many colors available I sought to branch out from the straight black boards I was already producing. My latest chalkboard design is inspired by the bridge design of the Warriors logo and gave me an excuse to buy a can of 'superboy blue'. First step of the process is to rout out the design into a sheet of furniture grade maple ply. Most of my work is done at the Redwood City TechShop. After importing my design in from CAD, the CNC router is ready to go.
After that it's a bit of sanding and time to paint. For that I use a small foam roller, the trick is light pressure and a slow roll to prevent paint from spinning off into the routed area. One coat of primer and 4 coats of chalkboard paint go on each board. That's pretty much it. Some keyhole slots on the back make it easy to hang and then you're ready to go.
One of my favorite aspects of baseball is the individuality of each ballpark. AT&T park and its 'triples alley' is no exception. Following the contours of the park this chalkboard is a great place to write down your daily lineup. Given that it's an even year, Giants fever is slowly starting to mount around here so I see another round of these in my near future.
Again prime and paint, this time with two colors. After that it's gametime.
Thanks for looking. Have an idea for a chalkboard design let me know.