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My Journey As A Scroll Saw Pattern Designer #679: DecoArt Chalkboard Varnish Review

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Blog entry by Sheila Landry (scrollgirl) posted 04-22-2012 11:35 AM 1159 reads 0 times favorited 6 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 678: Design Mode Part 679 of My Journey As A Scroll Saw Pattern Designer series Part 680: Busy Monday »

I spent the the entire day yesterday doing research and also some experimenting with some products that I intend to use for my next design. While this doesn’t seem to be the most exciting thing in the world (at least not to blog about!) it is something that is necessary so that when I draw my patterns up, they work out well.

I intend to use the clear Chalkboard Varnish on part of my next project, which I am submitting to the magazine for their holiday issue, but I want to make sure that it will work well and do what I intend it to do – allow the chalk to be erased easily.

The directions say to apply two coats – one vertical and one horizontal – and allow it to dry at least an hour after each application. Then after 24 hours, it should be ready to go.

I decided to use some walnut, as I want the piece dark enough so that the chalk will show up. I also think that using a tight grained wood such as this would do better than something like oak, where the chalk would get stuck in the grain.

I applied a decent coat of the varnish to a section of the wood with a brush, following the grain. By ‘decent’ I mean I was sure that I put enough so that the varnish would begin to fill up the grain. I left it an hour or so and when I came back to check, I found that the grain was raised slightly. This was expected, as the varnish I was using is water-based, so I took a fine grit of sandpaper and gently rubbed it over the surface, making it once again completely smooth.

I then applied a second coat, still in the direction of the grain, and allowed it to dry completely for an hour. This time when I ran my hand over it, it was smooth.

Finally, I applied a third coat of the varnish, but this time I brushed in on cross-grain. While my brush was slightly damp before applying the varnish, it was not wet at all, as I didn’t want to break down the varnish by diluting it. It went on very smooth and I left it overnight.

One thing that I noticed was that the colour of the walnut remained just about the same as it was pre-varnish. This surprised me because usually when applying anything over walnut, it tends to darken quite a bit. In fact, it was a bit difficult to distinguish the treated area from the untreated area on my board (you can see a little line to the left side of the board):

While it hasn’t been quite 24 hours since the final application (it is probably about 18) I thought I would give it a try and see if I could write on the piece and still erase the chalk.

The writing looked quite smooth:

And when I tried to erase it, it quickly came off the wood completely:

I even looked closely at the pores to see if there was residual chalk dust in them, and I am a bit surprised that there was not:

So I am pleased to say that this product passed the test with flying colors. I can go ahead and use it on my design with confidence that I am not going to have a mess on my hands.

I really like when products do what they are supposed to. It sure makes designing a lot more fun knowing that things will work out well. I am happy that I wasn’t disappointed.

Today I will spend the day drawing. I have several ideas for a couple of different projects and I wast to begin working on them as quickly as possible. It appears that it will be a rainy day here, but I am not planning to go anywhere anyway.

I hope you all have nice Sunday and get to spend some time doing fun things.

-- Designer/Artist/Teacher. Owner of Sheila Landry Designs (http://www.sheilalandrydesigns.com) Scroll saw, wood working and painting patterns and surfaces. "Knowledge is Power"



6 comments so far

View grizzman's profile

grizzman

7191 posts in 2054 days


#1 posted 04-22-2012 02:21 PM

that is very cool, i also love it when the product works, that is some pretty neat stuff and could have many applications, im sure you will give it a run for the money, trying it to its limits..so its a rainy day huh, well its pretty blue here, with windy conditions, and about 70, so nearly a perfect day for here…i shall enjoy my day, and wish you and Kieth the best day also, cant wait to see your monitors mounted to there new holders, maybe they will give the kitties something to hang from now…lol…..p.s maybe one other test you should try is writing on there many times and erasing, just to see if at some point there does seem to be a difference…just a thought…

-- GRIZZMAN ...[''''']

View Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)'s profile

Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)

7899 posts in 1671 days


#2 posted 04-22-2012 02:40 PM

Hi, Bob! The monitor stands are due to come in tomorrow we think. That will be great. I hope they work out well and are sturdy enough (they are rated for 20 lb monitors, and ours are much less) We just hope the range of motion on them is sufficient to work well with our set up too.

Sounds like you have a perfect day going! You need to fire up the bar-b-que and have a nice cookout and enjoy the day. It is rainy here, but looks like it is brightening up a little. We are both working inside today though so it will be good no matter what. Have a great day!

Sheila

-- Designer/Artist/Teacher. Owner of Sheila Landry Designs (http://www.sheilalandrydesigns.com) Scroll saw, wood working and painting patterns and surfaces. "Knowledge is Power"

View Bigrock's profile

Bigrock

253 posts in 1713 days


#3 posted 04-22-2012 04:04 PM

Hi Sheila:
A comment about the chalk getting in the pours of the wood. There is a product by the name “Aqua Coat” that is sold by “The Finishing Store”. It is a little costly but it works and it comes in clear. I use it on oak to get a smooth surface.. It works with oil base finishes as well as water base finishes. While you are playing with finishes this product may solve a problem you may run into.

View Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)'s profile

Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)

7899 posts in 1671 days


#4 posted 04-22-2012 04:10 PM

That’s a great idea! I was also going to experiment with putting it over finishes, just as you stated. I will look for the Aqua Coat and try it on some oak and see how it does. Thank you for the tip!

Sheila :)

-- Designer/Artist/Teacher. Owner of Sheila Landry Designs (http://www.sheilalandrydesigns.com) Scroll saw, wood working and painting patterns and surfaces. "Knowledge is Power"

View Joe Lyddon's profile

Joe Lyddon

7947 posts in 2803 days


#5 posted 04-22-2012 05:56 PM

That’s a COOL coating… never saw that before…

Thank you.

-- Have Fun! Joe Lyddon - Alta Loma, CA USA - Home: http://www.WoodworkStuff.net ... My Small Gallery: http://www.ncwoodworker.net/pp/showgallery.php?ppuser=1389&cat=500"

View Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)'s profile

Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)

7899 posts in 1671 days


#6 posted 04-23-2012 09:50 AM

I will keep you guys posted as to how I use it. I had some others ask me if it comes in a spray version, and I am going to find out from DecoArt if they are planning to make one.

Sheila ;)

-- Designer/Artist/Teacher. Owner of Sheila Landry Designs (http://www.sheilalandrydesigns.com) Scroll saw, wood working and painting patterns and surfaces. "Knowledge is Power"

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