Outdoor Chalkboard Door

I have so many blog posts up my sleeve and no time to actually sit down and write the post!
Chasing a toddler and trying to start your own business is just as hard as everyone says it is.

So in an effort to make my little man happy (and let's be honest -- distract him so I can get work done!) I decided to create an outdoor chalkboard for him.  He is on a major drawing kick and I knew he would love a new place to unleash his artistic skills.

Without a backyard, our front deck serves as our main outdoor space.  Unfortunately it's a bit on the small side and leaves little space for kiddie decor.  I didn't want to take up space with a store bought easel nor did I want to spend the extra money.  So when I saw our dilapidated shed door staring at me a little light bulb went off.  Why not paint the door?!

I patched up the door the best I could, cleaned up the vents, taped off the trim and got to work!

I had read online that outdoor chalkboard paint didn't really exist but I was sure I could find some.  Of course I was shocked when all I could find was interior chalkboard paint.  Really? How does this not exist yet?? My local hardware guru said I could try the interior kind but since the door got so much direct sunlight and didn't have an overhang we both agreed it wouldn't hold up.  

So I went back to the web and found an outdoor chalkboard paint recipe:

{ Tip: If you don't have a roller pan you can use tin foil over a pyrex dish! I only did this because I forgot to buy one.  If you remember - the plastic pans are cheap and worth it. Oh, and be sure to use a foam roller to make things extra smooth! }

{ Tip: If you don't have a roller pan you can use tin foil over a pyrex dish! I only did this because I forgot to buy one.  If you remember - the plastic pans are cheap and worth it. Oh, and be sure to use a foam roller to make things extra smooth! }

I purchased a high quality black outdoor paint and a white non-sounded grout.  I grabbed a trusty keg cup and mixed 2 Tbsp of the grout into 1 cup of the paint.  You are supposed to mix until all the clumps are gone.  This is where I ran into a bit of trouble.  No matter how long I mixed the two ingredients I could not get rid of the clumps!! I seriously mixed for 15-20min and still had lumps.  I also read that a few little bumps are fine because you can just sand them out so I decided to go ahead and paint. This is what happened...

Needless to say this did NOT look right! I took this picture and went back to the hardware store for some help.  Paul at our local ACE store is the paint guru and I couldn't trust him more.  He was just as stumped as me! Maybe the grout was old?? In any case, Paul suggested I strain the paint with mesh paint bag (looks just like cheese cloth).  We weren't sure how it would affect the "chalkboard"  capabilities but it was worth a shot.

So I went back to square one...

I used the mesh strainer and pushed the clumpy paint through. It was tedious but I was determined to get it smooth! Low and behold it worked! I still sanded the surface a bit once it was dry in order to get things even smoother.

Hopefully you won't run into any clumps but even with the hiccup it was SO worth it! This boy is in heaven.  It's where he starts and ends each day.