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Blog: Paper Doll, Tackling The Stacks And Piles
Paper Doll Sees the Writing On the Wall: Part Two -- Chalking It Up

Pop Quiz!

Do you know the recipe for paper disaster?

It's a house or office full of sticky notes, torn pages from spiral notebooks and scribbles on the backs of napkins and envelopes, with no rhyme or reason, let alone system, for pulling it all together. Sometimes, we need folders and tickler files and clipboards. Other times, digitally scanning the information is the solution. But these options work best when you need the information at your fingertips, palm-sized, at arm's length and eyeball height.

But what do you do when you need your ideas and information super-sized?

Last week, we talked about the inventive ways in which whiteboard paint can be used to expand the creative canvasses on which we track messages, mind-map ideas, list To Do items and generally get thoughts out of our heads and onto firmer ground (or firmer walls, actually). A stellar advantage of whiteboards and whiteboard paint is that information that is transitory in nature can be made memorable, accessible and useful...and then can be deleted without wasting paper or even having to bother with recycling.

Paper is superior in many circumstances, but for sharing vital messages or story-boarding a plan for all to see, taking over some wall space can be ideal. However, the corporate-birthed whiteboards are not the only option. We can also go back to basics -- to kindergarten, even -- to delight in the utility of chalkboards.

Organized Garage Makeover ©2011 Inspiration For Home


©2012 Plaid Enterprises/FolkArt

We tend to think of those old, squeaky chalkboards as the province of academia. But chalkboards have come a long way (since we were babies), Baby. Turning your nearest garage, mudroom, or hallway wall into a message center or creative space or giant notepad is as simple as picking up some acrylic chalkboard paint from your nearest Lowe's or Home Depot, or ordering online.

©2011 The818.com Blog

We tend to think of chalkboards in terms of the standard Grammar School Green or Senior High Slate Grey. Benjamin Moore eschews a vibrant wall, and like the original Model T's, its Studio Finishes® chalkboard paint comes in quarts of any color you want -- as long as it's black.

Quarts of Krylon brush-on paint also come only in black, take 60-minutes to dry to the touch, and 24 hours before they're ready to use. Krylon 12-ounce cans of spray-on chalkboard paint create durable slate-like finishes that are dry to the touch 15 minutes after application, and fully dry after three hours. It's safe for use on wood, metal, glass, plaster, ceramic, paper and paper mâché. But green and black are your only options.

With standard Rust-Oleum chalkboard paint, which comes in quarts for use with rollers or brushes (and needs three days to dry), and spray paint for direct application (taking just 24 hours to dry), green and black chalkboard surfaces are just the beginning.
Rust-Oleum makes a Chalkboard Tint Base in stirring (no pun intended) colors like Raspberry, Fresco Red, Garnet, Periwinkle, Grape Fizz, Deep Teal, Banner Blue and six others.

Just add the tint to the basic chalkboard paint to jazz up your workspace or make an area of your home a little more colorful. With or without tint, the paint can be applied to metal, wood, masonry, drywall, plaster, glass, concrete, unglazed ceramics, hardboard and just about any fixed surface on which you might like to write or draw.

Modern chalkboard paint provides a panorama of other colorful options. For smaller spaces, like a drawing board just the right size for your pre-schooler, or to create a chalkboard just big enough for desk-side notes-to-self, Plaid Enterprise's Folk Art line has ten color options in eight-ounce jars - somber shades like Camouflage, Green and Slate Gray, along with peppier Purple, Red and Hot Pink.

Hudson Paint has thirty remarkably bright and vivid chalkboard paint colors,

from Paper Doll's favorite (Genius Pink Genius) to a classy (High Society) taupe. These paints come in eight-ounce, quart and gallon containers.

Once you've picked your paint, pencil-sketch your measurements and then apply painter's tape to delineate the borders. Start by painting a small portion of your wall to get a sense of how it works for you. Once it's dry, keep a bright supply of art chalk in a plastic bucket so that the whole family can leave reminders and alerts: "Tomorrow is trash day!" or "Watch out for broken glass in the kitchen!". You can even "play restaurant" and put up tonight's dinner menu. In the office, create mind maps to plan your next big project or track progress on particular goals.


Of course, some of you are no more likely to pick up a paintbrush than Paper Doll is. If you're not a Do-It-Yourselfer, instead of painting a chalkboard, consider peel-and-stick chalkboard decals for designing areas sized to fit your life and work spaces.

Wallies makes 9" x 12" vinyl-backed, peel-and-stick, removable and re-positionable chalkboard sheets that are perfect for individual drawings and memos, or for grouping to create erasable calendars. They come in standard Slate Gray,

Blueprint Blue and Grape , at $16.99 for four sheets or $9.99 for two.

If you prefer a larger canvas for your shining ideas, Wallies carries a 25" x 28" Big Chalkboard for $24.99.

And for a little cozier atmosphere, Wallies also carries decorator styles of decals, like this $9.99 Frilly Chalkboard.

Simple Shapes is an other vinyl-backed chalkboard decal option, which, instead of chalk, uses innovative dust-free, smear-proof, wet-wipe, 1mm or 6mm Chalk Ink™ chalkboard ink pens.

For elegant chalkboard calendars, Simple Shapes has a 43" x 27" classic gridded set-up
for $64, also available without the vertical memo section, for $35. The calendar portion, which appears to be 30+ separate decals, is actually applied as one piece. For those who prefer to round out their days (pun entirely intended) with a big, visible calendar, Simple Shapes has a similar 32'" x 32" option for $68. 

For a fun wall-sized alternative to a ripped-from-the-notepad piece of paper, there's a 20" x 23" chalkboard wall memo decal.


One hopes that a marriage will last longer than most chalkboard doodles. Still, Paper Doll wishes to honor the Best In Show strategy for using chalkboarding to organize information. Wedding Coordinator La'Di Events covered a simple piece of birch plywood with chalkboard paint and, using colorful Chalk Ink™ pens, created a fun seating chart for a client's wedding.

@2010 La'Di Events


I'm sure some of you might be worried about what would happen if you organized your thoughts on chalkboards, as discussed today, or the whiteboards we looked at last week. You know how easy it is to pile up papers around you to assuage your fear of losing proof of your epic genius. (It's why you probably never delete anything from your computer, either.) But just because chalkboards and whiteboards are erasable doesn't mean all of the information is need be permanently erased.

Recall Paper Doll's advice about saving sentimental clutter. I shared the utility of that childhood taunt -- Take a picture, it'll last longer! There's no reason why you can't snap a digital shot of your important storyboards, work plans or calendars on a daily or weekly basis. If you're afraid an over-ambitious cleaning crew (or "helpful" child) will wipe your brilliance off the wall -- and off the map -- just snap!

Keep the greatness eternally -- just skip the paper clutter. End of lesson.

posted on: 2/14/2012 10:30:00 AM by Julie Bestry
category: Paper

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Paper Doll, Tackling The Stacks And Piles

by Julie Bestry

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Julie Bestry, President of Best Results Organizing in Chattanooga, TN, is a Certified Professional Organizer®, speaker and author. Julie helps overwhelmed individuals and businesses save time and money, reduce stress and increase productivity through new organizational skills and systems.

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