Chalkboard paint canisters

A few weeks ago I bought these glass canisters to use in my laundry room for laundry detergent, cat food, and who knows what else. I’ve been looking for something to store my homemade laundry detergent in for ages, but I wanted it to have a tight fitting lid and I couldn’t find anything for such a long time. If that stuff spilled it would be such a pain to clean up! I picked these up at Garden Ridge (crazy store, that one!) for under $20 for all 3 and planned to paint a shape on each with chalkboard paint to label the contents.

I know they don’t match exactly, but they’re close enough. After much googling of things like “label templates”, I found a shape that I liked for the chalkboard section. I resized it for each canister (had to do each one a couple times until I had the size I wanted), printed it out, carefully cut around the shape, and taped them to their respective jars. Once I decided where I wanted them, I used a pen to mark where it should go.

Then I used painter’s tape to tape the edges of each shape. I imagine this whole process would be much simpler with a Cricut, or at least a large blank label to print the shape on directly. I was being cheap, though, and trying to complete the project with stuff I had on hand. Here’s the front.

And the back.

I made a slit on the inside and cut the tape along the outline of the white shape, leaving me with the outline of the shape in the tape.

To make the chalkboard paint, I simply added unsanded grout to latex paint. The grout can be kind of expensive, but I found a box of grey unsanded grout for $2.50 at the local Habitat for Humanity Restore, and that box would do a whole school full of chalkboards! The grey grout could be a problem if you were trying to do a colored chalkboard paint, but since I was doing black it didn’t matter. At some point I’m planning to chalkboard paint the peg boards in my garage, too, so it’ll come in handy!

The ratio it calls for is 1/2 cup of paint to 1 tablespoon of grout, but I didn’t need very much paint so I just made half. The paint was pretty lumpy, but in the end it wasn’t really an issue.

After one coat it was still pretty see-through, so I did two coats and sanded in between the first and second coat to get rid of lumps. This picture still makes it look kind of streaky, but it’s really not so bad.

When I peeled off the tape, I was freaking out just a bit because it had bled so much! (I hate you, Duck brand painter’s tape!) I quickly realized that your nail will take care of that a little too easily and it went from this mess…

To this.

I was worried the rest of it might scratch off from the chalk, too, but after writing on them several times there are no scratches, chips, or flaking. And I suppose if I ever get tired of it, I can scratch the paint off and start over!

Next, I conditioned the chalkboard surface by rubbing the side of a piece of chalk over the entire area. I didn’t really know why I needed to do this until I wrote on it, tried to erase it, and the outline of the words would not go away! Once you’ve covered it in chalk and erased it once it erases much more easily.

Then I wrote my descriptions on the canisters, filled them up, and put them away!

I’m using the biggest one for cat food so that the cat food bag no longer has to sit out in the kitchen. I’m just sure my cat is super duper excited about it!

The second biggest I’m using for my DIY laundry detergent. Previously, it was in a plastic container with a slip on lid, and I was always worried it was going to spill, spreading fine particles of Ivory soap and Borax everywhere burning our throats and making it impossible to breath! It was a safety hazard, really. 🙂

Hopefully soon I’ll have some Downy Unstopables scent beads for the smallest one, but geesh they’re expensive just to add some scent to your laundry! They smell so good, though! (I’m picky about scents, and while I love that my DIY detergent is “scentless” for my clothes, sometimes I want things like towels or sheets to have a scent.)

I also made a few other organizational changes to my laundry room while I was at it. Now I just need some kind of picture or something on the wall between the two shelves! And some automated way to sort, move, and fold the laundry, perhaps?

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