First of all, I didn't paint the outside garage door as my husband feared when I told him I wanted to do this project. I painted the door from the house into the garage.
Now onto the project.
In my previous house we had a large mudroom from the garage into the house. It held a large pantry, broom closet, 1/2 bath, four lockers and the kitty litter box. Moving into our new house, I lost the mudroom, and part of my sanity with it. The new "mud room" if you can even call it that, consists of doors into the closet laundry, a door into the 3/4 bath and a small pantry. It is dark and gloomy and really makes me miss the mudroom of past.
I have painted the walls in the hallway to match the rest of the family room that it joins into, and changed out the light fixture to make it brighter. The guy who owned the house before us had single bulb lights with a 60 watt bulb in every room. The house was soooo dark all the time. I have plans to make a hook wall on the long empty wall that now holds the cork board and calendars, but that has to wait until we rip out the floors so that I can do a board & batten wall. That post will come later when we can do the floors. But for now I need to work on that ugly blue garage door.
Because we use this door to enter and leave the house 90% of the time, I figure this is a great message center place. So I decided to paint the door with dry erase paint. I have used chalk board paint in my daughters room and didn't want to go that route. The new classroom at my work is covered ceiling to floor with dry erase paint, and I paid attention to them when they were painting the room last summer. Dry erase is the way to go for #1 brightness and #2 messsages.
The first and most important step is sanding the surface you are planning on painting. You really need to sand the heck out of it. Seriously. If there are any grooves or bumps, your marker will catch on them and it will not write smoothly. So get out the palm sander and get to work. I cleared the hallway of everything on the floor and got to work. I really wish I would have been smart enough to put on a dust mask, so learn from my mistake and take the time to find a dust mask to wear too.
Start at the top and sand your way down the whole door. I went up and down the first passing and then left to right the second passing, never going in circles. I wanted firm balanced sanding so I didn't groove into the five coats of existing paint on the door. I have told you before how the previous owner liked colors, well I found light blue, dark blue, dark green, terra cotta brown and white on the door while sanding.
Just when you think it is done, go over it one final time. You can go the route of switching to a finer grit sand paper each time you go over the door again, and you will probably get a smoother surface than I did, I just went with a regular grit and did the best I could. After sanding you need to remove all the dust. I used a wet hand towel, but a tack cloth can also be used. Get every little piece of dust off the door. You don't want to be painting over dust particles. After that, get out the vacuum and clean up the giant mess that you made. And yes, there will be dust everywhere. I also cleaned off the side of the door because I figure somebody is going to get crazy with the markers and hit the side of the door at some point. I just thought I would solve that issue and dry erase paint the side at the same time.
You paint with dry erase paint the same way you would with any paint. Apply your first layer, let set for 30 minutes and apply a second coat. The box recommended at least three coats, and I ended up doing four.
If you look closely, yes I did paint on the door knob, but that is because I will be replacing it later and adding a dead bolt to the door too. It is a brass door knob, and I am slowly replacing all the brass in the house with brushed oil bronze. Looks like a boring white, shiny door doesn't it. But after you wait at least three days, that is when the magic happens. I forced my kids to wait a week just to make sure all the coats had a chance to cure. And then when my Brother-in-law and niece were over Saturday night, they all went nuts! They had a blast writing all over the door. At some point it will be nice to write an actual note to remember something, but for now, it is just plain fun.
Now this paint is suggested to cover a 7X7 foot section, and I ended up with alot of leftovers. So I took the trashed coffee table from out family room and sanded the top of it too. Painted the same four coats and now the kids will have a fun table in the downstairs game room to draw on too. I plan to paint the bottom a deeper brown that matches the walls in the basement, but that will happen in a few weeks. For now, they are having fun with that one too.
As you can see, once the week of dry time was up, they really did go crazy. I have a strange bunch of kids, but wouldn't change it if I could. The very first thing the girl wrote on the door was "I like to Fart." Really, that is what she decided to write first. Yes she did it to get a laugh, and it worked as the whole family laughed at it when they saw it. Since this night, chores have taken over the door for now while the kids are home from school on break. I am sure there will be an endless supply of crazy drawings and sayings in the months to come. It was an extremely easy project that if you know how to paint a wall, this will be a walk in the park for you. The paint is more expensive, but you should only be painting a small area with it and not a whole room. Think of interesting places to use this paint...doors, tables, picture frames, dresser drawer fronts, inside cupboards, headboards, toy boxes, really anything that can be painted can be dry erased now. Let me know what you decide to paint!
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