A friend of mine recently gave my daughter and I a half dozen wooden cigar boxes. My daughter was thrilled, immediately thinking of crafty ideas.
A few days later, she found a box of chalk that I bought and said "What's this for?" and I explained that I was making some chalkboard painted wood magnets. She said "So you have chalkboard paint?"
So we decided right then that two of the boxes would be painted with chalkboard tops and filled with paper, pens, chalk and other art supplies.
First we deodorized the boxes which still smelled strongly of cigars with a quarter cup of baking soda in a coffee filter. We just left it in the box with the lid closed for 24 hours. It worked very well.
Then we took different methods to paint it to see which turned out better. Her's turned out best.
I sanded the top of mine, and put a thin coat of chalkboard paint on the box, let it dry an hour, then another thin coat, then another hour and one more thin coat.
She used a dark shade of card stock and cut out a square to fit on top of the box. Glued it in place with a thin layer of PVA glue, let that dry, then put on 3 thin coats of the chalkboard paint letting them dry an hour between coats. We both used foam brushes to apply the paint.
You can see the difference here. How very smooth hers turned out compared to mine. Even with sanding time, the wood quality is very grainy. It still works, but it's not as smooth.
After they were done, had 24 hours to cure and we conditioned the chalkboards by covering them with chalk and wiping it off, we folded dividers out of card stock and glued them in.
(She loves everything blue this year)
We are letting them set plain for a bit while we decide how to decorate them, but they are usable right now and she likes the look of the cigar box with the shiny black top. She will put her markers, pencils and chalk in the dividers on the bottom and put in a couple sketch pads.
I'll put origami paper and chalk in mine, plus a sketch book and a pencil for ideas.
We used FolkArt 2517 8-Ounce Chalkboard Paint, Black for ours, and I like it a lot better than the spray on chalkboard paint that I've used in the past.It's thick and spreads nicely with a foam brush and comes in just a bunch of colors.