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When Pinterest Goes Bad

Like many of us in the cyber world, I’m enjoying the heck out of Pinterest. I’ve read about it in a couple of magazines lately and it’s clearly become a very popular site. Here’s the thing, though, about Pinterest: it makes me want to make all the things. Most times, this is a good thing and I’ve had great success making homemade vanilla, pinwheels, paper garlands and more. Last Friday, though, I had failure of epic proportions. Let me explain.

I saw this chalkboard serving tray and immediately decided I wanted to make one. A few weeks ago I got myself a cheap frame at Michael’s and I bought some chalkboard paint in a bottle. After I bought that paint, though, I read that chalkboard paint is also available in a spray can and that’s what is recommended for creating a chalkboard from a piece of glass. I had to go back to Michael’s to get supplies for the Super Bowl cookies anyway and while I was there I found the right kind of paint in a can.

Last Friday afternoon I decided to try this project.  It was a beautiful day and I figured it was a good opportunity to do this project outside. I started in the kitchen, though. I got out the frame and took it apart. I sanded the piece of glass with a piece of fine grade sandpaper. I read the directions on the paint can and then tried to remove the plastic cap. It wouldn’t come off. I saw a diagram on the top of the cap and the words underneath said, “insert screwdriver and rotate.” It did not specify whether to rotate the can or the screwdriver so I tried both. The cap still would not come off. I got a bigger screw driver and tried again. Can you see where this is going?

The bigger screw driver went right through the opening in that cap and it hit the spray nozzle and knocked it off.

And black chalkboard paint started spraying wildly around my kitchen.

I will pause for a moment while I let you contemplate those words.

I reacted as quickly as I could and threw the can in the sink but it’s hard to do anything but scream when chalkboard paint is being sprayed about your kitchen. And of course once it was in the sink it just started spinning crazily around and turning my white porcelain sink completely black.

Completely. Black.

By the time I got a zip lock bag out of the drawer the can was just about spent but I shoved it in there and surveyed the mess. My hands, including my diamond solitaire and wedding ring, were covered in black chalkboard paint. There was paint on the side of the refrigerator, the side of one cabinet, the Keurig, the K cups, the kitchen counter and of course there was the mess in the sink.

I started working frantically but damn that stuff dries quickly. I scrubbed and scrubbed. I threw my rings in the jar of jewelry cleaner. I got out bleach and scouring pads. I took a quick break and googled “how to remove chalkboard paint” but there wasn’t much of anything on accidentally spraying your kitchen with this crap so I went back to scrubbing. An hour later I looked up from my work and decided the sink was passable. The porcelain gave up the paint relatively easily except for where there are tiny scratches in the surface. This sink is 15 years old so I’m sure you can imagine that there are lots and lots of those scratches. I couldn’t see them before but now that they are filled with black paint they are more, errrr, noticeable.

It’s almost a week later and the sink is looking slightly better each day. Dale spent some quality time working on it with turpentine and a rag and that helped a lot. The side of the cabinet and fridge still have little black drops of paint on them that just won’t budge. The counter is mostly better but I removed the finish in a couple of spots with my desperate scrubbing. My rings are fine and it’s worn off my hands but it’s still under my nails in some spots. Oy.

I guess I’ll just keep putting my cheese on a regular serving tray. Honestly, some of those ideas on Pinterest are probably best left alone.

This Post Has 42 Comments

  1. Talk about crafting gone bad!! That would freak me out since we redid my kitchen 3 years ago. In my old kitchen not so much.

  2. I guess my beef with Pinterest where people use “amazing” and “want” in lieu of useful descriptions is going to have to be laid aside now. BTW, this is something that I would totally do, I’m sort of surprised I haven’t. At least you got a funny story?

  3. Thank you. I too have thought about doing this. Maybe not so much anymore. My heart pounded as I read your story (sorry I had to laugh just a little at the image), I’m glad things are getting back to normal in the kitchen.

  4. Oh, Carole! I’ve been wondering how this ended up. . . since reading your Facebook status last weekend. I’m so glad things are turning out reasonably well in your kitchen. (I still think that tray is worth trying again. Outside. In a controlled space.)

  5. Oh my goodness gracious!!!

    Your description was so vivid it was almost like watching a video of it. Horrifying and hilarious at the same time. I agree, I can identify completely and picture myself doing the same thing with a can of blackboard paint.

    In fact, I bought one of those cans of compressed insulation stuff to seal cracks and was too scared to use much of it. I could picture filling a room with it in a nanosecond.

  6. Yes, I can definately see this happening to me as well!!! So glad you posted about it. If I had seen this “thing” on Pinterest, I would have probably wanted to make it. NOT NOW!!! Oh man-that totally sucks 🙁

  7. Oy – that’s a mild expletive for that mess!!!!
    Glad things are better but, yeah might put some of those projects on the “dream list”

  8. What a mess! I can’t believe that you waited more than a week to blog about it! How about trying it with a slate tile. That’s easy!

  9. This is why I don’t go all crafty. In my hands it wouldn’t turn out well, no matter what! It’s good to hear your kitchen, and you, mostly survived.

  10. OH MY Goodness….Carole, I have to thank for the unbelievable laugh you gave me this morning. I know it’s not really funny, especially the cleaning up bit, but was just convulsed with laughter as I read this! Reminds me of the time my batch of blueberry jam exploded in the kitchen! You ever try to get blueberry jam off of a ceiling? At any rate, thank you so much for the wonderful laugh. And no one is better than you at telling this sort of hysterical story!

  11. So awful but also, one of those “some day I wil look back and laugh” stories. I was going to say you should contact the company but they’d probably send you a case of the stuff to apologize….

  12. So, does your Pinterest account carry a warning? I was simultaneously horrified for you and LOL. Glad things are looking better.

  13. I kept saying aloud, “OhnoOhnoOhno” as I read this post. A long while back you posted about your refrigerator and dealing with Sears. I read that aloud to my husband; when we had to get a new fridge, we avoided Sears, BIG TIME! Thank you for the cautionary tale of Crafting Gone Wrong. I will stay far, far away from spray paint. Oy – is right!!

  14. I love Pinterest. Most of my boards are probably food related, because I’ve been using it as a place to keep the recipes I’m interested in rather than printing them out to put in a binder.

    I’m sorry that you had such bad luck with the chalkboard paint. I would have been completely frantic!

  15. O Carole…..I had a good belly laugh reading this and I am so relieved that you were able to get it cleaned up for the most part. This is SO something I would do…LOL

  16. I read this with horror. I’m not sure I could have coped with the mess – I might have just hired a cleaning crew.

    The first thing I thought of, when in your story the can began to spray, was pressing it up against my body and running outside. Sort of like falling on a grenade, but at least the shirt would have been the only casualty…

  17. What a horrible, horrible story. I thought I was the queen of the bizarre accident, but I cede the crown to you!

  18. Oh. My. Gosh. Thank you for the laugh this morning. I’m sure it was far from funny at the time, but it sounds like with some major cleaning that most of the damage was “un-done”. The rings alone would have put me in a panic.

  19. I felt sheer panic as I read your post. My sister called me in hysterics last month. She had a similar incident with black hair dye in the new kitchen she waited 30 years for. New cabinets, floor, countertops, appliances. She lives in Virgina. I live in Pennsylvania. I wanted to crawl through the phone to help her scrub. She used Mr. Clean magic erasers to do the floor. I stopped her from using the eraser on the wood cabinets If only those magic erasers worked like Hermoine’s time turner. Don’t keep looking at it. You’ve done the best you can.

  20. Oh. Oh dear. I’m sorry that I laughed. What a horrible thing to have happened.

    I’m not allowed anywhere near spray cans. This story just reinforces my belief.

    I had a bizare “Kamakazi honey bear into bread starter” incident and I’m still finding spots from that months later. But they are easier to clean up than paint.

    Good luck!

  21. OMG! AFter reading your post, I read the comments and agreed with several – I felt sick to my stomach, I kept saying Ohno, ohno, ohno, and I too would have Googled how to clean it up! I also relived the time I turned a gallon-size can of Wedgewood blue paint upside down to shake it, the lid came off, and I spilled 3/4 of a gallon of paint in the kitchen – down the front of the cabinets, down the front of me, all over the floor, and I was standing in the middle of it and home alone. Hours later, when it was all cleaned up, I cried!

  22. Your post made me laugh. I’m sorry you had such a mess .

    I saw on Pinterest these wine glasses that had kind of chalkboard on the base of the glasses so you could write the guest’s name on the glass. But you buy the glasses with the chalkboard on them , not DIY.

    My sister gifted me a slate cheese tray that you could write the types of cheeses you are serving on the tray. That is cool. Again, not DIY.

    Maybe those ideas will satisfy your chalkboard desires…..

  23. You have just totally reinforced my notion that spray cans for anything stronger than Pam were created by an evil genius. The good news is that, as you’ ve already noticed, the stuff does seem to wear off and disappear over time.

  24. Oh no! I wish I had advise for removing the rest of the paint. On your fingers you might try straight acetone, but I don’t recommend it for the cabinet. Might work on the fridge, but I’d test in a spot that you won’t be able to see.

  25. Yikes, I’d have had a complete meltdown. That’s some story!
    I’m impressed with how adeptly you handled the situation.
    Have you tried Goof Off (or similar) on the cabinet and fridge? I wonder if Astonish Oven and Cookware Cleaner would handle the holdouts on your sink (and maybe counter, depending on material).

  26. Good gawd! How perfectly awful! Glad things are pretty much back to normal. I am in agreement in letting the company know what happened. Imagine if a kid tried it and got it in his or her eyes.

  27. I am so sorry – the story is hilarious. Leslie, who writes the knit blog, “A Friend to Knit With” sells chalkboard placemats that might be the answer when a good pin goes bad.

  28. That totally sounds like something I would do! I use Cerama Bryte smooth cooktop cleaner for my porcelain sink and it does a good job of getting the stains out of those scratches. Even tea stains from my tea-addicted husband’s cups!

  29. Wow! Oh, Carole. I can imagine that happening in slow motion and just trying so hard to make it stop. It sounds like you were a very good sport about it.

  30. Your sink is extra fancy with its new “crackle finish.” Very shabby chic. That’s still a thing right? I’ll check Pinterest and see…

  31. Ummm . . . projects like this should probably be done in the garage, or at least wait till summer when you can do this outside? Anything that involves paint like this, we either cover up the furniture and such with plastic or take it outside.

    Glad you were able to get it all cleaned up, though!

  32. Well that sure beats the quilt spray glue we blew up in your kitchen all those years ago. Maybe one of the house rules better be NO spray cans of any kind in Carole’s kitchen! I’m so sorry for your mess but happy it cleaned up as well as it did, especially your rings.


  33. I too love Pinterest. And I have piles of things pined that I’ll never do…

    Blackboard paint all over the kitchen is hopefully one of them. Yikes.

  34. yikes! katie is talking about making boards like that to use at her reception. I’ll be sure we use that paint outside (far away from cars, and our house!) … so sorry about your mess, it’s really a great idea!

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