Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Pantry Reorganization

Ever feel overwhelmed by unfinished projects? And yet, it is so easy to start up something new, something different, and again be restricted by time, creating yet another unfinished project? I had begun some of those myself over the Christmas holidays, mainly a big pantry reorganization  which had been left to the dust bunnies and shadows when life got in the way. See, I have no doors on my cabinets(a story for another time, believe me) and I was tired of looking at half-empty bags and boxes, mismatched shapes and was generally just a zone of clutter and mess. I decided to transfer anything not in a solid container into mason jars of varying sizes. I raided my canning supplies, as well as those of family and friends, and come up with a rather significant stock of empty jars. I was on a roll!
The whole project came to a screeching halt when I decided to label my jars using chalkboard-sprayed lids. The lids themselves were not really a problem, not the idea of using a chalkboard paint - that, in fact, was genius - but the fact that I needed a well-ventilated area in which to complete my vision. Hun.

As you may know, Quebec is a frigid place in the winter. There's no way I was going outside for any amount of time to spray-paint jar lids! And I would have to leave them in the snow to dry...oh, it just wasn't happening. At least not until spring.
So my jars sat in sad-looking rows, covered with plastic wrap, waiting patiently for me to find an opening, an opportunity, so to speak, to finish this project. This weekend, I finally got that chance, in a suddenly-vacated workshop!
I laid lots of newspaper on the floor to protect my spray area (believe me, you can never have enough paper down) and spread out my jars lids and rings. I had already cleaned them and made sure there were no stickers or adhesive left on the lids. Once they got sprayed, there was no going back.
I used Krylon brand chalkboard paint on the lids, but any spray chalkboard paint would work fine for this application, as long as it it formulated for metal. On the rings, I used something a little more strong, Tremclad's Professional Rust Enamel in a semi-gloss black. I wanted something that would clean up better than the matte finish of the chalkboard. Two coats did the trick, and after spraying, I left everything to dry overnight.
Did you know you have to season the chalkboard finish before using it? You do this by completely covering the surface with white chalk, then wiping in clean. It's that easy! So my beloved and I sat at the kitchen table, chalking and wiping and labeling and closing all the jars in our pantry. I have to admit, I like it when I finish a project!
The chalkboard lids are very versatile, because they can be erased and changed with the contents. I mean, I don't know that I'll always have candied fennel seeds in stocks, but if I ever run out, and then fill the jar with walnuts, I'll be able to label them as such. Since, you know, walnuts are hard to distinguish.
Now everything looks so pretty and uniform, maybe I don't mind so much the fact that I don't have doors on my pantry. But I still want them. Just so you don't get any crazy ideas that I actually like the whole open-concept thing.
While I was in a go-and-get'em state of mind, I finished up a few more projects. I resurfaced an old tea tray that was looking worse for wear. I painted on a silent movie card border to make it look even more retro.
And I refinished some tea tins with the same spray paint as the mason jars. Now they look a little less eclectic sitting in plain sight above the stove. 

On a side note, I just wanted to reiterate that there nothing more important when using spray paint than protecting your surrounding areas from over-spray. Because if not, you end up with something that looks like a permanent shadow under your workbench. Just sayin'. 


And Happy Birthday, Daddy!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

hmmmmm, looks very very nice and neat and organized.....but..........would you have been painting in Daddy's workshop??? oh yeah, that's why you said "sorry"....right ;)
p.s. thank you for the B-day wishes :)