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How to make chalkboard frames

I had some really great picture frames sitting around the store.  They had no glass but great character so I decided to make decorative chalkboard frames out of these picture frames.

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Make a the chalkboard insert for your frame

  • I used a piece of backerboard to make my chalkboard back.  You can buy backerboard at Home Depot or Lowes in the section that sells luan and small pieces of beadboard.  They sell it in 8 foot sheets and in smaller more manageable sections like 2′ x 4′.  Measure the dimensions of the inside of the frame and cut a piece of backer board to fit to fit into the frame .  You can also subsitute strong cardboard or wood for the chalkboard back.
  • If necessary, lightly sand the backer board.

 

Paint your chalkboard

  • I used Rustoleum  Chalk Board spray paint.  Spray the smoothest side of your custom cut piece of backer board with 2 coats of chalkboard paint.

 

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Prime the chalkboard for use

  • Priming the chalkboard makes your strokes flow more evenly and makes the chalkboard easier to use and to erase.
  • To prime, hold your chalk with the longest side against the chaldboard surface and drag it across the entire surface.
  • Once you have covered the entire surface, wipe with a dry paper towel or cloth.  Your goal is to remove the excess chalk dust but not all of the chalk dust.  The board shoul appear gray in color with a slight dusting of chalk.

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Paint your frame

  • Select a paint and paint your frame in whatever finish you desire.  Chalky like paint should be sealed.  Refer to the instructions for whatever paint you select to determine if the frame needs to be sealed.  Many decor paints do not need to be sealed.

Assemble your chalkboard frame

  • After all of your paint has dried, secure the board into the frame.  I used my Ryobi airstrike.  You can use small finishing nails or even a hot glue gun.

The Blue Building Antiques, Alabaster, AL Shopatblu Chalkboard Frames

 

 

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the-blue-building-shopatblu-identifying-china-patterns

How to identify Blue Ridge Pottery and China Patterns

Recently I received some estate items to sell on consignment at my store The Blue Building Antiques and Consignment.  Mixed into the lot, were several collectible plates.  I could easily identify them as Blue Ridge Pottery plates but each had a different pattern.  Have you ever tried to identify china patterns?  Do you have any idea how many manufacturers exist?  I am familiar with the general designs of the most common Blue Ridge pottery. Likewise, I can identify some common patterns of Noritake and Lenox.  But there are literally thousands of patterns out there.  In this lot, some were familiar and some were new to me.  Here are a few that just arrived:

 

Blue Ridges Pottery china patterns Foxgrape plate available at The Blue Building Antiques and Consignment in Alabaster AL
Blue Ridge Pottery Foxgrape
Blue Ridges Pottery china patterns Ring O Roses plate available at The Blue Building Antiques and Consignment in Alabaster AL
Blue Ridges Pottery Ring O Roses

I thought this next one was crab apple, but I like to properly identify them.  It’s fun to research.  It’s always a bonus to be knowledgeable about the details on highly collectible items.

Blue Ridges Pottery china patterns Cherry Bounce plate available at The Blue Building Antiques and Consignment in Alabaster AL
Blue Ridges Pottery Cherry Bounce
Blue Ridges Pottery china patterns Anemone plate available at The Blue Building Antiques and Consignment in Alabaster AL
Blue Ridges Pottery Anemone

I did a quick google search of how to identify Blue Ridge Pottery patterns and was amazed to find hundreds!  Here is the link I found most useful.  In this guide alone there are 247 patterns!  Right??!!!  Who would guess that there are so many patterns for this pottery.  And apparently there are more patterns because my first two patterns above were not on this extensive list.

Usually, when I need to identify a pattern, I refer to Replacements.com.  This is a service that will purchase individual pieces of china or complete sets.  They have a quite extensive list of china, porcelain, pottery by manufacturer.  Most items are accompanied by a photo so is easy to identify you pattern.  This is by far the most extensive reference I have found for identifying china.  And guess what?  They do have the two patterns that were missing from my first search.  The first is Anemone and the second is Ring O Roses.  While Replacements.com’s list is not as extensive as blueridge-sp.com they did have several patterns that were not listed on blueridge-sp.com.

Below are some of the more common patterns that we see here at The Blue Building Antiques and Consignment:

The Blue Building Antiques and Consignment Blue Ridge Pottery china patterns BRP34
Blue Ridge Pottery BRP34 Photo from http://blueridge-spi.com/
Blue Ridge Pottery china patterns BRP37 at The Blue Building Antiques and Consignment in Alabaster, AL
Blue Ridge Pottery BRP37 Photo from http://blueridge-spi.com/
Blue Ridge Pottery BRP118 at The Blue Building Antiques and Consignment in Alabaster, AL
Blue Ridge Pottery china patterns BRP118 Photo from http://blueridge-spi.com/
Blue Ridge Pottery china patterns BRP149 at The Blue Building Antiques and Consignment in Alabaster, AL
Blue RIdge Potter BRP149 Photo from http://blueridge-spi.com/
Blue Ridge Pottery china patterns Prairie Rose at The Blue Building Antiques and Consignment in Alabaster, AL.
Blue Ridge Pottery Prairie Rose. Photo from http://blueridge-spi.com/

I was very surprised to learn that patterns BRP34 and BRP37 are in fact Blue Ridge Pottery patterns!  These are very common patterns among estate items.

I have found that different manufacturers will produce similar patterns.  Here is pattern similar to Blue Ridge Pottery BRP34 and 37.

Taylor-Smith china patterns 5431 at The Blue Building Antiques in Alabaster, AL
Taylor-Smith pattern 5431

This is in fact a pattern by Taylor Smith, Taylor USA #5431

Here is a similar Taylor Smith pattern #10631:

Taylor-Smith china patterns 5431 at The Blue Building Antiques in Alabaster, AL
Taylor-Smith pattern 10631

Have you ever wondered how to identify china?  Usually it has a “mark” or a stamp on the back of each piece.  The stamp contains a Maker or Manufacturer’s name and a pattern identification, usually a number.

Maker's mark on china patterns at The Blue Building Antiques in Alabaster, AL
Common stamp on the back of china

Here is an illustration of what this stamp or Maker’s mark means:

Maker's Mark on china patterns at The Blue Building Antiques in Alabaster, AL
Example of a maker’s mark.

I have seen these china pieces with pastel florals and gold ornate trim many many times.  Usually, they do not have a stamp.  But now I have an idea of maker and age thanks to this little dip into the world of China!

I hope this has been helpful.  The next time you are at a yard or estate sale, you will have a reference on how to research and identify china patterns!

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