Introduction: Turn Your Rusty Car Hood Into an Awesome Chalkboard!
If you have a stock hood that wasn't painted, and it rusted out completely - like we did - you can use this to your advantage. You only need about three hours and a few materials, all of which total less than fifteen dollars.
* 60 grit sandpaper ($4.00)
* Wrench or Ratchet (free or cheap)
* Rust-oleum Rust Reformer Spray ($4.97)
* Rust-oleum Chalk Board Spray ($3.67)
* Painting Mask ($0.99)
* Old sheet or tarp (free or cheap)
* Grocery Bag (free)
* Tape ($0.50)
* Dry cloth/rag (free)
* Damp cloth/rag (free)
* Chalk (up to $3.00)
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** Optional: Sandpaper Holder Tool (it was easy to remove the rust with just my hand and sandpaper). One of us used the tool, and it wasn't very advantageous compared to price - so if you have one, use it. But don't go out of your way.
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Step 1: Survey the Damage.
Be sure to check for large holes, or things that need to be replaced rather than repaired. If your hood is so rusted it has structural issues, you probably want to get another one altogether. If not, continue on.
Step 2: Sand Off Loose Rust.
This step requires sandpaper, we used 3M Pro Grade Advanced Sandpaper, 60 Grit. WARNING: Don't use it with a power sander. Just use your hand, or a manual tool. Amazon reviews are unfavorable for this type of sandpaper being used in conjunction with power tools. It doesn't have to be entirely sanded off; just make sure the top loose layer is gone. The picture above is post-sanding, so it shows how your sandjob doesn't have to be absolute perfection.
Step 3: Remove Hood (optional). Spray on the Rust Reformer.
Most car hoods, if I'm not mistaken, are just four bolts - so you'll need a ratchet set. Take off the hood and put it on top of a drop cloth or tarp (unless you don't care about your grass, in which case do it there). You can skip this step by taping exposed areas of the car, if you're not comfortable taking off the entire hood.
In the photo you'll notice I taped a plastic grocery bag over the grille. This was just an added layer of protection, no big deal - my husband is all about doing art neatly, whereas I ended this project with paint all over my entire face and nose-ring. We meet in the middle. You can do it if you like, otherwise if you get a splash or mist, wipe with a damp cloth. Spray using bottle directions, cover the entire hood.
Pictured: a half-wet, half-dry picture of this layer during its dry time. You can see how it looks wet, and how it will look afterward, for reference. This step took about ten minutes to apply and about a half hour to dry (around 40 Fahrenheit in Chicago, pretty humid).
Step 4: Spray on Chalk Board.
After the Rust Reformer is all dry, you can spray on the Chalk Board spray. We did one coat of Rust Reformer (one bottle), and two coats of Chalk Board (also an entire bottle - the latter went further, presumably because the Rust Reformer did a great job of priming the hood).
Let dry for about an hour (again, it was 40 Fahrenheit in Chicago, at high humidity, YMMV).
Test the dryness by swiping a finger across an edge, if you see any "wet" spots, keep drying it! The picture above is the Chalk Board layer, rather wet. It dries matte, as the surface of a chalkboard.
Step 5: Do the Chalk Test.
Per the bottle directions, there is a step BEFORE the Chalk Board layer is able to be used: you must "scrub" a piece of chalk across the whole dried surface and wipe it away with a damp cloth, before using it as a chalkboard. It will look like the picture. This will presumably "prime" the surface further. It will be almost ready to use; just wipe it to perfection!
Step 6: Reattach the Hood. Admire Your Handiwork.
The process of reattaching the hood is even more simple than taking it off. Once it's back on, you may stand back and admire the great effort you've put into this project, and how it paid off in the long run. Do a happy dance if necessary*.
*We are not responsible for your neighbor's assumptions/judgment.
Step 7: Write/Draw/Fun-Have.
It's fairly self-explanatory. Make art on the hood of your car. Purchase some weird colors, do a mural, make a portrait, do a body outline. Just, whatever you do, don't draw dicks.