Introduction: Solar System Chalk Mural

About: I am a firefighter and my wife is a teacher. We love making.... things....and um stuff. Long live the maker's movement!!!

       This is my first instuctable so please be kind. We recently found out that we are going to have our second son in October (yes, our children are 13 months apart....we are crazy!). It came time again to drag out the craft stuff and start the brainstorming process. I kinda already blew my load on the last nursery with an under the sea theme. It turned out great but having two sisters and no brothers, it left my cool boy room know-how a little lacking. My husband, being the geek that he is, wanted it to " Go where no man had gone before." JEEZ... So space it became. 

        We saw a really expensive mural that we loved on the internet, but didn't want to spend that much money.  I recently learned about chalkboard paint on this website no less and BAM!!! it hit me why can't I paint with chalk?   We developed an inexpensive mural that we love, and hopefully, the baby will too! 

Step 1: Step 1: Materials

3 24"x36" Stretched Canvas
Chalkboard Paint
Paint Brush
Sidewalk Chalk
Krylon Matte Finishing Spray (I would recommend the Low Odor version instead though.  This had a very strong odor, and I had to have my husband spray it outside.)

Step 2: Step 2: Painting the Canvas

Paint the entire canvas, including the sides, with the chalkboard paint.  Let the 1st coat of paint dry completely, and then apply 2 more coats following the same procedure.

After everything is all dry you should prime each canvas for chalk by taking a white piece of chalk and using the side to lightly rub down the entire surface. Then erase it with a damp rag. This will help your chalk better stick to your canvas later.

Step 3: Step 3: Drawing

I drew the planet on the canvas by using a homemade compass (a pencil and thread).  I then freehanded the rings around the planet.

Step 4: Step 4: Applying the Chalk-Planet

Next, pick out the color scheme of chalk that you would like to use (I recommend picking 4 to 5 different colors so that your mural does not become too overwhelming).   I then started coloring.  Be sure to make your lines curved on your planet and your rings in order to create the 3-D affect.  Another trick to creating a 3-D effect, is to fade your rings as they become further away.  The rings in the front should have crisp clear lines, and the rings that are further up on your canvas should be smudged together.

Step 5: Step 5: Applying the Chalk-Stars

For the stars, I used two different techniques.  The first technique involves drawing a circle on your canvas about 1/2 in diameter.  Then, take your finger and pull the chalk out to create a illumination affect.  The second technique involves drawing a circle about 1/2 inch in diameter and then draw radiating lines out from the circle (alternating between long and short lines) beside one another.  Then, take your finger and carefully smudge each line.

Note:  Remember, this is chalk so you can erase any mistakes with a damp rag making sure that you allow the surface to completely dry before you start again :-)!

Step 6: Step 6: Finishing Spray

Once you have your picture the way that you want it, use the finishing spray to seal your mural.  I would put on  a few coats of this spray in order to completely seal your mural.  Remember to allow each coat to dry completely before applying the next.  Sorry for no pic, but I couldn't be near the spray since it smelled bad and I am 7 months pregnant!

Step 7: Step 7: Hang Your Picture

You can now hang your canvas on your wall and ENJOY!

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