Apartment Update and Foam Core Project Fail

The truth of this blog is that the number one post based on stats is about postcard art. I want to give the people what they want and talk more about my apartment.


But my latest project, the chalkboard fireplace, is a Monet, in the Clueless sense of the word. From this distance, everything looks great. But up close, it just didn’t work out.


The whole thing was done on two foam core boards, which was my big mistake.

I wanted it to fit exactly in the boarded up fireplace behind it. The fireplace is so big that in order to fully fit I would have needed to piece together a lot more than the two I used. Then, despite all my measuring, I cut it wrong. Finally, the warped a lot when I painted it.

The warping is the major problem. I don’t know if a thicker foam core would have solved the problem or not. You can’t tell from the pictures, but the fireplace is in really bad shape. What I really should have done was sand it down, spakle all the holes, and repaint the whole thing, painting the chalkboard paint right onto the wall.


The chalkboard part itself works well. I used about one and a half bottles of Martha Stewart Chalkboard Paint from the craft store, and some cheap foam brushes. I don’t remember exactly, but I think it’s three coats of paint.

I did a little bit of measuring for the arch, but free-handed the bricks, log and fire drawing using Crayola chalk.

The reason I did it this way was because I was weary of taking on a major project when I first moved in. I’m still not sure if I want to actually repaint the fireplace white. I might try black. Or some other pop of color (yellow? blue? thoughts?). Or maybe I should take a cue from Jenna Lyons’ townhouse, which I love, and paint the wall surrounding the fireplace dark grey.

I was also didn’t want to spend a lot of time making changes I’d need to undo if I moved at the end of the year. I painted in my last place, and then had to repaint back to white when I moved a year and a half later. Now that I’ve resigned my lease on this apartment for another two years, I’m definitely going to fix the fireplace.

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