When it comes to creativity, the internet can provide a few opposing nudges. 

One can browse Pinterest for hours, feeling inspired + creative.  [Or, if you’re like me, get so annoyed with the spam that has taken over said website, that you don’t really Pin much anymore.  Oh well, my floor gets mopped a whole heck-of-a-lot-more.]


One can come up with an idea at 2am when the rest of the house is sleeping.  Google that idea after you’ve finished? Only to find you’re one of about 200+ others who thought of it too.

le sigh. 

I thought of not even posting it.  But I really do love how it turned out + after looking at some of the other tutorials, I think they maybe over complicated things a wee bit?

So here is my Globe to Chalkboard tutorial.  Or, in honor of my mother-in-law [hi Gail!] who likes to abbrev’s everything she says … we’ll call this post the first of many “Tut’s” or “toots,” because that’s more fun.

Toots Volume 1 | Vintage Chalkboard Globe

I’m still getting used to documenting my cooking + crafts with a camera …. I usually remember when I’ve finished eating or something equivalent.  During this project I did remember, however, I forgot to take a photo of the globe before I mucked it up at all. whoops. swoops.  Time to use your imagination!

I searched for a while trying to find the perfect globe to use for this project.  I looked on Craigslist for a minute or so, until I realized that ebay was going to be the source for this globe.  I put a few on my watchlist not really caring which one I won, until I came upon this cast-iron beauty.  I loved that it wasn’t brass.  It wasn’t plastic.  It was old. + the patina was rich + gorgeous.  Only problem?  the seller said that there was no way to get the globe out [so I would need to paint it while still intact] + it didn’t spin [okay.  not a huge deal….I guess].

So I purchased it.

When searching for the perfect globe, you’ll want to make sure that it isn’t a globe with the bumps.  I know I being silly + I could google what that type of globe is called + I really should remember from the 4th grade but I can’t so I’m just going to create a run-on sentence + call it a bumpy globe.  You don’t want one of those.

When my globe arrived, it certainly didn’t spin.  So I started messing with it, to see if I could take any of it apart.  I realized that I could take the top ring [that contained the actual globe] off of the base.  When I put it back on upside down? voila! it spun!  + because I was painting it, I didn’t care that you needed to stand on your hands to look at it correctly!


1. Purchase the perfect globe.  Be picky.  Wait until you find the right one.

2. Depending on the type of globe material: paper or plastic, you might need to sand.  My globe was an old, paper material.  I used a fine grit sand paper to take down some rough edges + to smooth out a ring where the paper had been ripped off.  [See below.]  I didn’t want it to be perfectly smooth, but it’s all preference.

3.  After I was happy with the sanding, I prepped my globe by taping the cast iron.  I probably could have tackled this task in a cleaner, more sophisticated way?  but why? wrapping masking tape around cast iron is my idea of a good time.

4. When everything had been taped, I started spray painting with a filler primer spray paint.  My husband uses this product on some of his robots when the parts are 3-D printed to fill + smooth out the pieces.  It’s very simple to use.  Just spray an even coat – focusing on areas that you need to “build” up.  For me, that was the ring of missing paper located at the top of my globe.

After the primer dries, take a fine grit sandpaper + sand.  Focus on the areas that are most problematic, but smooth everything over.  Spray again.  Continue this process until you are happy with the final surface texture.

You can see below that I wanted some of the paper of the globe showing a bit, but I was able to build up the area where the globe was missing paper.  I focused the primer on those areas each time.

5.  Now for the fun part!  Get out your chalkboard spray paint.  Spray an even coat on the entire globe – being careful as you turn it.  [If you’re able to take the globe out of it’s frame, you could hang it outside + spray paint it that way… just a thought.]  You can see from the image below that I wasn’t able to completely be rid of that dumb little ring, but you don’t really even notice it on the final product.

I did a few coats of the chalkboard paint – sanding with a very fine sandpaper in between coats.

Getting there!

6.  Be sure to follow the instructions on your spray paint can.  I let my globe dry after the final coat per instructions.

7.  Then began the tedious task of removing the masking tape.  BAH.

8.  This next step I was a bit wary of … per my paint can, I was to take a piece of chalk + rub it on it’s side all over the entire surface.  I was nervous.  But I did it.  It said that this step primed the chalkboard …. or something.

I only did half of the globe before testing it – I wasn’t confident any of the chalk would even come off! But it did, so I continued with the rest of the globe.

9. Clean all the chalk off + put it where you want it.  I’m still working on my handwriting when it comes to writing on a rounded surface!

10.  Erase.  + write something new!

Just for kicks, here are the paints I chose to use.

Welp.  That’s my first tutorial.  Bleeks, I know I am a bit of a hack, but it’ll be a work in progress.

+ in case you’re a visual learner, like me.

Well that’s it for now.  I have a lot of updates [when do I not?] but I need about 16 more hours each day.  We just had to say goodbye to my amazing parents yesterday.  I got to see them twice in two weeks … but it was way too short.  Something about having your mom + dad around just makes life better.

go say something really nice to a stranger today.  + mean it! :o]



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