Once upon a time there was a sad pumpkin door hanger. The door hanger’s owner (yours truly) painted it with good intentions but ended up hating it.

Halloween Chalkboard Countdown: BEFORE
Now, some may think this a good door hanger. I, on the other hand, never liked it. The colors were too 1970s for me, and I absolutely abhorred the swirl border. Not my style. Don’t even mention the fact that I painted the pumpkin upside down!

Fast forward two years.

This sad pumpkin has been sitting in my shop, begging to be displayed. So, what does a girl do? Paint over it, of course!
Halloween Chalkboard Countdown
I knew I would display this inside, so I decided to go for a chalkboard countdown board. Because I am incredibly lazy and didn’t feel up to sanding the three-dimensional paint I used, I simply flipped the piece over and spray painted the back. This is the chalkboard spray paint I used.

Halloween Chalkboard Countdown

I’m pretty sure my husband thinks I’m having an affair with spray paint. I’m seriously addicted to the stuff. I find it incredibly convenient to use, especially if you are covering a large surface. Spray paint, when applied properly, achieves such a smooth surface. No brush strokes!

Halloween Chalkboard Countdown

So, what happens if you make a mistake? Or if you aren’t happy with the result?

For example, despite practicing, I did not like how the “days until” writing turned out. And, I wrote this using a white colored pencil so it would be permanent. Not a problem! Since I had not painted the border yet, I just spray painted over my mistake. Just remember to do short bursts; the goal isn’t to saturate the wood with color. Spraying several layers is better.

Here it is with one coat of spray paint.
Halloween Chalkboard Countdown

Don’t be alarmed. Yes, at first it looks like a horrible patch job.
Halloween Chalkboard Countdown

I promise the new paint with blend with the old paint. Here it is with two coats of spray paint.
Halloween Chalkboard Countdown

The details make the difference

Once the chalking was finished, I began painting the border. I could have left off the border, but I think that is what sets this chalkboard apart.
Halloween Chalkboard Countdown

The colored pencil wasn’t bright enough, so I traced over it with actual chalk. To make the chalk permanent, I sprayed with hair spray. This one is my personal favorite to use for setting chalk drawings. There’s no set rule to the brand of hair spray; just make sure it is an aerosol can.
Halloween Chalkboard Countdown

Overall, I’m happy with how the board turned out. I’m not 100% sold on the chalk; part of me wants to use paint to make the words even brighter. However, J loves it as is, so I’m going to leave it like that for now.
Halloween Chalkboard Countdown
Halloween Chalkboard Countdown

I am a firm believer in bows; door hangers look naked without them. I also think the size of the bow is super important. Many people err on the side of a tiny bow. While that’s perfect for your daughters, it doesn’t work for a door hanger. The size has to be proportionate to the piece itself. Too small a bow and it looks amateur. Too big a bow and it overwhelms the piece.
Halloween Chalkboard Countdown

If I could go back and change one thing, I would wait to add “days until” after I see how large my bow would be. My bow covers up some of the words, and this drives the perfectionist in me crazy. But otherwise, I’m super pleased with how the countdown turned out.
Halloween Chalkboard Countdown

How does your family celebrate Halloween?

Halloween Chalkboard Countdown

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