Reviving that plain old knife block

WP_001213Ok, so maybe the appearance of your knife block isn’t the biggest concern you have. It wasn’t mine either. But, after renovating the kitchen, having that ugly lump of wood on my beautiful new countertops was just a bummer. I’ve been wanting to experiment with chalkboard paint, and decided this was the perfect way to try it out!

What you need

A wooden knife block. If you don’t have one already, every thrift shop in the country has a few on hand. Pick one that matches the knives you have – or pick knives to fit the block!
Primer
Chalkboard paint – preferably spray paint
Chalk

 

Instructions

First, thoroughly clean the knife block. If you have TSP, this is best, as it will remove any grease stains. Let it dry.

WP_001215If your knife block has a magnet in the back for extra knives (mine did), you should cover the magnet with masking or painter’s tape.

Coat the block with the primer. If you’re using a spray primer, I would put two to three coats on. If you’re brushing it on, one coat should be sufficient. Follow the instructions to ensure sufficient dry time.

 

WP_001218Once your primer is dry, spray on the chalkboard paint! I do recommend the spray just because knife blocks are such odd surfaces, with all the holes. The spray will just coat easier. But feel free to brush it on also.

With a spray, you’ll need to do 3-4 coats. It is always best to do very thin coats with the spray, as it can easily drip or run down the sides.

Let the paint dry completely. Remove the tape, if you used it. Decorate the sides with chalk, put the knives back in and voila! A fun update to your kitchen counter!

 

 

(Oh, and yes, I did write “Caution! Sharp!” on the knife block. I need reminders like those!)

Feeling safe in your own home

I truly love living alone. But, I have to admit that I continually have a heightened sense of awareness. Even after a year, I still am always conscious of my own safety. And I think that’s not a bad thing. A single girl, or any girl really, should be cautious and have a plan to protect herself. Here’s what I have done to make myself feel more safe in my home, and in my neighborhood.

Be aware of your home and neighborhood

IMG_3741The neighborhood I live in is not the safest. My area is cute and family-oriented, but just a few blocks away is a high-crime area. My car has been broken into twice, and my outbuilding and fence has been tagged with graffiti. The one thing I have in my favor is that I’m on a corner lot, with a street light nearby. But, I’ve done a few things to make it safer:

Lighting. I installed motion-sensor flood lights on my outbuilding, and along the alley that lines it. Hooking it up is not too tough, and even the neighbors have thanked me for it. My back door has a motion-sensor light also, as the back door is hidden from the street. I don’t have a motion light on my front door, but the light is always on. And I’ve added solar lights on the path leading up to my front door. Having a well-lit outside makes an intruder think twice.

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