Here’s the after shot of my surround makeover.

And here is one of the billions of befores. Forgive me for the tragedy that is up on the mantle. But do you notice the difference with the black surround? Or whatever that part is called surrounding the firebox? It’s not a huge change but for a renter like me, it gave me back a little control over how I can make this house feel more like our home.

I used these “Vinyl Decals” that WallCandy Arts sent me. I signed up to be an affiliate with them months ago. That means, if I put up an ad for their products {like at the end of this post or the link up above} and you click and buy, I’ll make a couple of dollars commission from the purchase. WallCandy sent me some removable chalkboard to try and some to give to some to you. You know hoping we would all fall in love with the stuff and they would retire fat and happy. And I’ll be honest, I wasn’t too crazy about it at first. I just couldn’t think of how I wanted to use it.

Then I got to looking at my fireplace and how the surround was yellowish and my walls are pinkish {long story} and I kept thinking that the fireplace would have more impact if it were black. I remembered the chalkboard sticky sheets that I had and wondered if there were some way that could work without me burning down the house. Naturally, I turned on the fireplace for about 30 minutes in July to see just how hot the outside of the fireplace gets. It never even got warm. I think we have a blower or something that makes the air go out. So, I wouldn’t recommend this application for everyone but for us it works.

I loved it. Loved it plain black but then, I decided to draw some whimsical bricks. Let me just tell you, I brought funky back into my family room. This room so needed some not so serious, fun focal point and the lopsided bricks did just the trick. So far the only down side is that my son, the 8 year old engineer has begged me nonstop to let him redraw the bricks so they will be strait. I told him that it doesn’t have to be perfect to be beautiful and he scowled at me.

I was so sure this would never work that I didn’t even take photos of the 3 minute process of me cutting large L shaped pieces out of the chalkboard rectangles and smacking them on the fireplace. The decal is like the vinyl words that you get from other places but really thick and forgiving and according to the package, you can remove it and use it over and over.

I saved every little scrap. I put a large piece here.

And here.
It would be fantastic inside of here. Unlike chalkboard paint, you don’t have to commit to a long term relationship. You can try out where you want your chalkboard to go and then move it later. And for us renters who see the chalkboard walls in others houses and get all jealous that we cannot have that, this is a great solution. And to top it off, you don’t even have to paint!

I didn’t even mess with measuring precisely and matching up the seams, I just overlapped the chalkboard decals and it turned out fine.

I’ve got some extra sheets to give to two lucky readers. If you think you could use it, convince me in the comments that you have a great idea for this stuff and maybe you’ll win. If you want to spend your cold hard cash on some of these decals or anything WallCandy has to offer just click here: “Vinyl Decals”or the buttons and any commission I earn helps keep my coffee habit going strong and ultimately results in better blogging, right?

Removable Chalkboard

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Good luck! I hope you win–contest closes Friday at midnight.

Want a chance to win even more free stuff? Visit Sandy, the Reluctant Entertainer!