I started by spending a little more time than I care to say in a thrift store trying to get inspired. I picked up several items but just couldn’t find “the one”. Just as I was about to leave I spotted the plaque below. You may see a sassy cat circa 2003, but I saw the bones of a DIY industrial style chalkboard
Upcycled Industrial Style Chalkboard
The first thing I did was to sand the paint off the board with 150 grit sand paper. I also took the finials off of the dowel and sanded it down to the bare wood. I used a tack cloth to make sure I got all the sawdust off the plaque before painting it.
I taped off the dowel and used chalkboard paint to paint three coats, letting each one dry completely before adding the next coat. I painted the first coat vertically, horizontally for the second and vertically again for the last one. I let the last coat set for about 24 hours since I needed to put tape on it to stain the dowel. I didn’t want the tape to lift off any paint.
Since I was down to the bare wood on the dowel, I primed it with a wood conditioner. This lets the stain soak in evenly, avoiding a blotchy look. At first I used a gray stain but realized I wanted a warmer color so coated it with Minimax Chestnut gel stain.
While that was drying, I painted the hardware. I sprayed it with a base coat of copper colored spray paint. Once dry, I put black acrylic paint on a paper towel and blotted it on top. I did this to four flat, L-shaped corner brackets and their screws, a drawer handle and a small chain that’s sold by the foot at the hardware store. Tip: I found an old piece of cardboard and stuck the screws in it so they stood up straight to paint.
Next was the fun part, adding the hardware. I added a flat, L-shaped corner bracket to each corner and a drawer pull that I placed upside down for holding chalk. Then I replaced the original gold rope with a chain.
Before using a chalkboard, it must be primed. Chalkboards are porous so if you skip this step, you may end up seeing your first drawing permanently. Filling in the board also first lets future drawing go on nicely and erase easily. To prime a chalkboard, lay a piece of chalk on its side and cover the entire chalkboard evenly. Rub it with a dry rag and erase. Now you are ready to write!