This project combines two of my very favorite things: rustic home decor and chalkboard art! See how I made this DIY Rustic Industrial Chalkboard for my kitchen and learn how you can make one too!
So this is the story of a chalkboard that almost didn’t happen… Let me explain. I’ve had this vision of a big beautiful chalkboard in my kitchen for a long time now, and I finally got motivated enough to tackle the project. I was digging through our garage one day and found some really cool old lumber that I thought would be perfect to build a frame for the chalkboard! It would naturally have the rustic look I wanted, and HELLO… it was free! I was so excited to get started on the frame, until I tried cutting the boards and realized that I had picked the strongest, most solid piece of tongue and groove old lumber on Earth! This stuff was seriously like cutting through steel! After struggling with my jigsaw for two hours and unsuccessfully trying to piece together uneven mitered corners… I gave up!
My poor unfinished frame sat in the garage for weeks before my sweet husband took pity on me and decided it was time to upgrade to a miter saw for our 2nd wedding anniversary. Eek!! (Who knew I would be more excited about this than he was??) We set up our big, beautiful new chop saw, and I felt the urge to tackle my chalkboard once again. But this time, I made life much easier on myself!
Here’s how I made my Rustic Industrial Chalkboard:
- chalkboard cut to 24″ x 38″ (or make your own with chalkboard paint)
- 12 foot 1 x 4 board
- 2 D-ring hangers
- 4 L bracket corner braces
Supplies on hand:
- jigsaw, miter saw, sandpaper, screws, drill, paint brush, wood stain, polyurethane
I picked up a 2′ x 4′ chalkboard from Menards in the lumber section and cut it down to the size I wanted for my kitchen with my jigsaw (24″ x 38″). I had originally planned on making one myself with some chalkboard paint, but at $9.97 for a chalkboard already finished, I thought it was totally worth it to save a step! A can of chalkboard paint would have cost me about the same.
Then I moved on to attempt #2 at making a frame. THIS time, I picked up a 12 foot 1 x 4 board from the store and had them cut it into 4 pieces to fit around my chalkboard. Sidenote: I was actually really nervous the first time I picked out lumber by myself, but the nice employees at the store always help me out and cut whatever I need! They just look at me kind of strange when I tell them what my crazy project plan is : ) I added 2″ to each side of my chalkboard measurements to get the dimensions for my frame (28″ x 42″). This size would give me just enough room to attach the chalkboard to the back of the frame.
Once I got home, I used my beautiful new miter saw for the first time and made 45 degree cuts on the ends of all the boards to create a frame. THIS time, they lined up perfectly! I put a screw in each corner to hold it together and sanded the whole piece down to get ready for stain. Do you like my fancy painting stand? Yeah, it used to hold our old grill. This is one piece of junk I’m actually grateful my husband kept. It comes in handy!
I wanted to give the wood frame a really weathered, rustic look, so I tested out a few different staining methods to see which I liked best. I always recommend practicing on a scrap piece of wood first, so you don’t ruin your whole project if it doesn’t turn out! The top left corner below shows one of my practice stain attempts. I ended up first applying a stain from Varathane called Sunbleached. It has a beautiful gray color, but on my light pine wood it didn’t show up very well. So I switched to my favorite Dark Walnut stain and applied a nice thick coat with a rag. I let it sit for about 10 minutes and rubbed away any excess stain with a clean rag. The result was a gorgeous, rich color that still had a lot of the wood grain showing through. Exactly what I wanted!
To make the frame look aged, I rubbed some extra stain in the corners and edges to give them a slightly darker appearance. The key is to not over-think it! Just apply the stain haphazardly until it looks right to you. After about an hour, the stain was dry, and I applied a coat of polyurethane to the frame. I love love love this Matte Finish poly from Varathane because it dries perfectly clear and non-shiny. Great for rustic pieces like this! (And no, I’m not paid by Varathane, I just really like using these products!)
After letting the frame dry overnight, it was time to attach the chalkboard! I used about 10 small screws to secure the chalkboard to the back of the frame…
and attached a D-ring hanger to the top corners.
To give the chalkboard a more industrial feel, I added an L bracket to each corner of the frame. Would you believe me if I told you this was a brand new silver bracket I picked up from the store? Well… IT IS! I used a SUPER cool aging technique on the brackets, and I have a tutorial to share with you later this week! I’m so giddy how gorgeous these turned out that I can hardly contain myself! But I’ll just keep you in suspense for now : ) From shiny silver to aged patina in one step…
My new chalkboard was all finished and ready to be hung in the kitchen at last! I seasoned the chalkboard really well by rubbing the side of a piece of chalk all over the board until it was completely covered, then wiped it all away with a dry rag. Otherwise the first mark you make will be permanent if you don’t season your board first! After playing with some fun chalk art designs, my new chalkboard is ready for its big debut! Can you tell how excited I am about this??
As a newbie to real chalkboard art (check out my easy vinyl chalk art!), I found some awesome inspiration from the Etsy shop, Lily and Val, and I drew this by hand from looking at one of their cute prints. Not bad for my first time, right??
And how gorgeous is the patina on the these brackets? It adds the perfect rustic touch to the frame! Shiny silver hardware just would not have done this piece justice!
A close-up of my handiwork…
I’ve decided that chalkboard art is just like the doodling we all did in our notebooks in high school, but more grown up! This just gives me an excuse to sit and doodle for an hour, and I love it!
I am ridiculously in love with my new rustic industrial chalkboard, and you can expect a whole lot of fun chalkboard art coming your way! I’m already itching to switch it up again, and it has only been a few days! Everyone should have one of these gorgeous chalkboards in their home, so I wanted to share with you the cost breakdown so you can make one too:
chalkboard – $9.97
12 foot 1′ x 4′ board – $4.81
2 D-ring hangers – $2.98
4 L bracket corner braces – $3.97
TOTAL COST: $21.73
Not bad for a big, beautiful DIY chalkboard!
So tell me… Do you love the chalkboard art trend? Do you have chalkboards in your home? I’d love to hear your thoughts!
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P.S. I’m sharing this post at some awesome link parties… Check them out HERE!