Restoration Hardware Chalkboard Knockoff

Thursday, October 31, 2013

For a couple of years I have had a tear out of this chalkboard from Restoration Hardware.  My inner 'frugalista' would not allow me to spend $499 on a chalkboard.  But I knew that I could build one on my own.  So finally this week, I bit the bullet and decided to do  it.  And she is glorious!  I still consider myself an amateur woodworker, so it is not perfect.  But it actually turned out even better than I anticipated!

I figured if I liked it, someone else would probably like to build their own as well, so below is a tutorial.

To get the project started I had to create a frame as a base.  For the longest, I felt stumped as to what do.  I finally settled on building a frame out of 1x2's.  These pieces were attached with screws.  The outside lengths are on edge so that the 3/4" edge is showing.  I did this so that I could later attach outer trim.  The two inside lengths are flat and flush with the front of the frame.  I did this so that it would better support the hardboard that I would later attach.  My frame was 36"x 68".  If I were to build another one,  I would add another support so that they were closer to 16" apart.  These were spaced about 23" apart.

I then attached a 36" x 68" sheet of quarter-inch (1/4") hardboard to the frame to serve as the chalkboard surface.  I used a nail gun and 1 1/4" nails to attach it.  I also used regular wood glue on the back as well.  This is where I ran into my first problem.  I got the hardboard cut at the store, but it was off by about 3/16th of an inch.  I wanted my outside trim to lie flush with frame, so I ended up buying a piece of trim that was 1/4"thick and the same width as my frame and just applied it to the overhanging edge.

Next it was time to apply the chalkboard paint.  I let the first coat dry for two hours and the second coat overnight.

The next day I went back to the store to buy trim.   Before cutting trim,  I 'seasoned' the chalkboard by rubbing chalk all over it.  I was a bit worried about the roller lines showing, but they weren't really noticeable once the paint dried.  And after 'seasoning' the board, I can't see them at all.

So now was time to add trim.  Here is where I ran into another problem.  Now the problem is that I was using a mini-miter saw.  The problem is it has a 7 1/2" blade and can only cut short widths of wood.  So I kept getting cuts that looked like this.  ( I know this a footwear violation!)

The solution was to use a coping saw to cut off that little bit of tooth.   Please tell me I am not the only one who has these problems when doing DIY!

I stained all of the wood before attaching it.  I used 1x3 clear pine for the outer trim.  This was attached with a nail gun to the original frame.  The outer trim was nailed using 1 1/4" nails and regular wood glue.   Then I attached 3 1/4" pine baseboard molding to the inside face of the chalkboard.  Since I wasn't going to be using any nails on the face trim, I used a liquid nails glue and applied two beads.  

After that I let it dry a bit and stood back and took a look.

Not too shabby for two days of work.

Cost breakdown:

3ct 1x 2 x 6 whitewood, for frame                           $10
4x8 sheet 1/4" hardboard                                          $ 9
chalkboard paint (on hand)                                       $ 0
'Provincial' Minwax stain (on hand)                         $ 0
1x3's(one 8' length, two 6' lengths) for outer trim   $17
3 ct 8' lengths of 3 1/4" base molding                      $21

                                    Total Cost                             $57

So, if you have been eyeing those chalkboards, or just love a good DIY, give it a try!  And if you do, tag me on Instagram @oakhousedesignco!  I'm off to hang this in the playroom.

Update: The chalkboard is finished off  and hung up.  Check out how!

Linking up to Beth's Tutorials and Tips Link Party at Home Stories A to Z.  Thanks Beth for the feature in 10 Tutorials and Tips Not to Miss!