It’s been way too long since I’ve posted a DIY for you guys and I also waited way too long to make this!
sound/particle board/ply wood (something with a smooth surface)
wood glue (optional)
What To Do
Saw your sound/particle board to size or have your local hardware store cut it for you. I know The Home Depot will saw materials for free upon purchase. Mine is 24″x36″.
Now it’s time to paint the board so the first coat can dry while you cut the trim. You want long, smooth strokes here so it’s as smooth as possible, paying attention to the edges. Be sure to paint the sides too since they may show a little from certain angles (I forgot this part and had to go back after I was done, oh well!). You will need at least two coats of paint, so after the trim is cut and the allotted time (per your specific paint’s instructions) has passed, go ahead and apply the second coat.
For your wood trim, decide how you want the corners to come together (i.e. both corners angled like most picture frames or both squared like blocks). For ease and preference, I decided on squared corners. Next, measure your wood trim to size and saw. My length trims are 37″x3.5″ and width trims 20.75″x1.75″.
My width trims are thinner than my length trims simply because I repurposed an old piece of wood for the trims and it was not long enough to wrap all the way around the sized backing I wanted. So we cut off the lengths from the piece of wood then cut one piece for the width, which we then sawed in half lengthwise.
Time to sand your freshly cut edges (and any other sides that need sanding)…
…then arrange your trim pieces where you want them directly on your painted board. Because I wasn’t exactly sure how much overhang of the trim I wanted, we opted to wait and do a final cut of the smaller width trims until we arranged the pieces on the board.
In the shot below you can see how much overhang we have; about 1.5 inches on the length edges and a .5 inch on the widths.
Once your trims are perfectly sized and placed (and after you’ve applied the second coat of paint and it’s dried), start adhering them to your board. You can use the wood glue here in place of or in addition to nails. We opted for no glue because I was getting impatient and I figured the nails would suffice, but looking back I should have opted for the glue for security. Apparently the particle board we used doesn’t take well to nails (they don’t hold in very tightly), so we ended up using more nails than I had planned on. While the trims are secure now and I am not concerned about them falling off the wall, I am a little worried if we ever move, I’m not sure they’ll hang on during transit. Use your judgement. If in doubt and you have more patience then me, use the glue!
Here are the nails I used. I like them because they’re a little more rustic and not so shiny like they were freshly manufactured. This is important because the nails will show if you put them through the trim. If you put them through the backing, they either may not go through the trim enough to hold it up, or the end of the nail will push through the trim. In the latter case, you could hammer the the nail tails sideways into the wood, which could look cool too.
Now before you get all crazy and start writing all over your board, you need to condition it. The paint I used instructed to wait three days before conditioning to allow the paint to set. After conditioning, I can write on it, but have to wait seven days (from painting day – not an additional seven days) before wiping it down with a damp cloth for cleaning.
Almost there! Before you can hang this baby on the wall, you’ve got to attach your wall mounts. We used two standard picture hanging mounts, one in each corner. Be sure you note the weight capacity of the mounts before buying, your chalkboard probably isn’t as light as a standard picture. Measure your placement from the top and sides to make sure both mounts are aligned correctly. Once the mounts are attached to your board, measure from the top of the trim to the middle of your mount and note the measurement (this will be helpful once you’re ready to hang it).
Hold the board against the wall where you want to hang it, and mark the wall with a pencil where the top and sides of the board are. Now measure your wall from the ceiling, noting how far down and in the mounts are on your board, then mark on the wall where the nails should go. Once the first nail is in, I would remeasure to be sure before you nail in the second. If you measured correctly, your board should fit on the wall nicely!