I am all about free home décor. You know, the kind that doesn’t cost anything?
It’s pretty awesome.
You know what’s even more awesome? Having a hubby who will help make the free décor! What a keeper. :)
Well after making our headboard and building our fence, we had some scrap wood lying around our garage. And I kept seeing lovely mantels with chalkboards on them. So I asked my hubby and he agreed to help me make one of our own!
I measured our space and he cut down a piece of the MDF leftover from our headboard. Then he cut the fence panel and mitered the corners for a 1.75” frame around the front of the MDF.He attached the frame with nails and then sanded down the edges to make sure they were smooth and even. After a round of applause and a big hug, I took over from there.
I jumped right in using my fave walnut MinWax stain on the frame and sides of the MDF. I did one coat only since it took it veeeerrrry well. See how I typically apply stain here. I skipped the Wood Conditioner I typically use because 1) I was ok with an irregular stained look and 2) I plum forgot. After the allotted drying time I sealed the stained wood with MixWax Polycrylic. I would’ve used my fave wipe-on polyurethane but discovered my bottle had dried up (I think I didn’t quite close the cap ALL the way) and wanted to finish the project so I used what I had.
Polyurethane gives a deeper more amber finish great for stained wood whereas Polycrylic is a clear topcoat (it looks milky when applied). I typically reserve Polycrylic for painted furniture, but since the stain was so dark I don’t know that you could have seen a difference with the polyurethane.
The next day I was ready for the chalkboard paint!
I made my own by mixing:
- ½ cup latex paint (I used a sample pot of Valspar Mountain Smoke)
- 1 tablespoon of unsanded grout
I mixed it in a party cup by measuring out ½ cup water first and marking the line with a Sharpie so I knew how much paint to use.
In went my unsanded grout…Then the paint. It’s pretty clumpy at first so you have to mix it well.Then it becomes nice and smooth.Yup, that’s smooth. It’s not going to be silky smooth like typical latex paint.
I taped off around the frame and used a small angled brush to apply two layers of paint to the MDF…Coat 1…Applying coat 2….It looked lovely when it was all done! I chose the color of the chalkboard paint because 1)I wanted a lighter color than black 2)we had it! All about free, remember?Before you use a new chalkboard, you have to “prime” it so that the first thing you write doesn’t stay on it (faintly) forever after you erase it. I didn’t know about this step before- and it’s true! I’ve experienced it.You prime by rubbing chalk all over the board and then wiping it off!All ready to be used!
This is a great addition to our mantel! I love that it can be changed as we want to celebrate seasons, special occasions, or whatever! What do you think of our new chalkboard? Have made any free décor projects lately from scraps? I would love to hear from you!