So, if you read my last post, you may recall that a Wet Erase Chalkboard was NOT the next mini-project I had planned for The Ugly Home Office Makeover.
My plans were to refinish or build a bench for the bay window.
But I was going nuts without a whiteboard in my office. Before I started the makeover, I had a big whiteboard decal that I used daily, and I hadn’t replaced it yet.
I just really didn’t want to slap a big white sticker up on a wall of my now quite pretty home office. I wanted to add something functional that would blend with the overall aesthetic of the space.
So – of course – I decided to make something 😀
Read on for the details…
When I first had the idea of a Wet Erase Chalkboard, I thought about using glass for the “writing” area of the board.
The biggest drawback to this was the weight of the glass. That – and the breakability factor. If this project went awry due to a construction or hanging boo boo – I didn’t want shards of glass everywhere!
So after doing a little research, I decided to use plexiglass, which is basically clear acrylic plastic. It’s lightweight, can be attached with screws and if it crashes to the ground – little harm done. 🙌
My plan was to spray paint one side of the glass black – this would become the back side – and use the other side as the writing surface.
I had no idea if it would work out the way I planned, but I’m always willing to give something a try in the name of creativity!
So off I went to The Home Depot to pick up a 36″ x 30″ sheet of plexiglass, two 8-foot weathered boards and a can of Rustoleum Black Gloss Paint + Primer.
Step 1 was to spray one side of the plexi with the black spray paint.
When you buy plexiglass, both sides are covered a protective film – be sure to peel this off before painting!!
I did a little research about using spray paint on plexiglass and found some articles warning against using spray paint on the plexi because the oil-based paint can melt it.
But the Rust-Oleum paint and primer can said it’s for plastic (right there on that yellow strip – “also bonds to Plastic”), and I don’t think the guys at Rust-Oleum are fibbers, so I went for it. 😜
I sprayed the first coat on and let it dry – so far no melting!
While the first coat dried, Greg cut the boards for me. (I ended up doing 2 more full coats of spray paint and it turned out great! – and did not melt 🙌).
He cut the boards down to 38.75″ and 32.5″, two of each.
I did a dry build to test the cuts – perfectly cut. Good job Greg! 😀
With the cutting done, I pulled out the Kreg pocket jig to join the boards.
Since the boards were 3/4″ thick (BE SURE TO MEASURE!), I set the Kreg guide and drill bit collar to the 3/4″ setting. (The collar is the round thing below with the Allen wrench sticking out of it.)
Using the Kreg clamp, I fastened the guide to the board and drilled the holes.
Below, you can see the collar flush up against the guide after drilling a hole – the settings on the guide and collar are what determine the location and depth of the hole.
Getting them right is critical (if you want to know how I know this, check out Part 4 – The Shiplap Wall Hanging and you’ll see what happens if you get it wrong 😬)
Here are the pocket holes after drilling…
And here is the backside of the frame, pocket holes all drilled and ready to join.
Kreg recommends a 1 1/4″ screw for a board of 3/4″ thickness, so that’s what I used.
Before starting, I was just sure I needed 3/4″ screws, didn’t have any, went to Home Depot in search of some, they didn’t have any.
I decided to head back home and try 1″ screws, hoping they wouldn’t be too long. But they didn’t hold the boards together tightly – they were too short!
And then… I looked it up.
So, as I said, I used 1 1/4″ screws… 😂
And here’s the frame, all joined together. I love the wood 💕 It costs more than your standard 1×4’s but it has awesome color and texture – plus, no staining or weathering required!
Next up was to attach the plexiglass – spray painted side facing up – to the back of the frame. I started by drilling a pilot hole using a 1/8″ drill bit.
I was a little concerned about the plexi cracking when the screws went in, thus the pilot holes. So far, so good…
For the screws, I used 1/2″ flat Phillips head wood screws.
Here you can see where I’m screwing through the pilot hole in the plexiglass and into the frame.
And here you can see where the plexiglass just broke right off. ARGH!! 😫
But I kept going…
Finally, I said to myself “Self, I think there’s a problem here. Maybe you should try something different.” I know, pretty quick on the uptake 😋
So I chose a larger drill bit – and my apologies, because our collection of drill bits is slightly disorganized, I don’t know the exact size. If I were to guess, I would say it was either a 9/64 or a 5/32.
And this did the trick! 🎉🎉🎉
Sometimes I can be a wee bit stubborn when it comes to changing course. Use me as an example of what not to do and make adjustments sooner rather than later!
And here she is… thankfully I allowed enough overlap of the plexi onto the frame that my mishaps didn’t kill the project!
Next, it was time to hang the new wet erase chalkboard in my office.
The Hangman was probably overkill for this particular project since the chalkboard is nowhere near 60 lbs, but I already had it on hand, and it is a SUPER easy way to hang anything with a frame.
This is what comes in the kit:
The top part attaches to the wall using the Walldog screws provided (no anchors needed with these screws, even if you can’t hit studs), and also comes with a handy level.
The bottom part attaches to the frame.
It goes in easily by hand using a Philips head screwdriver.
Here it is fully attached to the frame.
The other piece has a handy slot that you just slide the level into – this keeps your hands free since you don’t have to worry about holding a level. Pretty clever! 👏
After the hanging hardware was set, I just had to slide the frame onto the piece above.
The last step was to write something on the wet erase chalkboard to test it out, but I have zero handwriting skills (I prefer typing 😛).
So I enlisted my talented daughter to help me out, using these wet erase markers from Amazon. (not an affiliate link)
And without further ado, here it is, my Rustic DIY Wet Erase Chalkboard 💓
I think it’s a nice complement to my last project, the Simple DIY Blanket Ladder 🙌🏻
Look closely in the reflection above and you can see another project, the DIY Industrial Shelving from Part 7 of the Ugly Home Office Makeover.
This was a tough project to photograph because there is so much light in my office and the plexiglass reflects everything!
But on the plus side, you get to see another project, from Part 4 – The Shiplap Wall Hanging!
I’m super excited to have this functional piece of wall decor in my office – and now I finally have somewhere to track my “to-do’s”, goals, etc.!
Let me be perfectly honest here – I’ve pretty much blown past the budget at this point. I’ll give a final tally in my last post of this series, but I’ve sort of stopped tracking it for now.
I’m usually a stickler about adhering to a budget, but since this is the space in my home where I spend the most time, I decided it was worth it to go a little over budget to get it just the way I wanted. 😀
For the Wet Erase Chalkboard project, the total cost of materials was $54.69. Not the most frugal project I’ve done, but no regrets!
- (1) Sheet of plexiglass, 36″x30″ ($24.65 – The Home Depot)
- (2) 8 ft. Weathered Gray boards, cut to 38.75″ (2) and 32.5″ (2) ($8.42 per board – The Home Depot)
- (1) Can Rust-oleum Black Gloss Paint and Primer ($3.87 – The Home Depot)
- (20) #8 1/2″ flat Phillips head wood screws ($3.33 – The Home Depot)
- (1) Ook Hangman French Cleat, 60 lb ($6.00 – Amazon)
- Drill (or electric screwdriver)
- Kreg Pocket Jig set (including clamp)
- Phillips head screwdriver
All I really have left to do now is to find or build a bench for the bay window, maybe add a little more wall decor to tie everything together and do the BIG REVEAL!
PART 1: Intro PART 2: Design Layout and Select Color Palette for Walls, Furniture and Accessories PART 3: Paint Walls PART 4: Install and Paint Shiplap Accent Wall PART 5: Build and Install Desk PART 6: Refinish “Printer Stand” Dresser PART 7: Build and Hang Industrial Shelving PART 8(a): Add Accessories and Wall Decor – Blanket Ladder PART 8(b): Build Wet Erase Chalkboard
- PART 8(c): Build or Refinish Bench
- PART 9: Wrap-up and Big Reveal
I had a couple of sweet comments from previous HOMPOW (Home Office Prize of the Week) winners on my last post – thank you ladies!
Since these ladies were already winners, I’m going to carry the giveaway over to the final post of the series – The Big Reveal – coming soon!
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