Tuesday, May 1, 2012

{Re*Made}: Corkboard Chalkboard

I think this project was given to me by God to test my patience, because it did.  BUT, I did complete it and it turned out just like I pictured.

As with most ideas from God, I'm not sure where this one came from.  I had this really large cork bulletin board that didn't have a place or purpose, not to mention, somewhere in our move, its frame was damaged.

Somehow I thought, wouldn't it be neat to have a chalkboard but still be able to pin things to it:  a place to write notes and pin notes.  That eventually evolved into a calendar where I could write in deadlines for projects and other events, as well as a "pin board" of my own with my ideas and sketches.  So the idea of the corkboard chalkboard calendar was born.

First things first: I needed to remove the frame in order to get an accurate measurement of the board. 

Once I had those dimensions, I did my calculations to figure how I wanted my calendar to look.  I decided to only do 4 rows for the dates as 5 would have made the boxes almost too small to do any good.  I had boxes for days of the week, a box for the month, and a larger box up top for miscellaneous items I would want to pin up or random notes.

I wanted a separation between each box so I bought this crepe art tape to have a 1/4" of the corkboard show.  I wasn't sure how the tape would work out but it ended up being just like painter's tape.  Whew!

Once I had it taped up, it was time to paint.  I started rolling on the chalkboard paint with a roller and QUICKLY realized that would not be the best applicator.  It left teeny-tiny little bubbles and I did not want a bubbly surface.  Thankfully we had a cheapy paint brush on hand.

I wasn't sure how the paint would work on cork but it went on rather smoothly.  According to manufacturer's instruction, you need to wait 24 hours before use or applying another coat, which it definitely needed, so wait I must.

In the meantime, I started work on the new frame.  I bought this decorative cap molding that had the perfect little lip--same depth as the board.  After I measured once more the dimensions of my board, I made my marks and began cutting.

This is the part that convinced me this project was given to me as a test of my patience.  And maybe to knock my pride down a little.  See, I do pride myself on accuracy and mathematics and knowing I know how to do it.  So I made my measurements and my cuts and had my four pieces of the new frame.  But they were wrong--WAY wrong.  First, my saw didn't cut straight so my corners weren't meeting right (and I swear this was a machine error and not a user error, ha ha!).  Secondly, I measured wrong so my pieces weren't long enough.  I kinda felt like a fool.  Which may not be a bad thing every now and then.  But my dear hubby was patient and showed me the correct way to measure and insisted I use a mitre box to do my cutting. 

But, I had also used all my molding.  I could recycle the large pieces I had already cut for the top and bottom by cutting them to the short side measurement, but I still needed more molding.  So back to the hardware store to buy another few feet.  Only, after I got home, and cut the new pieces, the moldings were different thicknesses.  Same stuff but not the same!  Ugh!!  And the thickness difference was really noticeable, so BACK to the hardware store to get ANOTHER piece of molding to match the right thickness.  But after all that, I got all the frame parts cut correctly, and we were on our way again.  Woo hoo!

Time for coat number two on the board, and another 24 hour wait, so we will continue with the frame.

I bought a pack of "L" braces to fasten the corners together.  I marked each hole, then pre-drilled my holes to ensure the screw wouldn't crack my wood since it was a small area I was drilling into. 

See the painter's tape on the drill bit?  That's dear hubby's contribution.  He marked my drill depth so I wouldn't drill all the way through the molding.  Genius!

Holes drilled, screws in place, corner fastened!  Repeat times three.

And, voila, frame!

So, what would a project be without a little spray paint, huh?!  Ha ha!

Now that the frame was done, and it had been another 24 hours, I started work on the chalkboard again.  I read once that for chalk paint surfaces, after the paint has set for the noted time period, you should cover the entire board/surface with chalk to make it a better chalkboard.  So I did.  Whether it helped or not, I'm not sure.

Once I wiped all the chalk off, it was time to remove the tape.  Here is where I was a little nervous, not knowing how the tape would act after sitting for so long and being painted over.  But it was just like painter's tape.  Peeled off beautifully to reveal my cork separations.

All boxes revealed!

Now it was time to place the board in the frame.  We found these little glazier points and they worked perfectly.  Board was nice and secure.

Just need to add my calendar.

Isn't it awesome?!  Can't wait to put it to good use.  :)

So, whadya think?

Hope you found a little inspiration.
Ta ta for now...


  1. Is it easy to write over the cork surface?

    1. Yes, I think so. The paint helps to even out the surface a bit, although there are still a few "pits" that catch the chalk, but not enough to distort what you are writing. And the paint isn't hard enough that pins can't go through it.

  2. I have my own cork board which i spray painted with the chalkboard paint. After 3 coats, there are still small cracks and crannies and the chalk doesn't erase well. Should I try another coat of the spray paint, or should I try an actual paint?
    -The board looks great by the way!

    1. There were a few places where the paint didn't reach, like in the holes from old pushpin pins, but for the most part the paint coated the cork well. I don't notice any cracks on my board. It could be a spray paint issue. The paint is much thicker I think than the spray paint version, so I was able to get good coats with just two. You may need to spray a couple more coats. As for the chalk erasing, the chalk dust does tend to settle in those previous - and newly - made holes, but I never had trouble with it not fully erasing. You could also try a damp cloth when erasing, which might help. Hope that helps you out! (: Thanks for asking, and for visiting my blog!

  3. THANK YOU FOR POSTING THIS!!!! I just spent an hour and a half looking in google "will chalkboard paint stick to cork" and you would not believe the lack of answers. Have you tried using chalkboard paint markers on this surface? Looking to make a giant wall calendar/push pin board for our install guys and don't want a bunch of chalk dust or it to be erased when bumped into.. thoughts?

    1. You're very welcome! I'm so glad I could help! (: I hadn't tried it with the paint markers, but since you asked, I just did. Doesn't work well. ): I had to use a wet towel to erase and the chalk that worked its way into the little pores is still there. I have used a pastel chalk pencil (which I picked up at Hobby Lobby, the General's brand) and that works pretty well. It writes well and allows for a finer point but it doesn't just wipe off completely with an eraser or towel. I have to use a wet towel to erase. Which might work best for your application. Hope that helps! I'd love to see how it works out for you! Thanks for having a look at my blog. (:


So what did you think? I'd love to know!

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