DIY: Nursery Chalkboard Decor

Everyone has that one decoration that has stuck around for some reason. You want to throw it out but you’ve had it for so long you just keep it in the closet or the garage. This is what our “Home Sweet Home” sign was for us. We’ve been in our house for a year today and have had this thing since we had our second apartment together. We had originally put it by the door and hung our coats on it, but when we got our house I really wanted to do a gallery wall instead and it just didn’t match. My husband also pointed out that we had a lot of décor that said “home” on it, so I didn’t want to hang it, but I also didn’t want to throw something out that we have had for so long.

Before Home Decor DIY

Fortunately, we have been on a refurbishing kick so he didn’t immediately volunteer it to be thrown in the trash. With us getting ready for baby Bailey I suggested we repaint it and hang it in her room. He was so excited about the idea of her being able to hang her little coats on it that we started working on it immediately. He had originally wanted it to hang on the outside of her door but the sign is a little large so we settled on it going on her wall instead.

At this point we still didn’t know what we were going to do with it, just that we knew we wanted to repaint it. We made note that the wood in the center was a different type of wood (probably composite) than the outside so we knew we would have to do something different with the center. That’s when I suggested we paint it with chalkboard paint and the design started to come together.


What We Did:

  1. The first thing we did was to unscrew the top metal piece and the knobs. These came off easily with a small electric screwdriver. We saved the metal piece to go on a different project and put the knobs to the side. We weren’t sure if we were going to use them with this or buy different knobs. Luckily the hangers on the back were in great condition so we kept those.
  2. We did a very light sanding with a fine grit (220) sandpaper to make sure that there weren’t any major bumps or pieces sticking up on the surface.
  3. We used green painter’s tape to outline the center piece of the wood to paint it.
    Painters Tape DIY
  4. We then painted the center with black chalkboard paint and did three coats to make sure it was completely covered and smooth. I did long strokes from left to right and then right to left to be sure the entire board was covered and so that there weren’t any globs of paint.
    Chalkboard Paint DIY
  5. Once the chalkboard paint was dry we used the painter’s tape to outline the edges of the outside (see picture) so that we wouldn’t paint on the chalkboard paint. I used a box cutter to make sure the tape was exact on the chalkboard piece of the wood so that we wouldn’t miss any wood areas and so we wouldn’t paint on the chalkboard.(At this point I hadn’t decided that the top piece would be white so I didn’t mask that area.)
    Chalkboard DIY
  6. I used a latex paint sample that we had picked up when we were trying to figure out what color to pain the house. It is a blue-grey color that I thought would compliment the room without being too in your face since her walls are already pretty bright.
  7. I used long strokes on the rest of the wood and did three coats of the latex paint to be sure the wood was covered.
  8. I let it dry for a couple of hours in between the coats. This is when I decided that the top area should be a different color to give it something more. We had white furniture paint left from a different project we are working on so I decided to use that.
  9. I taped off the blue-grey area on the edges by the top piece and used the white furniture paint again with long strokes to paint this area.
    Chalkboard DIY Outline
  10. I did three coats of the white on this area waiting several hours in between coats. Painting the edges was a little tricky so I made sure to fill those in with paint to be sure the wood wouldn’t show through.
  11. After the entire piece dried we pulled the tape off and noticed that some of the blue-grey got on the chalkboard and that there were pieces that the wood was still showing through. We used some small model paintbrushes that we had to correct those areas and let it dry.
  12. Once the piece was dry again we put on the old knobs which worked really well with the new colors (which was nice because we didn’t want to have to buy new ones).
    Finished DIY Chalkboard
  13. The piece was complete and we hung it in her room. Now we just have to get chalk to write on it.
    DIY Before and After

We are pretty happy with how it came out and that it goes so well against the color of her room. I’m also glad that I didn’t try and do a chevron pattern (it was a thought) because I could have totally messed it up. Simple is better sometimes. Because we had a majority of the supplies already we spent around $10 on this project. I found a comparable piece on Etsy for $34.00, so I would say this was definitely a win. It was a nice project to start the fall with and it felt good to be doing something productive that would hang in our daughters room.

Have you been doing any DIY projects or did you do any refurbishing for your home or nursery? I’d love to hear about it!

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