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Things you need:
- Plywood, cut to fit whatever your dimensions are
- Chalkboard paint (Rustoleum makes a great one and you can get it at Ace Hardware in Waverly)
- Painters tape
- Steel wool or very fine grit sandpaper
- Shoe polish in brown and black
To make the chalkboard, start by masking off the edge of the board, I just used the width of the tape and laid it flush to the edge of the board. I repeated this on all four sides.
Then I painted the chalkboard paint on in layers, making sure to let it dry completely then sand (or steel wool for a smoother finish) between coats. Painting takes a full day with all the drying and sanding.
Once the paint was fully dry, I slowly peeled back the painters tape on the edges, leaving the plywood exposed.
I used shoe polish rather than stain to give the board a really aged finish. I worked the wax into the plywood with a cloth, and layered in both black and brown until I was happy with the color.
Before really using the chalkboard, it is recommended that you condition the paint by rubbing a piece of chalk sideways over the board, coating it with a film of chalk and then erasing.
We went an extra step and adhered Alpha Color transfers to our board. We designed the files for both our chalkboard and invitations, and gave them to Alphgraphics (in the Mill Center in Hampden) to make a rub on transfer in white, and simply measured and marked out in chalk where they should be placed, and proceeded to burnish them on as per the instructions included with them!
—Ben Kutil owner of Make Things Studio (a web design and developement firm) & Katie McDonough Kutil, co-owner of Chelle Paperie (a custom stationery design studio)