That sounds like some kind of life–or at least decorating–motto: “I saw not what it was, but what it could be…”
This was one of the easiest refinishing/refurbishing/whatever projects I’ve ever done. And, just in case you find yourself in receipt of a less-than-perfect easel for a youngster of your own, here’s how I made it prettier and more functional.
(If your easel is not solid wood but plastic, you could still refinish it. Spray paint would probably be your best option).
- Stain (I used Minwax Wood Stain in Dark Walnut)
- Spray Polycrylic
- Old cloth or paint brush for stain
- Board of plywood in desired size (Lowe’s sells 2′ x 2′ boards, which was the same size as the white board already on the easel)
- Chalkboard paint (I used Rustoleum’s chalkboard paint in Coffee)
- Screws, bolts, and wing-nuts in necessary length/widths for your particular piece (I used 4 regular wood screws, 3 bolts, and 3 wing nuts).
- A square rod, cut to desired length (This is for making a tray for chalk pieces to rest in. Not necessary, but helpful. Until your baby starts to eat the chalk. Then the chalk goes into a kitchen drawer and your chalk tray is rendered useless).
1.) I lightly sanded the wooden legs and then wiped with a damp cloth.
2.) Using an old rag, I applied a small amount of stain to the wood. Use multiple light coats, depending on how well the wood takes the stain. I only used one light coat because it adhered so well the first time.
3.) After it dried, I sprayed on a couple coats of the polycrylic to seal.
4.) Then, I sanded the plywood and wiped it clean. I also rubbed a bit of wood putty over the screws to make for a smoother finish.
5.) Then, I painted the plywood with chalkboard paint. I used 2 coats. (PS, per the instructions on the can, you need to “season” the chalkboard before regular use. Basically, you coat it with chalk and then wipe it off).
6.) I attached chalkboard to easel with screws. I pre-drilled the holes–using a drill bit slightly smaller than the screws–to avoid splitting the wood.
7.) Then, I stained the square rod. You could also paint it with chalkboard paint. Whatevs.
8.) Finally, I attached the rod using the bolts and wing-nuts. Again, I pre-drilled the holes.
(I decided to leave on the white board for a time when dry erase markers don’t require careful supervision).
Voila! An easel chalkboard fit for teaching Bun her ABCs, shapes, and chalk-using etiquette (no eating, throwing, giving to the baby, etc).
What’s been your favorite garage sale find?