I’ve worked with pine, poplar and maple and each served its purpose for a specific project but I have a new love; walnut. It has the most beautiful grain and color and I wish I could afford to build every project using it.
You can’t buy walnut at home depot which meant I found myself at a local hardwood store where the man working was anything but helpful. Evidently a woman with a small child in tow isn’t his typical customer. He was so helpful (sarcasm), at one point he asked another customer (who obviously buys a lot of wood there) to help me while he stood at the desk. Awesome. I think I had steam coming out of my ears. No, I wasn’t on an errand from my husband. Yes, I have purchased hardwood before and I know how it works. I was so mad I didn’t purchase wood that day and I was bound and determined to find another place to give my business to. Wouldn’t you know it, it’s the only one in the area close. Two days later, I swallowed my pride, took my baby back to the store and made my purchase without making eye contact. That’ll show him!
I had him square one side (which he ended up squaring the wrong side – go figure), so I could run it through the table saw for my finished size.
I also used the table saw to rout out the back side so the chalkboard would fit in it. This was yet another reminder that I need to buy a router because it took forever, especially since I wasn’t cutting through the entire piece. Painful process.
As usual, my Kreg jig made it’s appearance and I joined the corners with glue and some screws.
I’ve found I’m always happier with my joints if I pipe clamp them while inserting the screws. Much tighter fit.
My favorite part about working with walnut – because the wood is so beautiful in its raw form – there’s no need for stain. I did four coats of wipe-on poly to seal it and that’s it.
I wanted a smooth chalkboard surface. I used birch plywood and I sprayed Rustoleum Chalkboard paint with my Graco TruCoat. This is one of those times that I almost convinced myself to paint it by hand because I didn’t want to worry about clean-up on such a small project but that sprayer is so much nicer and even with cleanup it’s way faster. The only disadvantage: You use a lot more paint.
Following the instructions on the chalkboard paint, after you’ve painted the surface you need to rub chalk over the whole chalkboard. It makes it so when you write on it the first time, you’re able to erase it.
And now it sits in our kitchen lovely and full of little fingerprints!