Basement chalkboard wall & open shelving

February 01, 2017

I wanted to get this project done back before December, but you know how that goes. I was excited to tackle it and yet again was thrilled to work with Minwax on this because I love their products. LOVE! I'm soooo happy with how this came together. It's just like my vision looked in my head. 

We started with a blank wall where our boy's basketball hoop used to be: 
patching holes in wall

You can see that after years of it hanging there it started to dig into the drywall from numerous dunks.  😉 

I showed you how we reconfigured the kitchenette in our basement so this area that used to be open below now has cabinets and a wine fridge. 

My first step was to patch those holes. The smaller ones I fixed using this method. The bigger stuff I filled in with putty. Not gonna lie, the final result wasn't perfect because I knew it would be hard to see later anyway. And because I can be crazy impatient. 

But I got them filled and while I waited on the compound to dry, I started marking off where I wanted my lines on the wall: 
How to tape off lines on wall

You can use a laser level for long straight lines, but for a smaller area I prefer a regular level. Just mark your lines with pencil and then you can tape off using that as a guide. 

Our walls are pretty flat so it's not too hard to get a straight line, but I always make sure to push the tape down as much as possible. A flat edge helps a ton:
Making sure painters tape doesn't bleed

I started my four coats of chalkboard paint and because I didn't want to run to the hardware store, I improvised with my paint tray: 
DIY paint tray hack

I do this quite often. :) I grabbed a box that was going to recycling, put a plastic grocery bag over it (make sure any print goes on the opposite side!) and poured my paint in. Works every time. 

After four coats I was able to peel the tape off -- my favorite part -- and look at those lines!:
How to get crisp paint lines

Beautiful! ;) 

While the paint was drying in between coats I started on the wood shelving. The wood was the only thing I had to buy for this project because I had the rest of the materials. I love cheap projects! 

One thing that is helpful when you stain, that I don't think I've told you about, is to open up the wood by wiping it down with a wet rag: 
Popping wood grain with water

This is called "popping" the grain and it allows the stain to really get into the pores of the wood.

I talk a lot about the Minwax prestain conditioner and how important that is too -- I think it's similar to what water does, but the conditioner also helps to even out the wood before staining too:  
Minwax prestain conditioner before staining

You can stain immediately after using the conditioner and it's really easy to apply, so it doesn't take more than a few minutes. 

I went with one of my favorite Minwax stains for this project, Provincial: 
Minwax Provincial

And with Beauty and the Beast coming out soon, I immediately start singing Belle's song every time I see it. (Cannot wait to see that!) 

I usually use a foam brush for my conditioner, stain and poly application but we were out and again...I didn't want to go anywhere. I didn't want use a good paint brush so I went with a rag, which is always a good option as well:
Staining with a rag

If you use a rag I highly recommend wearing gloves! 

When the stain had dried (I did this project over a few days to allow dry time for the chalkboard paint and stain) I was able to put a coat of polyurethane on: 
Fast drying Minwax polyurethane

I love the Minwax fast drying poly because it really does allow you to move on much faster. Again, I applied it with the rag:
How to apply polyurethane

I love poly because it really brings out the beauty of the stain. 

While that dried I seasoned the chalkboard -- I keep hearing you need to do this and I always have with my boards, but I don't really know if it's helpful or not: 
Seasoning a chalkboard

You just rub the chalk on there sideways and cover the board. It's supposed to make it easier to erase later but who knows. I do it because it just takes a few minutes and I like that it leaves a slightly cloudy, "used" look to the board. 

I hung my shelves with the IKEA Ekby Bjarnum brackets that I had from years ago:
Ikea Ekby Bjarnum shelf brackets

If you use these brackets -- attach them to the ends of your wood first...then hang. Last time I hung one bracket and then put the wood inside and hung the other. WAY more work that way. This time I just put the shelf up against the wall, made sure it was level and then marked my holes for anchors. So much faster!!

I grabbed stuff that we've had in a tray on the counter and started styling. I only purchased the little wood box and a small cutting board -- the rest we had and that's always nice!:
Wood shelves on black wall

We USE most everything on the shelves that that's a bonus too. ;) 

I LOVE how the shelves look against the dark wall!!: 
Wood shelves on black chalkboard wall

I told you here how I think every room needs some black in it and every time I use it I'm reminded of that. I just love the contrast. 

I never wanted to put upper cabinets on these walls because we just don't need that much storage down here. And in our basement with eight foot ceilings I wanted to keep everything as open as possible. It took me awhile to figure out what I wanted to do with this wall because I didn't want to compete (or duplicate) the wood wall I did last year next to it: 
Chalkboard wall with shelving

I shared this photo years ago from Magnolia Homes and it was my inspiration for this project: 
Fixer Upper chalkboard wall

I haven't added anything on the chalkboard yet but we will. I think it will be a fun spot to play around with for parties and holidays. :) 

Next I need to trim out and paint the rest of the cabinets. It shouldn't be TOO bad -- there's really only a few small cabinet doors and then two sides. 

We have a toaster oven and microwave to put out here too, but I'm loving the counters so clean!:
Kitchenette with wood shelves

Chalkboard wall with wood shelves

Here's a better view of the whole thing as it is now. I want to start painting this week and get this whole thing wrapped up!: 
Industrial kitchenette with wood tones

Kitchenette with wood and chalkboard walls

If you have any questions about anything I used, please let me know! This was a simple project that really didn't take long -- the dry time is what you have to wait on. :) 

Here are some more projects from this spot over the years if you'd like to check them out: 

How to stencil a wall

Affordable DIY wood planked wall
Wood planked wall (for cheap!)

Basement kitchenette layout

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  1. Last week--while painting for the sale of our home--I used cling wrap in a pinch in my small paint tray. (My husband tried it in the large tray later as well.) Loved how it worked! I am one to throw out the plastic tray and roller after a job so this saves a bit. It will be my new way to paint because it works that good!

  2. It looks great. I like the two different walls (wood and paint). You will have fun with that wall for parties. It would be something I would love for sure.

    treasuring the

  3. I love the chalkboard wall .....and the shelves! Your basement is really turning out great.

  4. Looks awesome! What is that item with "Cade" on it? That is my son's name. Is it a cutting board? Where did you get it?

  5. Am wondering how long your kitchenette will stay as it is now, great job. Love the shelves and brackets, were they from shelves/brackets you had up before? Those brackets are really snazzy looking, will have to see if IKEA still has them.
    Got to shop a little in IKEA for first time when we went to San Diego last June. Didn't have much time. Did get metal table had wanted for long time. Using it in living room for end table now but who knows how much longer til I get itch to move it.
    Am person who needs to change things around for different look, especially after winter and before Fall. Been contemplating new arrangement for gallery wall, deciding what I want to hang. Thought about mirror arrangement since our living room is small and dark. Put new arrangement on shutter shelf also, thinking travel for Spring. Keeps me out of trouble making messes dragging things out to decorate with.
    Have missed several of your posts I think, having terrible time with our internet here, Grand Junction needs to get new servers and definitely more power for us country folk few miles out of city. People complain about it constantly.
    Can't believe is already Thursday.
    Your basement looks so nice, love that wall with varied stained boards.You are one hard working gal.

  6. That looks fantastic! I really want to do a chalkboard wall in our kitchen but wasn't sure if I could just paint right on the wall or if I needed to have a type of backing? Thanks for the inspiration! :)


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