Turn Any Scrap of Wood into a Chalkboard!

Where have these been all my life? When I first saw what gorgeousness can be created with Iron Orchid Design Moulds, my heart skipped a beat. In fact, every time I see anything embellished with these easy-to-use products, I fall in love all over again! (Check out these projects on the IOD website!) Here I will show you how I turned this old cabinet door I removed from a furniture project into a gorgeous chalkboard!

First, I ordered three of my favorite silicone moulds from Iron Orchid Design on Amazon. There may be a retailer in your area, you can check here. I am impatient an Amazon Prime member so I went that route and my moulds were delivered to me in less than 48 hours.

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(Amazon links are attached to my affiliate account, other that I am not compensated for this post and truly love the products I work with!)

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Next, I decided instead of using the typical Iron Orchid Paper Clay, I wanted to try my favorite putty and modeling compound, Durham’s Water Putty. I was introduced to this product by the cutest couple you will ever meet, the super talented husband and wife furniture refinishing team at Turning Leaf Crafts. Durham’s can be found at most any hardware store or here on Amazon.


It took several test runs to get the ratio of water to powdered putty just right, but what gave me the best results was a mixture with the thickness and consistency of pancake batter. When using Durham’s Water Putty, you’ll want to mix up small batches and only what you will need at the time as it sets quickly and will become unusable in less than 10 minutes.

So after you figure out the consistency that works best, you will need to mould several batches of the same pieces. I knew I would use many of the long strips for framing out the chalkboard so I mixed and moulded batch after batch until I had enough for my project. I have since purchased 3 more moulds so I can produce 4 of what I need at one time.

If you don’t have any scrap doors or furniture pieces to upcycle, you can use any wood as long as it’s not too thin and has a fairly smooth textured surface for writing on the chalkboard. You’ll want to fill any cracks or holes (Durham’s Water Putty is perfect for this too!) and sand to smooth out any ridges. If your piece is shiny or laminate wood, it may be a good idea to prime it first before you apply the moulded pieces.

Once you have enough of your core frame pieces and several different decorative pieces moulded, you’ll want to lay them out on your board. Don’t be afraid of broken pieces! I love the look of broken and ragged edges and actually intentionally break pieces to give it a more authentically hand-made look. Keep arranging and rearranging until you get a look you are happy with.


When you have the design finalized, you will glue the pieces down with your favorite adhesive. I prefer a waterproof silicone caulk because it’s a great adhesive that doesn’t have an offensive smell. It also allows me a few minutes to move and push the pieces around before it sets and it doesn’t shrink or swell.

Once all the pieces are glued, I let them dry overnight. The next step is to paint the outer edges and the moulded pieces. For this particular chalkboard, I painted the outer parts with Buttermilk by Heirloom Traditions and used a watered down wash of Buttermilk mixed with a small amount of Black Bean to create the washed and worn grey color you see. The blackboard part of this is painted with Rustoleum’s Chalkboard Paint. Once all the paint was dry, I used Matte Top Coat by Heirloom Traditions to seal the paint, being fairly careful not to get the top coat on the black chalkboard paint.

And that’s it! Isn’t it gorgeous? I attached strong metal picture hangers to the back and it’s in the store for sale!

Turn any scrap of wood into a gorgeous chalkboard with Iron Orchid Design Moulds and a few painting supplies!

Turn any scrap of wood into a gorgeous chalkboard with Iron Orchid Design Moulds and a few painting supplies!

Turn a Thrift Store Find Into Weathered “Concrete” Using Paint and Wax!

It happens to me all the time at the thrift store…I find home decor that has perfect lines, just the right look, “Good Bones” but it’s finished off with sloppy details, or an ugly color, or in this guy’s case, iridescent glaze! One look at this bunny and I knew I wanted to make him look like weathered concrete!

His features are so sweet, he is a perfectly proportioned bunny, just can’t see myself or anyone else fitting iridescent purple into their Spring decorating!

Follow along with me here as I explain how easy it is to make him look like weathered concrete.

I used the following products from Heirloom Traditions to achieve this look:

  1. Steamer Trunk paint – I painted two coats of this nice dark, charcoal gray. Any dark gray or black would work for this. Find it here: Steamer Trunk Paint on Heirloom Traditions website. On most surfaces, this paint does not require prep other than a good cleaning and drying. If you find, however, your first coat not wanting to adhere, you may have to prime your surface. For small decor items, I use a gray spray primer, even the cheapest one at the hardware store does the trick.
  2. Weathered White spray wax – Instead of spraying, I pour this into a small bowl and brush it on like a top coat. It is movable and workable for about a minute before it dries and leaves the surface sealed but still suitable for the next step. Find it here: Weathered White Wax on Heirloom Traditions website.
  3. Oxidized Patina Soft Wax – I work this in the surface with a small wax brush making sure to get that good, green, weathered look into all the nooks. Then I use a dry, soft cloth to rub and buff the surface to a matte, weathered finish. Find it here: Oxidized Patina Soft Wax on Heirloom Traditions website.

That’s it! So easy! I am an Heirloom Traditions retailer, working with products I love! The links to products are linked to my retailer account, but otherwise, I am not being compensated for writing this post, just sharing what I love to do!


Transform your thrift store finds with Heirloom Traditions paints and finishes! This weathered concrete look is easy to acheive with just three products!

Heirloom Traditions has a full line of paint and finishes and they’re made right here in the USA!

Weathered and Rustic Wood LOVE Sign 

Rustic LOVE: Worn wood look achieved with Heirloom Traditions chalk type paint in A la Mode & Black Bean and soft wax in Dark UmberI was so excited to test out my samples of Heirloom Traditions chalk type paints that I will be carrying in my store so I went to town painting every type of surface possible – glass, ceramic, unfinished wood, metal, and then this…a smooth, lacquered, shiny wood plaque. I figure if the paint will cover shiny wood with no sanding or prep whatsoever, it will cover anything! I love the beachy, weathered wood look and it’s so easy to achieve with these paints!

I went about my experiment layering and distressing A la Mode (pure white) and Black Bean (steely black) until I was happy with the washed and worn finish. I finished with a light coat of Dark Umber soft wax (dark brown) which helped even more achieve a beachy, worn wood look. I loved how the finish turned out so much, I couldn’t resist finishing this experiment up with a vintage heart mold and hand painting letters to make this LOVE sign. Rustic LOVE: Worn wood look achieved with Heirloom Traditions chalk paint in A la Mode & Black Bean and wax in Dark Umber

I am a retailer for Heirloom Traditions Paint. The links above will direct you to my affiliate account, but other than that I am not being compensated by Heirloom Traditions for writing this post, just sharing what I love to do! Thanks for stopping by!

A Free Gift for My First Blog Post!

Stenciled Furniture: Free stencil file for Silhouette Cameo - by Kerry Leigh and Co.Welcome to my blog! I’m so glad you’re here! I have been wanting to get going as a blogger for quite some time now, but I’ve been busy creating and painting to fill my store spaces. I’ve always wanted to offer a little something as a welcome gift, so here you are, a cutting file for my most favorite stencil that I use on my furniture. This particular stencil has been a favorite of customers and looks great in many colors. I’d love to see what you create with it!

Download the .studio file for use with Silhouette Cameo here.