Woodland Chalkboard

A cross-section of a tree trunk turns into a natural canvas for any message, but we especially like the idea of using it to display your welcomes, menus, or even table numbers at a wedding. Simply follow these DIY steps designed by Maggie Lord, author of the new The Rustic Wedding Handbook and the founder and editor of Rustic Wedding Chic and Rustic Wedding Guide.

Photo: Maggie Carson Romano


  • Slab of wood
  • 1 cup latex paint in the color of your choice
  • Disposable mixing bowl, cup, or can
  • Disposable spoon
  • 2 tablespoons unsanded grout
  • Paintbrush
  • Chalk
Maggie Carson Romano


1. Sand the slab of wood to ensure that the paint will stick and go on smoothly and evenly.

2. Pour 1 cup of paint into your mixing bowl, cup, or can.

Maggie Carson Romano

3. Using the spoon, measure out 2 tablespoons of unsanded grout and add to the measured paint.

Maggie Carson Romano

4. Combine the grout and paint. (You should not be able to see any of the grout's original color when you are finished mixing.)

Maggie Carson Romano

5. Use a paintbrush to apply the paint to your surface. The paint will be thick; this is normal. Apply the paint evenly and try to avoid obvious brushstrokes.

6. Allow the paint to dry completely in a dry, temperature-controlled location. (Drastic changes in temperature or humidity will cause the wood to expand and then contract, creating cracks.)

Maggie Carson Romano

7. Once dry, take a piece of chalk and cover the entire chalkboard surface to condition the paint.

8. Erase the chalk and decorate with chalk as desired.

Maggie Carson Romano

Note: This project can also be done with store-bought chalkboard paint.

Photographs and text from The Rustic Wedding Handbook have been used with permission by Gibbs Smith.

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