Essence of DIY: Chevron Corkboard Makeover (under $15!)

While I’ve updated certain elements of my childhood bedroom over the years (a fresh coat of paint, new bed linens, new furniture…etc.) one thing that remained intact was the cork board full of photos from my 16th birthday, which was–to put it mildly–many years ago.

While I’ve maintained the idea that I know what most everyone I went to high school with is up to these days thanks to Facebook, I wouldn’t say that I’m still “real life” friends with many of them. We track each other’s accomplishments, see who’s dating who and who lives where, but when everyone comes home for Thanksgiving or Christmas, we don’t make plans to see each other. This is totally OK, it’s just that I have new friends that I do spend time with who deserve space on that board instead, and those old memories deserve a home in a photo album or scrapbook.

The board was terribly plain with no photos on it, and honestly, looked like it belonged in an elementary school classroom, just waiting for a teacher to spruce it up. I looked for a new board, but I couldn’t find one that met my needs (color, size, pattern, price point, etc.) I decided to take matters into my own hands. 

Quartet Cork Board with Oak finish $32.99 at Target

      Quartet Cork Board with Oak finish at Target


Here’s the final product: I DIYed my corkboard for under $15, instead of buying a new one!

My old board, which I forgot to take a picture of, was exactly like this one from Target, except I think my mom got it for me in 1999. Seriously. If you need a plain board to DIY, it’ll cost you (cork boards are really expensive) but this one will do the trick! If you don’t want to spend that much, try thrifting one at a tag sale or on Craigslist around December when the college kids start cleaning out their dorm rooms!


My room has a “beach” theme going on right now–blue with coral accents and flashes of gold and brushed nickel for a little extra glam.

I decided that I wanted the frame to be coral, and I wanted a gold chevron pattern on the cork itself, with some of the cork exposed. I additionally had a slew of ugly, neon-colored thumb tacks, and I decided I wanted to glam those up too.


Here’s what I used:


Rust-Oleum Painter’s Touch 2x 12 oz. Gloss in Coral General

Rust-Oleum Univeral 11 oz. All-Surgace Metallic Touch Paint and Primer in One in Champagne Mist

ScotchBlue 0.94 in. x 60 yds. Delicate Surface Painter’s Tape with Edge-Lock


Let’s make it!

  1. Cover your work surface thoroughly (I used an old vinyl tablecloth in my backyard) and if you’re outside, stay away from your house or cars. If you’re inside, be sure your work area is properly ventilated.
  2. Start by covering the cork itself. You can use craft paper, newspaper, or cover the whole board with tape if you prefer. I used some craft paper I had, with some of the uglytacks I found. 
  3. My cork board was old, so some dust had collected on the wood frame. Carefully wash with soap and water and let the frame dry.
  4. When you’re ready, shake your spray paint vigorously, and apply a thin, but even coat to the frame. (I used the coral.) Allow the coat to dry for at least 30 minutes.
  5. Apply a second coat of paint. If you feel it covers enough, let the paint cure overnight. I decided to use a third coat on my frame, so I repeated step 4. Either way, let the paint cure at least overnight. If you can wait a few days–even better.
  6. Once the frame is dry, you can begin applying your chevron pattern with the painter’s tape. I used the .94″ size tape, but if you prefer a wider stripe, purchase a wider painter’s tape. Using this tape gave me a thin cork stripe and more gold, which was what I wanted. I used a pair of scissors to cut the tape so I’d have sharp, precise edges, but I eyeballed the pattern itself.
  7. Next, be sure to cover your freshly-painted frame generously with painter’s tape. You don’t want to have to go back and repaint the frame. Again, make sure to let the frame cure over night, otherwise the painter’s tape will likely peel off all the hard work you just did!
  8. Apply 2-3 thin coats of your pattern color, letting them dry for at least 30 minutes between coats. Three coats of the champagne mist did the trick for me.
  9. Let the cork cure overnight.
  10. The next day, remove all of your painter’s tape and reveal your amazing new design!
  11. (Optional) for a more worn-in/weathered look, take some fine grit sandpaper to the frame sporadically.
  12. Voile! Hang your new cork board and enjoy.


If you want to spray paint your tacks like I did, the easiest way to do this, is to stand them up in a piece of cardboard or foam. I used a piece of the box from Izzie’s canned food, but in hindsight, foam probably would’ve been better, because they kept tipping over. Either way, standing them up is the best way to cover the tacks easily.

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What are your favorite DIY projects you’ve completed with spray paint?!





Disclosure: I was not compensated by Home Depot, Rustoleum, 3M/Scotch or Target for this post and I purchased all of these products out of pocket. None of the links contained in this post are affiliate links.

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