Happy Trash to Treasure Day! My friends and I are back again with lots of new inspiration for your makeover projects. You can find theirs at the end of this post. I found this beauty below while thrifting and was instantly attracted to it. Today I’ll show you how to update a DIY wooden perpetual calendar like this.
Seeing this calendar reminded me of my mom’s old wooden wall calendar, and how I’d look forward to changing out the days every month. And then when my boys were little, they enjoyed changing them out too. Paper wall calendars can be useful, but this one brings me nostalgia (plus it saves money and creates less waste). Also – it was only $6.99 at Goodwill, and I could tell it was well made.
The back is stamped “Allegheny Harvest – Stan & Sue Jennings.” A quick search brought me to Allegheny Treenware, which is the company that the Jennings have owned since about 1990. Their focus is now on making wooden spoons and kitchenware from West Virginia hardwoods. Somehow this handmade DIY wooden calendar had made it to northwest Indiana.
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Although the quality was good, the style was certainly outdated. Time for a refresh! Since I’ve been keeping a lot of my projects lately for our new home, I wanted to update it in a modern-vintage style that could work with the rest of our decor.
I started by removing all the wood pieces and sanding the paint away on the main board. I used 220-grit sandpaper but had to use a lot of force to smooth out the paint and get it ready for something new.
Some of the painted pieces were strange, like the two below. My kids couldn’t even figure out what the pictures were. I think New Year’s Eve and a dentist appointment? I sanded those away and ending up redoing the NYE tile below.
I opted for an easy update for the New Year’s Eve tile. First I traced a nickel with a pencil, then went over it with a Sharpie, and then drew arrows facing upward like it’s 12 midnight. (My kids don’t like this option either, ha.)
Then I painted the main part of the calendar with Rustoleum Chalked Paint in Charcoal using a Purdy paint brush. It’s a very dark gray, not quite black. Very similar to Graphite Chalk Paint by Annie Sloan.
I painted two coats, not trying to get it perfect since I plan to distress it later. I didn’t paint over any of the words or numbers because I had zero intention of redoing all of those, no thank you. Plus all the letters and numbers appeared to be burned or stamped on, and the font still worked with the plan I had in mind.
Not shown: Sanding the calendar with 320-grit sandpaper to smooth most of the paint and distress the edges, and then wiping it to clear away all the sanding dust.
Tip: When you sand over dark paint, you’ll end up with lighter areas called ghosting. It always happens, but there’s something you can do to help. Use a dark colored furniture wax (I used Annie Sloan’s dark wax) and wipe it on with a lint-free cloth. That brings back the darker color which you can see in the top half of the photo below.
I also wiped the dark wax over all the wood tiles to give them a darker color. The tiles didn’t have a stain or topcoat originally, and the wax acts as a stain without all the runny mess. (You can see how I stained a whole table with Annie Sloan’s black wax here.) That took forever and then I let everything dry (and my arms rest) overnight.
I couldn’t settle on an image or decoration for the top area of the calendar, so that’s where the clip idea came from. I found a bunch of quotes online – some about months or seasons – and printed them out. Then I cut them quickly with my handy paper cutter.
The quotes are all clipped at the top and can be switched by month or whenever we feel like. Little photographs or kids’ mini drawings would look great there too!
And here’s the final look for this updated DIY wooden perpetual wall calendar:
It still looks vintage, but definitely more current and stylish now.
You can see all the distressing which gives it more charm and an aged look.
I’m very pleased with how this wooden calendar makeover turned out, and just in time – I haven’t bought a paper wall calendar for this year yet.
I’d love to know what you think too! Feel free to leave a comment below. Did you have a calendar like this when you were younger? Have you ever updated an old wooden wall calendar before?
Here’s a reminder of the Before and After. Feel free to pin this project or share it with a friend who might enjoy it.
Now it’s time again for Trash to Treasure makeovers from my friends. Let’s see what new projects they’ve come up with!
Below are the Before photos – click the links underneath to see the creative Afters and to learn how they did it: