DIY Painted Bulletin Board (AKA the greatest DIY Project You’ll Find on the Web Today!)

Cathy ZielskeCZ Life89 Comments | DIY Painted Bulletin Board | DIY Painted Bulletin Board
I’m going to be honest: this is not the greatest DIY project you will find on the internet in 2015. But it’s mine and I lived to tell the tale. Shall we begin?

First things first: ALWAYS take a before photo of the space in which you will place your DIY project. I did not do that, so instead here is a photo of me from several years ago on the treadmill in my basement.


Next: Gather your supplies. | DIY Painted Bulletin Board
After doing some exceptionally hasty internet research on painted bulletin boards, I ascertained that interior latex paint was the way to go. After I described my project to the young man at the paint store, he suggested this tiny little roller and tray. It’ll be perfect! I thought, paid my $26 and returned home to begin my project.

Two problems: 1) I didn’t realize that little blue roller was supposed to push all the way in and so when I started dipping the roller into the tray, it didn’t fit. I remember thinking, “Whaaaaa?” and 2) Having a little dinky paint roller to paint a 4′ x 3′ board is totally stupid.

Next: get a bulletin board. (Great! This was actually the first step. Well guess what? It’s too late to start this post over so I’m sorry but we’re all just gonna have to deal with it.) | DIY Painted Bulletin Board
(NOTE: Have lots of shoes placed strategically around your work area. You never know when you’ll need your beige flats in an emergency.)

Next: set up the single most awkward working space possible.

(NOTE: Keep a bottle of leftover red wine from your New Year’s party in arm’s reach. That, and a basketball.)

Next: after the first coat goes on, sit in an unflattering way and communicate your lack of project savvy by looking alternately disappointed and/or constipated. | DIY Painted Bulletin Board
(NOTE: If your bulletin board has a shiny wood frame, you might want to consider a little surface prep. I did not choose this route and realized it was going to take roughly 7 coats on the frame to get it covered. If  you choose to do as I did, again, see red wine note above.)

After two coats on the cork and multiple coats on the frame, my board looked like this: | DIY Painted Bulletin Board
It took a few days to get it all painted, but it was as I intended it to be: a big-assed white bulletin board.

Next: ask your husband to help you hang it but be intentionally vague on both the time frame and your projected level of involvement because you actually have no real intention on helping him do it. You just want him to do it all because the instructions are written in Man-ese. Then, act pissy and pout when you realize that he has better things to do than drop everything and hang your damned bulletin board.

Next: stop acting pissy and set a time that is convenient for the both of you to hang the board. Note how your change in attitude works wonders.

Next: hang the board in the desired location. | DIY Painted Bulletin Board
(Note: maintain dignity at all times during DIY projects.)

Stand back in the light of day and admire your new bulletin board, taking satisfaction in knowing you added that personal touch you just can’t buy. (That’s not altogether true.) | DIY Painted Bulletin Board
All fun aside, I’ve been wanting to add a big, white bulletin board to my office for some time. It’s really helpful when concepting new projects to throw a bunch of ideas up in one space and see which ones stand out. Also, I have a new job working as the art director for Scrapbook & Cards Today magazine (what? You don’t subscribe? By all means, click here!), and it’s always nice to be able to view multiple pages or cover concepts at once.

So that’s my greatly overhyped DIY project. If there is one thing we can all take away from this today it’s that not everyone who DIYs needs to share it publicly.

Thank you.




Cathy ZielskeDIY Painted Bulletin Board (AKA the greatest DIY Project You’ll Find on the Web Today!)

89 Comments on “DIY Painted Bulletin Board (AKA the greatest DIY Project You’ll Find on the Web Today!)”

  1. #1
    Linda Matthews

    OMGosh! I am chuckling to myself. That’s me doing a project.

    Never hurts to have those spare shoes and basketball in a handy reach to help distract you from the project when things are not going your way.

    By the way, my hubby and I love that brand of red wine, too!!

    Keep us inspired!!

  2. #2
    Jenny B.

    So funny. 🙂 This preggo mama with a head cold who decided to give up on trying to sleep past 4 AM and just start reading her favorite blogs needed a laugh today.

  3. #3

    Thank you, Thank you Cathy! After getting my girl on the bus in the morning I look forward to a cup of coffee and reading a Cathy Z blog post. This had me laughing out loud with tears in my eyes. Great start to the day!

    1. #3.1
      Cathy Zielske

      I actually had tears in my eyes while writing this. I see DIY posts that are all magical and what not. This was not my experience. 😉

  4. #5

    Thank you for that first-of-the-morning humor. At work, laughing out loud as I read this. I agree with Lori above that you get the award for the funniest DIY Post! And CONGRATS on the new job – Art Director – wonderful news! I love that magazine!

  5. #6

    Love it, CZ! If a project requires putting a hole in the sheetrock – I become paralyzed… Not sure if it’s because I don’t want to do it wrong, or if it’s because I am just too lazy – I think hubby thinks its the latter! Cool project – I may try this today, albeit on a smaller scale!

  6. #7
    Beth H.

    Thank you. Thank you for my morning laugh! Great way to start my day. I especially love the bit about vaguely communicating with your husband about putting up the bulletin board etc… So absolutely true. Happened exactly that way in my house over the weekend when i asked hubby to set up the new TV we’d bought.

  7. #8
    Holly Corbett

    Hehehe! this is one of those times when I would have liked to be a fly on the wall and laugh at everybody else struggling with their “today I’m going to make the best ever DIY project! It’s gonna be perfect!” Cause my DIY projects NEVER turn out like the picture on Pinterest!

  8. #9

    Great DIY project – $$
    Great DIY project with Cathy Zielski humor – priceless!
    Thanks for the idea and the laughs this early in the morning!

    I’m heading out for my DailyMile walk challenge. Keep walking, Cathy 🙂

  9. #10

    “Next: ask your husband to help you hang it but be intentionally vague on both the time frame and your projected level of involvement because you actually have no real intention on helping him do it. You just want him to do it all because the instructions are written in Man-ese. Then, act pissy and pout when you realize that he has better things to do than drop everything and hang your damned bulletin board.”

    This is my house and every single DIY project ever. But you’re more evolved than I am. I carry on with the pouting for months…because that’s how long it takes for my husband to realize I actually desperately need to have that thing done NOW.

  10. #13

    You are the Best! Thanks so much for the morning chuckle. I will keep it with me all day and pull it out when needed. I’m feeling like I might need it a lot today!!!!

  11. #15
    Stacy A.

    Thanks for the much needed laugh. I was grumping around all this morning at work, and now I have a smile on my face!

  12. #16

    Oh I love you, I am so not a DIY’er either (in fact when I pick up a tool an alarm goes off in my former HS shop teacher’s room (elective we don’t talk about 20 odd years later) but does that stop me from trying ….NOPE…..thanks for the laugh and kinship 🙂

  13. #17

    Very funny! Most DYI blog posts make it appear that the house is perfect and the project goes off with out a hitch. On the husband thing- I used to do the same thing. One day while using my food processor I had an Aha moment. I realized I could cut my hand off to the wrist with that darling appliance- but it would really take some doing to hurt yourself with a drill. I now have my own drill and tool drawer in my kitchen. Now I really do it myself. Leave the manly things like shoveling snow to my husband.

  14. #19

    Loved this post! Certainly is the greatest DIY project on the web – or at least the most realistic. Very funny too!

  15. #20

    But wait…it didn’t take at least 2 trips to Home Depot/Lowes? Every DIY project in my house involves at LEAST 2 trips. The really good projects can take 3 or 4 trips.

    Rock on CZ! You know how to keep it real!

  16. #21

    Thank you so very much for the LOL this morning! I am dealing with a blocked toilet, sore hands from plunging, WiFi out earlier this morning (bringing on pissy tween expecting me to fix right away, while I’m frying bacon mind you), and cat poop on my bathroom floor. I so needed this! And your bulletin board is lovely. I think I will make something like this for my son’s bare walls. So much classier than the plain kind, and much more economical than that one you linked to!

  17. #22
    Jenny S

    Oh m’gosh. This is one of my favorite posts of all time. Made me laugh out loud at work. Ha!! Good work.

  18. #23

    OMG…that was so funny! Nobody writes blogs posts like you do. And I mean that as a compliment. LOL

  19. #24

    Your humor is amazing! I’m dealing with a similar “husband making time to do what I want him to do”. After having the space for close to 3 years I am FINALLY putting together my craft room/office. It’s coming together, but to be honest my husband is not working fast enough to put together things so I can transition from a 4′ folding table downstairs to a whole room all my own.

    I, like you, have not been specific in my dreams to make this room a reality, so he has not put on his “fast shoes” to do the stuff I need him to do. My Mom (aka “Let’s do a project all the time”) is coming over this weekend and is itching to finish the room. I’m sharing her energy now, so getting the husband in gear is mandatory! Fingers crossed. . .

  20. #25

    You really should have done stand up in the evenings back in the days of CKU! Love that you keep it real.

  21. #27

    You make me giggle. This kind of DIY post is so much more interesting than the typical ones. Thank you!!! Enjoy that big bold board, and congrats on the new job.

  22. #29

    Definitely the best DIY project in 2015! And best documented! Congrats on the new job! I may just have to sign up for the print version now

  23. #31
    Kathleen S

    That’s what I call having his back. Considering the size of your readership, it’s worth more than helping him hang.

  24. #32
    Raegan L

    I always enjoy reading your blog. It’s so nice to see there is someone out there just like me!! And Cathy, we are more a like than not! Thank you for being real/genuine/transparent and for an early afternoon chuckle!

  25. #34

    So true. This is real life! You know that most of the Pinterest lovelies are achieved the same way, right? Don’t compare your first draft to someone else’s finished masterpiece and all that. I just wish more bloggers honest about their shoes everywhere, their awkward work space, waiting for hubby to do something you said wasn’t urgent but really wanted done yesterday… Thanks for the laugh!

  26. #35

    OMG! Cathy you are the best and the funniest! You are so my kind of girl!
    This DIY project is #1 in my book for the most honestly documented one of them all.

    Thank you always for sharing your wicked humor 😉

  27. #37

    Best post ever! Seriously- I always feel like I must be the only person out there who doesn’t do DIY perfectly (I am on Pinterest WAY too much)! Thanks for the great laugh and keeping it real!!

  28. #41

    You could have told me to hike my pants up. I would have done it willingly. Or maybe it was all part of your master plan. Beautiful post, beautiful bulletin board.

  29. #48
    Cindy E.

    Ha! Thanks for this post!! After being married for 27+ years, you’d think my hubby and I would communicate better. We have the same “time”/priority dynamics. And I agree with other commenters who mentioned their DIY projects requiring minimally 2 trips to the hardware store … at least 2. Your bulletin board turned out beautifully. I’m sure the wine helped (maybe even the shoes and basketball, too). Congratulations on your new endeavor … looks like a great publication.

  30. #49

    I am with Dan – I think it probably was part of your master plan as soon as you saw the crack! (at least I know it would have been part of mine!) ROFL – you have made me laugh out loud as always! You are part of my new health plan for 2015 – the more you laugh the more toxins they say are released from your body – so thanks for keeping me toxin free in 2015!!!!

  31. #53

    Thank you! I needed that laugh. It’s funny because it’s TRUE for every. single. home. project. You are simply wonderful, CZ!

  32. #54

    I’ve somehow missed reading your blog for way too long. I’m back. You’re still hilarious. And clever. And adorable. And real. Thank you. The end.

  33. #55

    Seriously….my favorite —————“Note how your change in attitude works wonders.”

    love it

  34. #56
    Lee L

    Please never ever ever ever stop doing your blog, and you have full supprt if you ever decide to become a DIY blog because this is the single best project description I have ever read. 😀

  35. #57

    First things first – is that s You g Living Diffuser in your office!??!

    Secondly – you know I love you already…but this post in all its imperfect perfection makes me swoon 🙂 you make blogging – and those countless hours getting the perfect pinnable image – look SO easy 😉 and perhaps a little pointless…on the image part…

  36. #58

    seriously the best DIY post EVAH!!!! I did not know you could paint cork. Sad we didn’t get a better shot at Dan’s ass. Congrats on the new job. Keep up the great work!!!

  37. #59

    This is why I adore you.
    Thanks for keeping it real (especially with the shoes and basketball).

  38. #61
    Jill B

    What you buried the lead. … Congrats on the Art Director position. You are such fun to read each day. Great DIY, keep them coming.

  39. #63

    Pahahaha! No seriously…pahahaha!! I woke up in the “pissiest” of moods this morning – just now reading this..totally changed my outlook for the day! I have two plain corkboards – grabbing some white paint (and red wine) today. Thanks for the laughter and inspiration. Congrats again on thr new job!

  40. #66
    Abby P

    All the prep and work was worth it — your board is awesome!
    On another note, I see your much-beloved HP Photosmart printer sittin’ pretty there. I’ve had the same one for, like, 10 years — just now started getting hinky with the gray ink where it doesn’t want to use it correctly. Have you experienced this yet? I think it may be time to upgrade – if you’ve been tossin’ that idea around too, I’d love to know what you think would be comparable, if you have an opinion. I freaked recently when I discovered the 102 gray ink was being discontinued (did find it on Amazon tho), so I bought about $600 worth of ink…damn.

    1. #66.1
      Cathy Zielske

      Abby! Yes, the ink is being discontinued. What the hell is up with that? I found ONE cartridge. One. On Amazon, too. I don’t know what I’m going to do. Part of me really doesn’t need an oversized printer. I don’t do 12 x 12 except for special assignments, so maybe I don’t need a big one. But I don’t want to buy one either. So there’s that. Back in the good old days of magazine work, we got printers for free. That was the case with my Photosmart. Times have changed. 😉

      1. #66.1.1
        Abby P

        I discovered that Amazon also has the 100 gray ink, which is the same as 102, but prints fewer photos – it’s a smaller cartridge. I didn’t want to buy another printer either – even though my 8750 doesn’t print 4×6’s anymore (like yours), I still love the quality. I DID find a website that sells refurbished 8750’s for $250, AND they guarantee them. I’ll dig up the site and pass it along to you. In the meantime, you might want to stock up on the 100 gray smaller size to hold you over until you make a decision!

          1. #…
            Abby P

            Wait-up there — now Amazon says it won’t work with our printer. Before it said it would. Let me look into it before you invest.

  41. #68
    Jeanna Cata

    This is by far the best, funniest, and most realistic DIY step-by-step post I have ever read. I will have to share it with the world.

    And Grats on the Art Director position (I’m a bit behind). 🙂


  42. #69
    Libby Gordon

    Please oh please, post more DIY projects. I just choked on my coffee from laughing. Totally with you on the “red wine within arm’s reach.” Because it is always five o’clock somewhere . Thank you fur the great laugh thus morning.

  43. #70
    Libby Gordon

    Please oh please, post more DIY projects. I just choked on my coffee from laughing. Totally with you on the “red wine within arm’s reach.” Because it is always five o’clock somewhere . Thank you for the great laugh this morning.

  44. #71
    Kelly Koesters

    Awesome!! I am terrible at DIY projects so I can relate!! But it looks great and who in the world would pay 200 bucks for a bulletin board?? Keep up the good work hee hee!


    Pickerington, Ohio

  45. #73
    Abby P

    Okay – YES, the HP 100 Gray Photo ink cartridge WILL work in the 8750 Photosmart. It will be in stock 1/31/15, but says you can order now. Yield is 80 4×6’s – it’s has a 15ml ink volume and it’s $17.95. Here’s the Amazon link:

    You’ll notice a little box in the middle that states it will work for the HP 8750 Photosmart Large Format Printer. YAY!
    HP 100 (C9368AN) Gray Photo Original Ink Cartridge
    by HP
    List Price: $33.82
    Price: $17.95 & FREE Shipping on orders over $35. Details
    You Save: $15.87 (47%)

    In stock on January 31, 2015.
    Order it now.

    Sold by detailsurfer and Fulfilled by Amazon.

  46. #74

    I somehow missed this, so I’m glad you linked to it in today’s post. This was a great read. I’m still chuckling. Thanks!

  47. #75
    Sara Kiiru

    Haven’t had much time to read blogs lately so I’m catching up tonight, hence the much-belated comment. Have to tell you that I was laughing SO HARD while I read this…oh, it was awesome!! And my whole household is sleeping so I had to choke back the guffaws, which added to the hilarity. Thank you for injecting your sense of humor into things and not settling for trying to be like everyone else!

    1. #75.1
      Cathy Zielske

      🙂 Hey Sara, I’m glad I still have people coming to read this post! I was laughing when I wrote it. I’m so not a DIY girl.

  48. #77

    Haha! I was just curious what kind of paint works best to paint a bulletin board so I did a google search and found your blog. Hilarious post! I’m sure my solid black board will be as awesome as your white one.

  49. #78

    Had to comment just so you know your humor is still making strangers on the internet laugh alone in their office….. This is all the research I need, off to Lowe’s I go.

  50. #79
    Ashley Logsdon

    Literally done reading how-tos on bulletin painting projects now. Your post was so funny that even if your suggestions suck, I won’t be mad about it?

    1. #79.1
      Cathy Zielske

      You know what? I hadn’t read this in YEARS, but that damned board is still gloriously hanging in my office. I forgot I used to be funnier on my blog. Thanks for reminding me. The pissy attitude part? Therapy has helped that shit FO SHO!

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