I had a request to build a growth board for my grandson, from my son.
I went on the Internet and found 2 different stories and designs of growth charts for children.
The 1st story used a piece of plain pine, 1x10, that was 72 inches long. She stained it with light oak stain, applied the lines with a thin paint brush and black acrylic paint, then put a coat of polyurethane on top.
The 2nd story also used a piece of plain pine, 1x10, that was 72 inches long. She painted hers black with black chalk board paint. She used a white paint pen to put on the lines, then used a small brush and white acrylic paint to paint the numbers traced onto the board.
I do not like the look of stained pine. Although the board is cheap, the resulting stained look I do not care for. So, I went with a piece of red oak, and applied golden oak stain to it.
We decided to make 1 oak board and 1 black chalkboard, and let my son's family pick which one they like the best.
Red Oak from Menards in Bloomington
Hobby Lobby in Bloomington
The 2 ladies, who's projects I am sort of copying, did not specify if they used narrow or medium tip paint markers. I got the fine point versus the medium point, figuring the fine should work no matter what, where the medium might be too big for the line thickness needed.
I have never used chalkboard paint before, so this should be interesting
Red Oak Stain
About the lightest color stain I have is Golden Oak, so I used that..........
Hand-Lettering the Growth Boards
I marked the lines using a square with a pencil, then traced over the pencil lines with the fine-point paint pen. This worked well.
I printed the numbers on paper, then carbon paper traced them with a pencil. I used a small brush to fill in the letters with black acrylic paint. I put one coat of satin polyurethane over the completed front, and it really made the black lines and numbers "pop" out.
Completed Oak Growth Board
Either of the 2 designs looks very nice.
You can't use carbon paper to transfer the outline of the numbers on the chalkboard (black from the carbon paper is not legible on the black chalkboard paint). You press hard with a pencil, or the end of an awl, and mark the wood enough to see to hand paint it.
To mark heights on either design of board, it is probably best to use a paint pen for a permanent mark. You could use chalk on the chalkboard as long as nobody accidentally erases it.
May 2018 Update
My son was supposed to pick 1 of the 2 boards above, and give me the other one back. He ended up keeping both of them!!!!!!