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Make Your Own Cheery, Chalkboard Wine Glass Rack

There’s nothing more rewarding than giving new life to something that’s been discarded. And after all, tis the season to give! I’m going to show you how to take a worn out old window and turn it into something that will warm your house and spread cheer throughout the holiday season and year-round. Let’s get started!


  • old window
  • 1” x 8“ x 8’ of lumber of your choice
  • magnetic chalkboard primer
  • chalkboard paint (or matte black paint for a cost-effective alternative)
  • foam roller
  • wood glue
  • 2 1/2” wood screws
  • glazier points or finishing nails
  • wood stain (I used Minwax - Provincial)
  • semi-gloss polyurethane (I used Minwax water-based oil modified)
  • 150 and 220 sanding discs
  • synthetic bristle paintbrush
  • 1/4” 48” x 48” MDF panel

Tools Required:

  • miter saw
  • table saw
  • jig saw
  • orbital sander
  • drill
  • impact driver
  • 3/4“ forstner bit
  • needle-nose pliers
  • 2” putty knife
  • utility knife
  • tape measure
  • speed square
  • 12“ wood clamps
  • hammer or mallet
  • flat head screwdriver
  • pencil

Tip: If you don’t have an antique window hanging around, visit your local ReStore or an antique dealer – and keep your eyes open at the side of the road.

Tip: Before you start, check old windows for rot or mould (and don’t use them.) Ideally, look for windows that were stored indoors.


1.Scrape away the old glazing putty on the outside face of the window to remove the glass. The putty is likely old and very hard, so be careful not to shatter the glass.

2.Once the putty is gone, remove the glazier points (small sharp triangular pieces of metal holding the glass in place.) Use a pair of needle-nose pliers, being very careful not to press against the glass. They should remove easily with little force required. If you don’t see glazier points, look for thin finishing nails. Again just pull them out with pliers.

3.Once the glazier points or finishing nails are gone, put on safety gloves and carefully push the glass up and out of the frame. Set it aside for templating your chalkboards later.

4.Time for sanding! Use a 150 grit sanding disc to buff out the rough spots and loose paint. Don’t remove too much, though. You’ll want to retain some of the original character of the window.


1.Take your 1/4” MDF panel and give it a coat or two of primer. Use magnetic primer if you want to stick magnets to the board, otherwise, use any primer that’s suitable for wood or wood substrates.

2.Apply one or two coats of chalkboard paint to the MDF- read the can for best application instructions.

TIP: You can also use black spray paint. It will do a similar job and costs a fraction of the price.


1.Measure the width of the window so you’ll know how wide to cut your boards. (I used 1” x 8” rough knotty white pine.)

2.Cut your 1” x 8” into three equal pieces – each one exactly the width of your window.

3.Cut one of those three equal pieces to be narrower than 8” – I made mine 4.5” This narrower piece will be the back of your rack, separating the top bar shelf and the lower glass rack.

4.Take one of the 8” boards and use two wine glasses to figure out how many rows of glasses you can fit on your rack. Be sure to leave enough space between the rows so the glasses don’t clink together. Use a 3/4” piece of wood as a ruler/template to mark the rows where the glasses will hang.

5.Once you measure how far back the glass will go in each row, mark the spots and drill a 3/4” hole through each one. Then, use a jigsaw to cut a clean track along your marked lines – creating your rows for the glasses to hang.


1.Set the upper bar and lower rack pieces in place on top of the narrower 4.5” divider.

2.Use wood glue and clamps to hold the rack together. Follow up with 2.5” wood screws to make sure this will never fall apart.

3.When the glue has set, apply a stain (I used a dark provincial colour) to all the surfaces, followed by three coats of semi-gloss polyurethane. Lightly sand between coats with a 320 grit sandpaper. The glossier the finish the harder the surface will be.

4.When the stain is dry, you can attach the rack to the window frame. Pre-drill four or more holes in the window frame through the groove where the glass was. This will keep the screws from being visible and will also go through the strongest part of the rack. Use 2.5” screws to hold it all together.


1.Using a glass pane from the window as a template, trace out as many chalkboard pieces as needed on your MDF.

2.Use a jigsaw to cut out your new chalkboard panes.

3.Install the chalkboards, using new glazier points beside the location of the old ones. I used a rubber mallet and flat head screwdriver to put mine in place.

You should now be looking at a beautiful wine glass rack, fully complete with bar ledge and message board to boot! Have fun decorating and writing holiday messages for your guests to read.