Ruler Growth Chart Project

by Rudy Rodriguez

While perusing the web a few weeks ago I stumbled across this super cute ruler growth chart.  This particular chart came as an unfinished wood piece, which provided me the opportunity to stain or paint it to match my son’s room decor.  I decided on a classic ruler look that would coordinate nicely with the woodland creature theme we have in our nursery.

To complete this project you will need the following materials:


I purchased mine at, but if you happen to be super crafty, you could fabricate one out of a single wood plank. I selected the 5ft tall model, though I’d suggest the 6ft version if you have a tall family.


I started with a lighter semi transparent stain which, upon completion, was far lighter than I expected. I switched to a deeper redwood tone (Behr Premium Semi-Transparent Waterproofing Wood Stain in Redwood ST-330) to give it more of an antiqued appearance. You’ll notice the color change in the pictures.


I chose a black (Carbon N520-7) in a semi-gloss finish for the numerals to achieve my classic look. I have seen many a different styles so it’s really up to your preference.


I used a medium grit.


You will need a larger brush to apply the stain and a smaller detail brush to paint in the numbers and lines.


To wipe away excess stain.

You'll need all this stuff

Step 1: Sand your board

Be sure to sand the numerals and inch lines well.  This will make life easier for you when you paint. I learned this the hard way.


Step 2: Stain your board

It’s advisable to view your stain color on a test board first.  Verifying that your stain is an acceptable color will save you from having to restart your project.



Step 3: Wipe excess stain off with your rag

Work 1 foot at a time. Allow the stain to dry when you’ve completed the length of the ruler. Read the stain label for advised dry time. I left mine overnight.


Step 4: Paint your numerals and lines

I ran into trouble brushing the paint because I did not sand down the splinters around the numeral recesses. Paint started flicking onto areas of the stained board. I found that laying the board down and saturating the recess like a little reservoir worked best. Allow the paint to dry when finished.



Step 5: Display in room


Wall: Toasty Gray N330-2 Trim: Ultra Pure White

 Wall: Toasty Gray N330-2 Trim: Ultra Pure White


Colorfully yours,

-Rudy Rodriguez

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