After drilling, gluing, and screwing each side, we added the center brace to increase stability. We simply pre-drilled and screwed in the outside, using just glue to hold the inside joints together.
While allowing the glue to set for two to three hours, we covered the backboard with felt, alternately stapling it down in the back and stretching it over the board.
Once the glue was set, we applied filler putty to mask the countersink holes over the screws. Then we applied three thick coats of sanding sealer — each an hour apart to allow for proper drying — which helped to fill the small grain-gaps and scratches in our inexpensive pine boards and trim.
Since our boards were rather straight — and we’re planning on using satin paint — we were able to jump right to some 240 grit sandpaper. A few hours of sanding left us with a nice, smooth surface to accept paint. Applying the rattle-can satin black was easy. (Remember that there’s no need to paint the center brace as no one — but you — will ever see it.)
After applying another coat of paint and leaving it overnight to dry, we carried the finished frame, backboard, and trim inside for installation. We used fourteen small screws and seven metal brackets to attach the backboard to the bracing (as pictured).
We then used a hot glue gun to install the trim over the edges of the backboard, hiding the slight gaps and any rough edges. We chose hot-glue because it’s strong enough to stand up to a dart hit or ten, but weak enough to allow us to pull off the trim later to remove and re-felt the backboard. We clamped the trim down to allow it to dry straight.
Finally, we used two metal brackets to mount the framed backboard firmly to the wall.
Read on to page 3 to see the finished product.