Ready for putting on the back. Actually, since I took this photo I have already done. I simply attached a piece of 1/4 in Luan plywood very securely to the back. My wife asked me to build this for her third grade classroom. It will be painted and festooned with stickers and decals that suit third graders. I could not bring myself to do the tongue and groove back,knowing how it would be used. No electrons were consumed by this work. Fun project and timely. My wife asked for it last week.