DIY Chalkboard

Today I thought I would take a break from June’s Room, and show how I made this adorable chalkboard! June loves to draw, just like mommy, so having a chalkboard helps minimize how many spontaneous pieces of “art” are found on the doors and stair spindles. I love that scene in “Mom’s Night Out” where she puts an empty frame over her daughters masterpiece on the wall… but that doesn’t work for a rental. Haha!

Honestly, though, I also did this for myself to play with. I am a sucker for chalkboards and DIY chalkboard paint recipes were calling my name!

The supplies you will need to build the frame are:

Two 1×4″ boards cut at 27″

Two 1×4″ boards cut at 45″

The plywood backboard is 4×2′

2 Tbsp. Unsanded Grout and

1 Cup Acrylic Paint

Make sure the plywood you choose for the back is smooth. This one was like $8 at Lowes. Overall, this project cost under $25-ish to make, which isn’t bad when you consider what a large statement chalkboard you are making.

To make the paint, mix 2 Tbsp. Unsanded Grout and 1 Cup Acrylic Paint in the color of your choice. I bought a bag of white unsanded grout so that I could use it with colors other than black.

A few tips, stir really well so that you don’t get lumpy paint. It will thicken up quite a bit, so you need to use it fast. I did 2-3 coats on my board to give it a really good coverage in case I ever needed to scrub crayons off of it or something. 🙂

Let it dry completely in-between coats.

Next you will need some metal braces to attach your boards for the frame.

As far as the actual boards: You want to make sure that when you cut them they will overlap your plywood board a good 2-3 inches or so. Also, I pre-stained my boards. See my method HERE.

I used brace one per corner.

After all four corners are connected, it’s time to attach our dry chalkboard plywood onto the frame. We just screwed it directly onto the 4 frame boards.

Next you will need to “prime” your board with chalk. Rub it all over the board. This not only gives you a pretty slate look, but it ensures that you will be able to erase all feature chalk with ease. You can wipe it off with a wet cloth afterwards; just make sure to leave a little bit of chalk dust.

Ta- Da! You just built a fancy chalkboard all by yourself!

We’ve been daily using this one for over 3 months and it still looks perfect. I mainly try to “dry” erase it, but do occasionally wash it down with a damp cloth.

June loves it. She even kisses the drawings she makes on it… yeah, she’s a weirdo. Haha!

I was afraid that the acrylic paint might not adhere as well to scrubbing, but as long as you don’t soak it and scrub with a bristle brush or something, it holds up great!

So there you have it. Have you made anything using chalkboard paint?

Have a lovely day!

thank you for stopping by!

  1. Emily

    October 12th, 2014 at 3:15 am

    Can I ask what stain you used on the four pieces of board and and do you know their dimensions? Thanks!

  2. Hannah @ We Lived Happily Ever After

    October 14th, 2014 at 7:29 pm

    The top horizontal boards are 1x4x27" and the long vertical boards are 1x4x45"

    The plywood backboard is 4×2'

    The wood stain is dark walnut, but I used this special staining technique: http://www.welivedhappilyeverafter.com/2014/07/how-to-distress-new-wood-to-look-old.html

    Hope that helps! XO

  3. coastalgal

    November 27th, 2014 at 6:36 pm

    For safety using Pre-Sanded Grout- if sanding down a piece that has been painted with chalk paint using the grout powder- Be sure to wear protective mask as the residue is very toxic to the respiratory system. I did not realize this until I saw it noted on another blog- It does state it on the package- but ashamedly, how often do we not read them. Of course the warning is directed to major sanding with lots of dust in grout work- but still a good thing to be aware of even in crafting sanding projects- like large pieces.

  4. Hannah @ We Lived Happily Ever After

    November 30th, 2014 at 11:56 pm

    Very true! I held my breath when making this paint, even though I was wearing a mask! lol! Better safe than sorry! XO

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