How to Make a DIY Chalkboard: Wall Ideas
Make you own DIY chalkboard for cheap, plus different ways to style and use them
Just when I think I am almost done with this vintage bunkbed/playroom renovation I come up with another project…
In all fairness you can’t have a vintage inspired kids room without a cool green chalkboard, am I right!
Chalkboards are great for multiple purposes and honestly I would rather clean chalk off of the wall than marker.
I had my heart set on a large green chalkboard for this space but after shopping online I found out how expensive they are.
So I decided to DIY my own version for much much cheaper!
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How to Make a Chalkboard
DIY Chalkboard Supplies:
- 1/4 4’x4′ Piece of Plywood (or larger if you want an extra large chalkboard)
- Chalkboard Paint (this one can be mixed in any color)
- 1×2 Pine Boards
Let me start by saying that originally I set out to make a large vintage green chalkboard and did completely assemble it…
But then I brought it up to the space and decided a gallery wall of smaller chalkboards would be better.
Mainly because hanging the large chalkboard was going to be tricky with the beadboard ledge that goes around the room.
I also liked the idea of being able to pull the smaller chalkboards off the wall for the kids to take and use wherever they wanted.
This tutorial can be used to make any size chalkboard you want though.
Cutting The Boards Down to Size
If you are wanting a large chalkboard no cutting is necessary, but if you want a bunch of smaller chalkboards I suggest using a circular saw or table saw.
Once you have the chalkboard piece cut to the right size measure and cut the 1×2 frame pieces.
The frame pieces in this method will be sitting on top of the chalkboard not around the outside.
This method is easier for attaching the frame to the chalkboard because you won’t need bracing along the back.
You can cut the frame using miter cuts or straight cuts and just have butt joints.
The simpler method is the butt joints which is what I ended up doing in the end.
Do a dry fit test to make sure everything fits like you want it to, then sand them with 220 grit sandpaper.
Painting A Chalkboard
Now that all the pieces are cut, paint the chalkboard piece.
There are a lot of chalkboard paints out there but it is kind of hard to find the vintage green color I was wanting.
I ended up going to Lowes and having them tint a quart of Krylon Chalky Finish paint in Courtyard green.
This color is the perfect vintage green chalkboard hue.
Apply the chalkboard paint onto the plywood using a foam roller, I did two coats total.
(this is how they looked after I took the large chalkboard apart and cut the pieces down)
While the chalkboard is drying, paint or stain the frame pieces.
I went with a Hickory gel stain color to match the scalloped shelves we made for this space.
Assembling the DIY Chalkboard and Frame
Once everything is dry you can start assembling the frame to the chalkboard.
Apply adhesive to the bottom of the frame pieces and secure them onto the chalkboard using clamps.
After the frame was attached and clamped I used finishing nails to make sure everything was extra secure.
Tip: While you are attaching the frame it’s helpful to use a square in the corners to make sure all the pieces are square
Once all the chalkboard pieces were attached I took the Hickory gel stain and applied it around the edge of the chalkboard so that it all looked like one solid piece.
How to Hang a DIY Chalkboard
Now that the building portion of this chalkboard project is done, we can move onto the hanging portion.
If you are working with an extra large chalkboard I recommend using fasteners like these.
For small to medium chalkboards these fasteners work great and are self leveling.
Simply nail them into the back of the chalkboard at the top (so that the nail goes into the frame too).
Now it is time to actually hang the chalkboards on the wall.
Hanging a gallery wall can be a little intimidating but I have a whole bunch of tips and tricks to make it easy here!
If you are also doing a gallery wall my biggest tip is to lay out all of the chalkboards on the floor in front of the wall and figure out a layout you like best.
Then start by hanging the center chalkboard and work your way out from there.
These are the screws I used to attach the chalkboards to the wall where there wasn’t a stud.
If there is a stud you can use a less heavy duty screw.
DIY Chalkboard Wall
How cool does this chalkboard wall look, it is the perfect mix of vintage and eclectic.
I also like the idea of adding more antique chalkboards to the wall as I find them.
This chalkboard gallery wall is really cool looking but also functional because you can easily remove any of the chalkboards for use.
Now I just need to find a cute antique chalk holder and this chalkboard wall will be complete!
With this project all wrapped up the only thing left to do in this room is to find a toy storage shelving unit I like.
I have been scouring Facebook Marketplace with no luck so far, I may have to dress up a regular cube storage unit like I did in our living room…
Let me know what you think of this DIY chalkboard wall and if you prefer a large chalkboard or if you like the smaller ones better.
Catch up with the complete bunkbed/renovation here!
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