Posted by Alicia Sell
One of the most practical projects that we did for my mom’s home office renovation was a custom chalkboard. It was her only design specification, and she asked that it be REALLY BIG so that she could keep track of her real estate business to-do list.
We shopped around but had a hard time finding one that was the right size and in the right price range. So we decided to make one. It was really easy and has a big impact on the space. One of the things I like so much about the chalkboard is that it is both functional and pretty, which is a win-win! Also, I am happy to report that it gets regular use and is one of Sarah’s favorite parts of the office. Here are a few pictures to remind you what the chalkboard looks like:
Chalkboard Paint Tips
Before I go into the chalkboard DIY instructions, I wanted to answer a couple of questions I have been asked about chalkboard paint.
First, I get asked if there is a brand that is best. There are a lot of options available and although I have only ever used two brands, I think they are all fairly similar in quality. The paint we used for this project (Valspar) cleans up really well with just being wiped down with a chalkboard eraser or a damp paper towel (just don’t get it soaking wet).
The second question I have been asked is if chalk paint is the same thing as chalkboard paint. This is a good question because they are not quite the same thing. There is a nice explanation about the difference between the two paint types on DIY Mommy’s blog (she even has some homemade recipes for making your own chalk paint and chalkboard paint!). The good news is both paints are very versatile and can be used on so many different material types, including drywall, wood, metal and ceramics. Here are a few cute ideas I found online specific to chalkboard paint to get your creative juices flowing.
DIY Chalkboard Instructions
Start by measuring out your plywood to the size that you would like the chalkboard to be. (Our chalkboard was 2×3 feet.) Lightly sand the plywood to remove any loose splinters. Wipe down with a slightly damp cloth to remove any loose dust.
Using a paint roller, apply an even coat of the chalk paint to the sheet of plywood. You can also use a paint brush for application, but the roller was fast and efficient for our project. We applied three coats of paint to the plywood. Make sure that you allow the paint to dry completely between coats.
While the paint is drying, measure out how large the wood frame needs to be. Cut the 1×4 and 1×2 pieces of wood to size. You will have four pieces of 1×4 and four pieces of 1×2 to make your frame.
Using a miter saw, cut a 45 degree angle at the top and bottom of each piece of 1×4 and 1×2. Use a nail gun to secure the 1×4 pieces together. Once they are secured and form the rectangular frame, use the nail gun to secure the 1×2 pieces to the outside of the 1×4 frame.
You can paint the frame or stain it to give the chalk board a look that best fits your home. We painted the frame white for the home office renovation project.
Once the frame is done drying, secure the plywood to the back of the frame. Now you are ready to hang the chalkboard up! The chalkboard can get heavy, and since it is functional it is really important to have a heavy duty picture hanging kit. We swear by the Hillman Group Hangman Picture Hanging System. It is very sturdy and is so easy to install. The best part? They have a leveler built into the hanging system so you hang it up right the first time.
That’s it! The entire project can easily be done in a weekend. Do you have any homemade chalkboard projects in your own house? We would love to see your creative ideas so feel free to share them with us via email at buttonjar3.com, Facebook or Instagram.
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This post was shared on the Made By You Monday link party on Skip to My Lou and on Two Cup Tuesday on Pint Sized Baker, on Link Party Palooza on I Heart Naptime, on the Creative Collection Link Party on Craft-o-Maniac, on Making Merry Monday on My Pinventures, on That DIY Party on DIY Showoff, on Inspiration Monday on I Should Be Mopping The Floor, and on Dishing It and Digging It Link Party on Life with Linda.