We Lived Happily Ever After: DIY Chalkboard

Thursday, October 9, 2014

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 1x4" boards cut at 27" 
Two 1x4" boards cut at 45" 

The plywood backboard is 4x2'

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!


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

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

      The plywood backboard is 4x2'

      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

  2. 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.

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