How to Make a Giant Chalkboard

Who doesn’t love chalkboards? I have created several different ones in the past, but today I am sharing how to make a giant chalkboard using DIY chalkboard paint. This is nothing new, it’s been done many times before but it’s always fun to add your personal touch to projects and make them your own.

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I like writing on whiteboards but prefer the aesthetic of chalkboards and knew I wanted an extra large one for my new office. I tried to make do using what I had on hand, but the chalkboard I made simply wasn’t as big as I originally wanted, and that project got moved into another room {more on that in a later post}.

Here are the materials I used for this giant chalkboard {mine is 67 inches tall by 44 inches wide} most of which we already had on hand:

  • Plywood
  • Circular Saw {or get the pieces cut at hardware store}
  • {4} 1 x 3 x 6 boards cut to custom size
  • 4 flat braces and 4 upholstery nails
  • Wood Glue
  • Clamps
  • Brad Nailer {you can use screws or hammer and nails}
  • Paint or Stain for frame
  • Styrofoam Roller or paint brush
  • Chalkboard Paint or Plaster of Paris and black paint to make your own version
  • Hanging Hardware

When I found some massive pieces of underlayment plywood on sale for $8 I quickly snagged some up and had it cut knowing I would have extra left over for future projects. Of course I forgot it would actually have to fit into my SUV and wound up having to go back inside and getting it cut again. Oops. The guys at Lowes were super nice though and didn’t even make fun of me {to my face}. :)

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You can pick up any kind of plywood or even buy the pre-made 4ft x 2ft chalkboards at Home Depot for $10. That was smaller than I wanted but would have made this project even easier.

I also picked up {4} 1 x 3 x 6 boards which Eric cut to size for my custom chalkboard frame, but you can always get those cut to size at Lowes or Home Depot. I actually think wider boards would have looked better on this project, but was too impatient to go back to the store so I just made it work.

I’m sure I can google this but can anyone please explain to me why they are called 1 x 3 x 6 boards if they are actually 1 x 2.5 x 6?? I’m just sayin…

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I was all out of my chalkboard paint so I decided to whip up some up using this chalk paint recipe which is also more cost-effective and super easy to do.

I have used old jars and containers to mix my paints but if I have an extra {empty} quart paint can lying around I prefer to use those for my DIY chalk paint. You can even buy new ones for a couple bucks at the hardware store. I basically fill the quart size can 3/4 with the paint color I want {in this case black}, so it’s essentially 3 cups paint.  Sure I’m just guestamating but measuring paint is messy and this works well for me.

Then in a separate container I will mix 1 cup of plaster of paris with 1 cup SUPER HOT water using a fork. Once the plaster of paris and water is a thin, clump-free batter I add it to the paint and mix it all together. Voila! Homemade chalk {or chalkboard} paint!

Did you know Chinese takeout containers make perfect paint trays? I also use the soup containers for mixing my plaster of paris/water mixture like mentioned above. Normally I would line it with tin foil to make for easy cleanup, but was in the garage and too lazy to go back inside to get more foil.

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I added a couple coats of the DIY chalkboard paint to my plywood, letting it dry in between and then went over it with fine sandpaper.

Rather than clean my styrofoam roller in between coats I just wrap it in foil, which keeps it from drying out. Lazy or Clever? You decide.

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After my chalkboard was all painted and dry I seasoned it by rubbing chalk all over it and then wiped it off, which prevents future “ghost lines”.

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Then it was onto my frame! I first painted the boards a fuchsia color I custom mixed and once dry I went over it with a custom mixed turquoise color. You may have seen the photo below if you follow me on Instagram where I was mixing paint and making messes.

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I then sanded over the boards so that the fuchsia would peek through in some areas giving it a rustic look and an added pop of color.

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I added some wood glue to the edges of the plywood and clamped the frame boards down so the frame is flush with the plywood.

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A couple of hour later Eric and I flipped the chalkboard over, removed most of the clamps and used our Ryobi Airstrike to nail the plywood into the frame, just to make sure it was nice and secure.

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I had some brass flat braces and gold upholstery nails that I wanted to add to the frame corners, but since the colors didn’t match I first sprayed them with gold spray paint. I poked the nails through a piece of cardboard to make them stay up while I painted them.

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Then we added some hanging hardware and put it up on the wall! If I had made it a bit taller I probably would have just leaned it against the wall, but felt it looked better off the floor. So what do you think?

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how to make a giant chalkboard for less than 20 bucks upcycledtreasures copy

I’ve been slowly filling up the wall space and you will see what’s next to the chalkboard in a future post. My office is slowly coming together and it’s so fun to show you the progress!

You may also want to check out:

DIY Beach Wood Sign 

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Easy Peasy Chalkboard Labels

Easy Peasy DIY Chalkboard Labels - UpcycledTreasures.com

 

More Creative Workspace Ideas:

Thanks for stopping by!

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Comments

  1. 1

    Love this Katie!
    Corey @ Tinysidekick recently posted…Turquoise Garden Stool {knock off}My Profile

  2. 3

    I love chalkboards! We were also looking for a way to put up a chalkboard on our kitchen wall, which isn’t very spacious and so we went with chalkboard-foil:
    http://bastelbazooka.blogspot.de/2014/02/framed-chalkboard-diy.html
    Yours is pretty awesome as well, though!

    Cheers, Anni

  3. 5

    I absolutely love what you did with the frame. The 2 colors are fabulous together! Thanks for the idea!

  4. 7

    I really enjoyed all your clever tips. I was just painting today and could have used your roller in foil trick. I will remember for the chalkboard project we will soon be doing. :)
    The Smallest Acre recently posted…March 13, 2014 Pinterest Love and School PicturesMy Profile

  5. 9

    NICE chalkboard, Katie! I love the color! And YES, I think wrapping up your roller brush is very clever…..
    Have a wonderful Wednesday!! :)
    x Crystelle
    Crystelle Boutique
    Crystelle Boutique recently posted…DIY Project For Your SmartphoneMy Profile

  6. 11

    Thanks so much for linking up at Thursday STYLE! This is so awesome! I really want one for my office. Love it! Have a great weekend :)
    Angela (Life in Velvet) recently posted…Thursday S.T.Y.L.E. #12 and An AnnouncementMy Profile

  7. 13

    love how this looks would be great in playroom
    angie @ annies home (http://shopannies.blogspot.com)

  8. 15

    What kind of hanging hardware did you use? I have a large chalkboard but am struggling to figure out how to make itflush with the wall so it doesn’t move when I write on it.

  9. 17

    Wow, the red coming through the wood grain looks so cool close up! This is great.
    Sonnet @ SohoSonnet Creative Living recently posted…DIY Nail Polish Marbling $1 Mugs {My Crafty Spot Contributor Post}My Profile

  10. 19

    It looks great! Okay so the only time I have made my own chalkboard paint it was kind of a fail, but I did not know the mix the plaster of paris with water tip. Definitely trying that next time!
    Alexis @ Persia Lou recently posted…Happy Spring BannerMy Profile

    • 20

      Hmm, how did you make yours? I used to make chalk paint with cold tap water and plaster of paris and it was always soooo lumpy. My sister-in-law told me about the trick of letting the water run hot for a minute or two before mixing and it’s made a world of a difference!
      Upcycled Treasures recently posted…The Makers Link Party My Profile

  11. 21

    This is awesome!! This project is on my to-do list! Thanks for sharing! :-) Dawn @730Moments
    Dawn recently posted…Mark Manson: 10 Life Lessons to Excel in Your 30′sMy Profile

  12. 23

    Really cute Katie! I am visiting from Linkin Blogs. It’s so funny because I saw you made a chalkboard and I had just linked up my chalkboard! ha! Great minds think alike. :) I love the size you made….and I might have to try and make one for our church classrooms.
    Hope to see you soon!

    Leelee @ paperbagstyling

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