I’ve been addicted to chalkboard walls ever since I first saw them on Pinterest a few years ago. At our old house, we had a large one in the kitchen. I used it to display Bible verses I was learning, meal schedules for the week, reminders, an “about me” board for my baby’s 1st birthday, and my weekly baby bump pictures when I was pregnant.
At this new house, I already put one up in the dining room a few months ago. It’s like having a giant, adorable sign I can change whenever you want! My daughter loved drawing on it as much as I did, but had to stand on a chair to do so. Not exactly ideal or safe. I decided to make her one in our living room that was more her level (plus some space for just mama!).
I started it on Friday and finished it up on Tuesday. It’s really a pretty easy project!
Here is what you will need:
- large wall (clean with no holes!)
- tape measure
- level (the bigger, the better!)
- chalkboard paint (I used half a quart to do two coats on a 5×4 foot area)
- painter’s tape (1.5 inch)
- paint brush or small roller
- wood for frame (I used two 10ft 1x4s)
- stain or paint (plus cloths or paintbrushes)
- chalk (large, white sidewalk chalk works great for priming!)
- drill with drivers and drill bits
- screws (I used SPAX #8 2.5 inch screws)
Optional but will make it much easier!:
- Right angle thingy
- Staple Gun with short staples
Before you begin::: I chose to literally put the chalkboard on my actual wall, texture and all. The more texture your wall has, the bumpier the chalkboard will be. If you have typical “orange peel” walls, it’s gonna be bumpy! If you have smoother walls, it will be much smoother. My home has a mixture of both. The smoother walls, like seen in my dining room, do create a much nicer, easier to write on and erase board. But, I can put up with some bumps in the living room so I can have another chalkboard! 🙂
Here is a step by step guide to creating a giant, framed chalkboard!
Step 1: Decide on a size. I took my tape measure and eyeballed how big I wanted it. I rounded it to nice easy numbers, 5ft by 4ft.
Step 2: Using your level and tape measure, mark where you want the out edge of the frame to be.
Step 3: Grab some painter’s tape and create a frame for where the chalkboard paint will go. By placing the 1.5 in tape on the inside of the marks you made in Step 2, you should end up covering the edge of the paint with your frame. MAKE TINY MARKS WITH A PENCIL WHERE THE OUTTER CORNERS WILL BE FOR REFERENCE.
Step 4: Paint! Be sure to read the directions on the paint can before you paint. Different brands vary on drying times, priming instruction, etc. I used RUST-OLEUM Chalkboard paint from Home Depot.
Step 5: Do you need a 2nd coat? If you can see any part of the wall underneath, play it safe and apply a 2nd coat. I waited 4 hours in between coats.
Step 6: Wait. This was the hard part! Rust-Oleum suggest waiting 3 days before priming the chalkboard.
Step 7: While you are waiting, begin cutting your fame! My chalkboard was 4×5 feet. I bought two 10 foot 1x4s and cut out one 4ft piece and one 5 foot piece from each. I used my miter saw and cut 45 degree angles for a classic frame look. If you are going for this option, be careful with your cuts! You will need to cut a super long trapezoid, with the longer side being the width or height of the chalkboard. If you want a different style, take a look at the baby bump picture of me above. Straight, easy cuts and it still looks cute!
Step 8: Sand and stain/paint. Sanding was pretty quick and easy with the boards I got. Then I quick stained them (literally took 2 minutes) and let them dry overnight. Make sure you get all the edges! I used Minwax Wood Finish-Provincial 211.
Step 9: Prime! Ever write on a new chalkboard and then you can’t ever quite erase it all the way? This happened because you needed to prime it first. Using the side of a piece of chalk, completely cover the entire chalkboard. Seems weird, but you gotta do it! I HIGHLY suggest using a big piece of sidewalk chalk to do this step. Especially with high textured walls, a little piece of chalk does not go very far! Plus, with a larger piece of chalk, you don’t have to worry about your nails scraping the board. Bleh!
Step 10: Check the directions on the chalkboard paint to see how long you need to wait to wipe it down. I’ve seen lots of different suggestions on Pinterest and different brands of chalkboard paint. I didn’t wait as long as I probably should have because I was impatient. 🙂 I took a dry towel and wiped it down. It helps to hold a vacuum cleaner hose up to this to catch the dust before it falls! I then finished by wiping it down with a slightly damp cloth.
Step 11: Set the frame. There is nothing worse than screwing 3 pieces of frame onto the wall only to find out the 4th doesn’t quite fit right! Here is my little trick for that.
Step 11a: Put something underneath the bottom frame piece that can hold it in place exactly where it’s supposed to go. USE THOSE DOTS YOU MARKED IN STEP 3 TO SHOW YOU WHERE THE CORNERS ARE! I used Baby D’s books to hold it in place!
Step 11b: Place all 4 pieces upside down on the floor, doing your best to square the corners (if you have a right angle thingy, use that!).
Step 11c: Punch 2 staples into each seam, making sure it’s staying at a right angle!
Step 11d: CAREFULLY lift the frame and move it to your chalkboard wall. It will be wobbly so move slowly!
Step 11e: Place it on whatever support you put in place.
Step 11f: Using painter’s tape, tape the frame to the wall.
Step 12: Now that your frame is set and ready to go, start screwing it into the wall. I always drill pilot holes. I used a 7/32 inch bit. (Your pilot hole should be the same size as the inner diameter of the screw, not the part that is threaded.) I’m glad I did because half the frame was screwed into a stud!
Step 13: Screw the frame onto the wall! I like the look of the screws so I just let them be.
Step 14: Decorate! I went ahead and put two Command Hooks on the top sides of the frame so I could hang Baby D’s art up! Then I wrote a verse she could learn on the board! Finally, she went to town on the part she could reach. 🙂