DIY Giant Chalkboard

DIY Giant Chalkboard | The Merrythought
I have been in love with chalkboard paint for years. I’ve been begging Mike to let me paint (okay, have him paint), some wall in our house with chalkboard paint.  The problem was, I could never quite decide where exactly was the best place.  I have a really hard time making decisions. Especially when it involves paint.  Mike didn’t want to paint an entire wall only to have me decide a couple of months later that I didn’t really like that wall painted with the chalkboard paint.
And that’s where this giant chalkboard came in.  With this, I get a large chalkboard and it can move wherever I want when I change my mind!
Step 1 - DIY Giant Chalkboard
Step 2 - DIY Giant Chalkboard
Step 3 - DIY Giant Chalkboard
What you’ll need:

  • large piece of plywood – we used luan plywood
  • reclaimed lumber
  • chalkboard paint
  • paint brush or roller
  • paint tray
  • circular saw
  • screw gun
  • screws
  • nails
  • wood glue

How to do it:

  • With the circular saw, cut plywood to the size you want the chalkboard to be.  Remember that the frame will take space around all the edges, so be sure to take that into consideration when sizing out your chalkboard.  
  • Again using the circular saw, cut the reclaimed lumber to size to frame the chalkboard.
  • If desired, miter the ends of the reclaimed lumber. (Or use a basic butt joint.)
  • Nail the corners of the reclaimed lumber together to form the frame. You can also use wood glue, along with the nails. The outside frame of the chalkboard is now complete.
  • Following the directions on your can of chalkboard paint, paint your plywood. It may take 2-3 coats. Follow the instructions on the can for dry time in-between coats.
  • Once the paint is completely dry, attach the painted plywood to the back of the frame using the screw gun and screws.

Some chalkboard paint requires conditioning before use. Ours needed to cure for 3 days and then be covered entirely with chalk and wiped down. Read your paint can to be sure to condition your chalkboard correctly.

If kids will be using your chalkboard, it should be attached securely to the wall.  (Ours sits on the floor and leans against the wall, but the top can be attached to the wall).

And for those that care to know, our chalkboard measures: 72.5″ tall, and 43.5″ wide. The lumber frame measures 4.5″.

Giant Chalkboard | The Merrythought
I love how this turned out. Sometimes my expectations for how I want things to turn out and the reality of how they really turn out don’t really match up. But this project did. And the boys love the new chalkboard. Malacai walked into the room where it was and said, “this could be our clubhouse too”. Right now, it’s all about forts and clubhouses in our house. (And Starwars & Batman. Oh so much Starwars and Batman).
DIY Rustic Chalkboard | The Merrythought
DIY Giant Chalkboard | The Merrythought

Go out and make something fun this weekend!   Manda

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  • Friday, August 23, 2013 - 11:07 am

    bkcsquared - K & I have one just like this!! The only (sad) difference is that we got ours at Pottery Barn YEARS ago, & you two went and made your own! So proud!

    xo, B

  • Friday, August 23, 2013 - 1:20 pm

    rachel - I’m waiting for a DIY-picket-fence-doubles-as-chalkboard post. :)ReplyCancel

  • Friday, August 23, 2013 - 7:45 pm

    Vero - this is awesome!ReplyCancel

  • Monday, August 26, 2013 - 2:16 pm

    Victoria / Justice Pirate - I made a chalkboard for homeschooling a couple years ago, but it is a little too small, though it gets the basic job done. I love this big one. The way you wrote that beautiful scripture is so nice! I always put up memory verses for the boys, but never write it so nice like that!!! Great job.ReplyCancel

  • Friday, August 30, 2013 - 2:41 pm

    Kimber - Where are good places to find reclaimed wood and how much does it typically cost? Thanks!ReplyCancel

    • Wednesday, September 4, 2013 - 4:39 pm

      Manda - I would try Craigslist. A lot of times you can find someone getting rid of old barn wood. We have been lucky enough to get a lot of ours from friends for free…so I’m not sure how much it cost if you did have to pay for it.ReplyCancel

  • Wednesday, September 4, 2013 - 1:02 pm

    Julia @ FaveCrafts - Hi Manda,

    What a cute project! I love it so much that I decided to feature it in our roundup of rustic fall crafts! Check it out here:

    Have a great day!ReplyCancel

  • Wednesday, February 4, 2015 - 3:07 pm

    Charles - Really great work! We have a malakai too..and actually studying Ephesians this month as well! Bless.ReplyCancel

  • Tuesday, May 5, 2015 - 1:51 pm

    Tara Schiller - Love this. I went searching because I wasn’t sure if I could just use plywood, or if I needed some special “smooth” wood to create a writeable surface. Yours looks to be working fine however! So off to Home Depot to get a 4’x8′ piece of chalkboard that I can paint and hang for our homeschool room.

    Thanks for sharing.ReplyCancel

  • Thursday, July 30, 2015 - 5:06 am

    Ciara Woodard - Any chance you know the name of your wall color??ReplyCancel

    • Friday, July 31, 2015 - 12:20 pm

      Manda - Hi – it’s Pewter Mug (satin finish), Behr brand. I think we did add a little white to it though, just to lighten it up a little – I seem to always want to customize my paint, much to my husband’s dismay! 😉ReplyCancel

  • Wednesday, August 12, 2015 - 7:43 pm

    Marisa - Can you do this with a framed mirror – paint over the mirror with chalkboard paint?ReplyCancel

    • Wednesday, August 12, 2015 - 10:27 pm

      Manda - I think you would be able to, you would probably need a couple coats of primer on the mirror, but it should work.ReplyCancel

  • Monday, December 21, 2015 - 2:37 pm

    Alyssa - Did you need clamps to make your edges so tight?ReplyCancel

    • Wednesday, December 23, 2015 - 9:41 am

      Manda - Hi – we did not use clamps, just cut the miters so they fit together nicely and used glue & nails.ReplyCancel

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