DIY Chalkboard

Make your own DIY chalkboard.

| Winter 2014

  • Chalkboard made out of a cabinet door, with chalk and an eraser.
    Photo by Karen K. Will

Almost anything — picture frames, mirrors, cookie sheets, cabinet doors, clipboards — can be transformed into a chalkboard. You can make your chalkboards basic, or you can dress them up by gluing a flower to the edge, adding door knobs or pulls, or stenciling a design around the border. The options are endless.

If your project has a frame or border that you want to paint, do that first. Lightly sand the area to be painted, then paint it and let it dry completely. For an aged look, sand off a little of the paint after it dries.

Once everything is dry, use painter’s tape to tape off any areas you don’t want to cover with chalkboard paint. Then it’s time to prime the surface that will become the chalkboard. Use black primer and follow the directions on the can. Once the primer is set, cover the surface with chalkboard paint. Once the surface is completely dried, remove any tape you used.

Before using your new chalkboard, it needs to be “seasoned” for everyday use. To do this, lightly drag a piece of chalk over the entire surface of the chalkboard. Let it sit for a minute, then erase it with a felt eraser.

If your new chalkboard isn’t equipped for hanging, you’ll need to add metal hardware, rope or wire to the back.

Then you’ll want to make a spot for your chalk and eraser. If and when it will work, door knobs or pulls work great. Just drill a hole or holes into your project, then attach the knobs. Next, tie some string around the chalk and the eraser, and hang them from the knobs.

When knobs won’t work, you can use magnetic strips (like described below for the dry-erase calendar project). Another option, if possible, is to attach a small shelf at the bottom of your chalkboard, where you can place your chalk and eraser.

Looking for more projects? See Homemade Holiday Gift Ideas.



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