How to make a DIY Chalkboard for Your Home

You get two chances to “wow” someone coming into your home.  One is on the approach to the entrance, and one is the very moment they enter.  

How will you wow your guests, yet make them feel at home at the same time?  A simple solution is an elegant hand-written welcome. 

Don’t be limited to just one message forever; change your greeting at your whim with a DIY chalkboard! 

This simple project will make for an eye-catching entryway decor, but can be used anywhere else in the house too!  Just a few easy steps will have you ready to put chalk to board with your new creation.  

Materials Needed:

  • A frame (the size of your choice) 
  • A board cut to the size of your frame 
  • Chalkboard spray paint 
  • Wood Glue or Nail Gun 
  • Paintbrush 
  • Hardware to hang your chalkboard (hooks, nails, hammer)
  • Chalk or Chalk markers 

Step 1: Frame and Flare 

Choose the frame that you would like for the border for the chalkboard.

I took an old frame that I had laying around and re-painted it. In order to re-paint the frame well, I needed to sand down the edges before placing a new layer of paint on the frame.

I stuck with a basic white color for the frame so that the black chalkboard would stand out boldly against the contrasting white frame. 

Step 2: The Right Supplies 

Find a thin piece of wood board.

I found a sheet of fabricated wood that was only ½ inch thick. This piece worked well because it had smooth surfaces and was sturdy, but not too thick that it would not sit in the frame. 

Step 3: Smooth it Out 

Sand the wood board and remove any excess dust from the surfaces.

You will want the board to be as smooth as possible. A smooth surface is easier to write on. 

Step 4: Spray Paint and Preparation 

In a well-ventilated area, lay the wood board down and prepare a space to spray paint the board.

Use the can of chalkboard spray paint and cover the wood board.

This will take about three coats of chalkboard paint to create a thick foundation for the chalkboard. 

Step 5: Lining the Wood Glue

Next, you will get to have some fun with wood glue. On the back of the photo frame, there is a ledge that glass normally presses against.

You will no longer need that glass piece, as that ledge is the perfect size to hold the new chalkboard painted wood board.

Start by lining that ledge with wood glue. You do not need very much wood glue, however, if you accidentally pour too much it will not ruin the project.

Step 6: Even It Out

Take your paint brush and trace around the area you just glued.

The purpose of this step is to even out the layer of wood glue. If any wood glue gets on the outside of the ledge and on the back or front of the frame, you will want to wipe that off to prevent it from getting on your chalkboard piece or your workspace. 

Step 7: Get Gluing

Now, it is time to set the wood board into the frame.

First, make sure that the chalkboard painted side of the board is facing out. Lower the wood board face down, directly onto the ledge that you just painted.

Press the wood down so it sits snuggly into the frame. If you need too, place some books or weights down onto the wood board so it will keep a firm hold while the board dries. 

Step 8: Creative Chalking 

Finally, it is time for you to get creative! Once the chalkboard is dried into the frame, you can start having fun with the chalk. I recommend preparing your chalk and the board with a little chalk dusting routine.

Start by taking a piece of chalk and laying it on its side. Slide the side of the chalk all over the board. Make sure to especially get into the corners of the frame. After the entire board is covered, take a dry or slightly damp rag and start to erase the chalk.

If you want more of a rustic look, only erase the middle of the board and keep the chalk dust around the corners. Then, check to make sure the erased sections of the boards are completely dry before following the next step. 

Step 9: Creative Chalking – Part 2

You may remember seeing a stick of solid white chalk in your teacher’s classrooms growing up. I remember these well and appreciated when different colors of chalk sticks started making their way into the classroom.

However, times are changing, and for the crafting world, they are changing for the better. Gone are the days where there was only the stick of solid chalk you saw your teacher using.

Instead, there are all kinds of chalk sticks, powder, and especially pens in a wide variety of colors. The chalk pens are my favorite to use as they are less messy. I really appreciate not having to touch that chalky texture from holding the chalk sticks.

Congratulations!

Last, but not least, write the message of your choice to present on your chalkboard. The message you write on the board will be the highlight of the chalkboard, so choose a saying you really like.

The best part of the chalkboard is that you can change out the messages or start over on your writing whenever you want. Simply take a damp cloth and go over the areas of chalk you want to erase. 

If you have a hard time removing the chalk with water, you can use rubbing alcohol instead and that will take the chalk right off of the board. 

After you have a message you love on your board, hang it with pride. You just saved money and resources by making your own chalkboard!

diy chalkboard finished