Giant Chalkboard

Back to school was approaching and I found myself surrounded by school supplies and dreaming of chalkboards and freshly sharpened crayons. So on a whim, I decided to make a giant chalkboard before my oldest started kindergarten. My husband was out of town, so I loaded up the three kiddos, took out one of the seats to add some space for supplies, and headed to my favorite store- HD! 

I looked around at all the wood options, and found the perfect piece. I used a 5mm thick piece of underlayment measuring 4 feet by 8 feet. Underlayment is a plywood that is much smoother than regular plywood, plus it's thin and lightweight- perfect for hanging. I had a friendly worker cut it down to 3 feet by 6 feet. 

Then I picked out three 8 foot lengths of moulding to make a frame out of. This was the most expensive part of the project. I got some that was 89 cents a foot, but you can buy cheaper or more expensive depending on how much you want to spend and what you want the frame to look like.

Grab some chalkboard paint, 1- 30 ounce can is plenty, and a small high density smooth foam roller.

Supply List & Cost:
1 sheet of underlayment wood cut to 3'x6' - $10.85
24' of moulding - $21.36
Chalkboard paint - $9.67
Paint roller - $4.97

TOTAL- $50.72
(I had a giftcard, so my total was only $38)

Now load it all up, making an obstacle course of the van for the children.

After the kids went to bed, I spread out some plastic in the craft room and got painting. Following the instructions, I painted 3 coats of chalkboard paint on my underlayment. You have to wait 3 days before "seasoning" the board and using.

Then, I cut my moulding to make a mitered frame around my board. I just used liquid nails and clamps to attach the framing. When the frame is attached securely, do a finishing coat of paint and let dry.

My frame was done in time to use as a backdrop for my daughter's first day of school. (Well, I actually used the frame before I did the finishing coat of paint on the frame . . .) I had her write her name, and plan on taking subsequent pictures each year to compare.

Just last night, we hung the frame up on the wall so that we can doodle away. I simply countersunk some screws right through the frame into the studs in the wall. Putty up the holes and do some touch-up paint.

We keep some chalk in a jar, and made sure to mount it not above carpet, so the chalk dust can be easily wiped up. I have as much doodling on it as the kids do!


jamie said...

Kinzie you are seriously beyond amazing. Love it so much.

Christie said...

This is exactly what I was looking for! Thank you so much! I wanted to make a chalkboard for my little first kindergartner, but had no idea what kind of surface to paint on. Not sure if I can make the frame, though. Any other suggestions?

Kinzie Sue said...

Christie- another option, if you can't make the frame, is to find an old frame at a thrift store, then cut your underlayment wood to fit in the frame. You could even leave the chalkboard without a frame and then doodle a frame with chalk :) Good luck!!

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