How to build a {DIY} Giant \ Huge \ Wall Chalkboard

 

sloane coloring flag markedThis is hands down my most favorite project in my house.

Maybe ever.

It wasn’t hard, nor expensive and it provides not only organization for me but fun for my kids. And it’s most certainly a “conversation” piece.

Last summer I built this giant chalkboard for my wall between my dining room and kitchen, across from my butler’s pantry. I had to hold off showing it on this blog thanks to the interest of a lovely magazine scout, but since our house will likely sell before we could fit in a photoshoot {sniff sniff}, today I am revealing it in all its glory!

I think the hardest thing about this project is finding a large empty wall to use.

 This space wasn’t large enough for any shelving so putting up a giant chalkboard was the next logical choice, right?

{Maybe not if you had asked my husband!?}

Obviously there are easier ways to do this project then the route I went. If you are lucky enough to have flat walls, you could tape, prime and paint chalkboard paint on the walls and then just trim the space out. I had to go the extra step and prime, paint and tack up a smooth chalkboard-painted piece of wood thanks to my ultra-textured walls which there is no way you could write on. It’s also good in that I can pull it down in case the next owners of my house don’t want a giant, huge chalkboard. I don’t really know why they wouldn’t though? :)

So, I used a very thin, lightweight plywood board {cut to size at Home Depot}, primed with spray primer then covered it using a foam roller with multiple coats of chalkboard paint.

There was one obvious issue with the space I had in mind. The lovely thermostat right in the middle of the wall.

Back Camera

Back Camera

I used a jigsaw to cut the hole in the board, I measured several times to make sure everything would line up correctly. School was out, so I had a great helper.

I then primed and cut to size some lightweight molding to trim around it. If you are intimidated by a power saw I can tell you that I used a miter box to cut the trim. Its a bit of an arm workout, but anyone can do this, no power tools (or gym trips that day) necessary.

My plan was to cut trim to build a frame around the thermostat, but in an effort to save myself anymore sawing, I decided to search my attic for a frame that might fit instead. Luckily, I had one that worked perfectly–it fit like a glove, it’s not even glued on–and it probably looks more polished than one I would have built.

We make great use of this space:  for coloring, for lists of things to do, or inspirational quotes. I am refining my “chalk art” skills and while, of course, I aspire to have lovely works of pinterest-inspired chalk art on it, in actuality, it’s a great space for the kids to color and receive gentle reminders for them from me.

writing on board

Thanks for stopping by!

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Comments

  1. I love it, but the only large wall with nothing on it is in my foyer (where the thermostat is!) and right across from my living room! Unfortunately, my husband wouldn’t let me have it on that wall! Our cork board/message center is in the laundry room and he likes it, so that’s it for me! But, if I had young children, which I don’t, I would definitely have one of these no matter what!

    This is a fabulous idea and you did a fantastic job! (Maybe my daughter would let me do one in her laundry room which has a blank wall! Hmm….). :)

    • Hi Marie, I think a laundry room is a great place for a chalkboard. I hope your daughter agrees! Maybe you have a smaller place in your home? Ours is definitely “GIANT” but it worked in the unused space. I hope it works out for you—be sure to come back and let us know if you build one!
      Have a great day.
      Amy

  2. How fun! I love the scale of it on that wall and it will be tons of fun to write quotes on or for your kids to make special artwork :)

    • Thanks Lisa, my kids do love it! And it keeps them busy. I appreciate you stopping by to comment. Have a great week.
      Amy

  3. I love a good chalkboard! The bigger, the better. I wish I had a wall in my house to do this! Your little girl in the first photo is adorable! You should join my new linky party {1 party, 5 blogs!}
    http://www.somuchbetterwithage.com/2013/03/give-me-goods-party-1.html
    Have a great week!
    Jamie @ somuchbetterwithage.com

  4. I love this, just posted on my FB Page :)
    XO
    Kristin

  5. I love this so much! I wish we had a large expanse of wall to do one of these, because I would so totally do it! I have a sliver of a chalkboard wall, and it just doesn’t seem right… I’m considering drywalling a niche we have so that I can make it more of a command center, including one huge chalkboard space!

    Well done!

    • Thank you Jenny! You should do it–you will LOVE having that great chalkboard space. Its been so fun for us. Good luck and thanks for your kinds words.
      Amy

  6. Hi there,

    What kind of screws/nails did you use to attach the chalk board and then then trim to the wall?

    • Hi Morgan, I just screwed the chalkboard right into the wall with 1 1/2 inch screws (about), I can’t remember if I anchored them or not as the board was very light but I am pretty sure I did. Then I tacked the molding to the chalkboard with small finish nails after putting a little liquid nails behind it. I spacked the holes and did a quick repaint. It stayed up fine, but would be easy to take down if we ever wanted to.
      Thanks!
      Amy

  7. Susan Hines says:

    Would you believe they are actually selling chalkboard “sheets” of wood at Home Depot now? After making my husband paint a board for me, he saw this at home depot! Much easier if you aren’t the DIY type!!

  8. susan hamilton says:

    i have been wanting to tackle this project for 2 years now and think i finally will after reading your helpful tips! i was wondering how big your chalkboard is? we have fairly smooth walls, so i would like to paint directly on them and then frame it out, but i think the chalkboard would look more authentic if i used a piece of wood and painted it…

    • Hi Susan—unfortunately I no longer live in the house with the chalkboard (miss it!) so I can’t tell you exactly what the size was or how high! It was BIG…around 70″ long? I had to use a board on the back because our walls were so textured, but I would not have if I had smooth walls. So that may save you a step. Of course in that case, you would have to repaint over it if you decide your ever decide you are done with having the chalkboard vs. taking it off the wall. We put it around 3 1/2 feet (I am guessing) high. My four-year old daughter had to stand on a chair to reach the whole thing but could reach to color on the bottom. I hope that helps, good luck and let us know how it turns out!
      Amy

  9. susan hamilton says:

    oh, and one last question…how high up from the floor is the bottom of your chalkboard? thanks again ;)

  10. This is very nice. I purchased the materials today to make a large chalkboard. You tips (especially how you attached it to the wall) is extremely helpful.

  11. I have tried this 4 times now (both sides of my 2 4×4 hard boards) and I can’t seem to get the paint smooth! I have used foam rollers, sanded between coats, etc.

    What did you use to paint? A roller, brush? Am I using too much paint? To little? To the average eye it’s smooth, but when you paint a chalkboard you want is as smooth as paper :) any tips would be appreciated!

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