Bust out those DIY skills, and think big! Learn how to make a reversible large framed chalkboard, in any color imaginable! With one simple ingredient, you can turn any can of paint into chalkboard paint for any surface.
I’ve got big plans for this big ol’ reversible Chalkboard of ours. But for now, I’ve had fun styling it in our entryway, where we like to leave parting and greeting messages all day long.
When the plans came about for my husband and me to create this ginormous chalkboard, I knew I didn’t want the standard black or old-school green color – as lovely and as classic as they are. I also couldn’t make up my mind if I wanted a soft French blue, or a pastel Spring green . . . so I did both!
We even varied the trim around the board, so each side has a very unique look.
This project can actually be put together without any power tools at all, which I will explain how in the instructions below. But the real magic of this tutorial is the ability to imagine a chalkboard in any color! Think about how it could complement your surroundings as a focal piece or offer a creative surface for family members to create works of chalk art on.
I’m also enjoying the chalky surface to add a nice touch of color to the background of my images.
Using it as a photography background for some of my images worked out perfectly.
This post was supposed to be part of my Spring Home tours, but I wanted to save this entryway spot for a separate tutorial for the chalkboard. But let me show you the rest of the Spring decor I have placed in our small entryway, and then I’ll walk you through the steps of creating your own reversible framed chalkboard, in any color.
I discovered this discounted wreath at Hobby Lobby, and I love to hang wreaths on the inside of our door. I rarely get to see the outside anyway 😉
I love the feeling of putting away all the bulky boots from Winter, which leaves the entry spots a little less cluttered.
Just a few basic rainy day essentials are all we need.
And a few flowers of course.
Now for the building fun! I want you to be sure to notice that we did not place the framing directly on the edge of the board. We left a small lip, where I actually painted it a different color. This not only makes it easier to build, but I think this makes the framing look larger without actually having to add more trim pieces, and can have a nice vintage look to it.
Something else to note before you plan ahead, when choosing your paint color for the chalkboard paint, keep in mind that a darker color will offer more contrast with the white chalk, which may be why black chalkboards are so popular. In contrast, a lighter color will offer less contrast, but can still add a lovely vintage chalkboard look – which I personally love!
If you are trying to avoid power tools, be sure you figure out the measurements you want before purchasing. You can then have your boards cut to size, which is what we did at Home Depot. The trim pieces will need to be cut at an angle, which you can also do at Home Depot or purchase this hand saw that will easily cut the appropriate angles for you. And instead of using a nail gun, you can simply use wood glue and wood clamps to adhere the trim pieces.
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- Large (or small) piece of MDF board.
- We used 1/2 inch thickness for a nice sturdy chalkboard that can be propped up
- Trim pieces
- Measure the 4 sides to determine how much you will need
- Wood Glue
If you want a magnetic surface, begin by adding 2 layers of magnetic primer paint to both sides of the MDF board.
(Please try to look past the poor quality nighttime shots here)
I found this Rust-oleum brand at Home Depot. I’ve tried magnetic spray paints in the past and found them not to work as well as the roll-on paint.
That paint will need to dry completely, so work on painting the trim pieces as well. Any type of paint will work for the trim and feel free to distress and antique the pieces with dark wax like I did.
Once you’ve covered the MDF board completely with magnetic paint (if choosing to do so) it is time to prepare the chalkboard paint.
You will be mixing any interior paint with non sanded grout. This mixture will not store well for more than a few hours and gets thicker the longer it sits, so I recommend mixing less than you think you need, so as to not waste more paint than you need to.
If you are curious, the paint colors I picked were both Behr brand (carried by Home Depot) and were as follows:
Blueish color: Urban Raincoat N440-2
Greenish color: Flora N390-2
The correct ratios for DIY Chalkboard Paint are as follows:
1/2 cup paint: 1 Tablespoon grout
Feel free to increase those measurements depending on your need, such as
1 cup paint: 2 Tablespoons grout
Mix very well with a stir stick (there may be a few lumps left), and then quickly begin rolling it onto the surface.
It will take at least 2 coats of paint, but be sure to let each coat dry completely and sand it down between coats and after the final coat for a very smooth surface.
Now is the final step of adhering to your trim pieces. Measure carefully before you cut your angles.
Spread wood glue to the backsides of the trim and clamp it onto the board until the glue is dry.
Additionally, you may want to add a few nails to secure it in place, but this step is not necessary.
As you can see below, we left a space around the trim pieces, and I painted that an off-white which makes the framing actually look bigger without having to buy more trim pieces.
Now feel free to hang your chalkboard on a wall, use it as photo backdrops, or create smaller chalkboards in any color!
Let me know if you give it a try or if you have any questions!
Thanks for reading!