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Monday, April 22, 2013

Large Wall Chalkboard

When the boys found permanent markers and decided to decorate my daughter's wall, I decided it was time to finally give her the chalkboard wall I'd been promising. Problem is, when I started researching, I found out you need a smooth wall for a chalkboard and our walls are textured. We also have 10' ceilings and the wall is 13' long so that would be a a lot of paint and a lot of painting. But I had promised her a chalkboard wall, so onto plan B...A giant chalkboard on her wall.
Large Chalkboard
This chalkboard was pretty easy to make and it cost about $65, which is more than just painting would have been but way less money and time then de-texturing. I checked online and the cheapest chalkboard this size I could find was just under $200! And it didn't have a cute frame. 

* 8' x 4' Hard Board - $14 (Home Depot)
* 1 quart Chalkboard Paint - $15 (Walmart)
(you could also start with a Magnetic Primer if you wanted a magnetic chalkboard, but I didn't)
* 2 cans spray paint - about $1 each (Walmart)
* Paint Roller/Tray - most people probably have this but since I didn't $10 (Home Depot)
* 2-10'& 1-8' primed boards - about $5 each (Home Depot)
  Have these cut there...the 10 footers to 8' 3" and the 8 footer into 2-3' 11" pieces
* 4-5" corner braces - about $1.50 each (Home Depot)
* 16-5/8" wood screws (I think #8 about I can't remember so ask the guy at Home Depot what size fits the braces to be sure) - $1.18/dozen (Home Depot)
*a box of 1/4" or 5/8" nails -about $2 (Home Depot)

How To:
Buy your supplies 

Wipe down your hard board so you have a clean surface to paint

Stir your chalkboard paint and paint according to directions on the can. I think I did 3 coats. This picture is after the first coat of paint.
While waiting for paint to dry, it may be good time to work on the frame. Spray paint the top and sides of the boards your color of choice. I did 3 coats. When dry, assemble your frame by setting the board pieces out, unpainted sides up, in a rectangle (long on top and bottom, short on sides) and attach them using the corner braces. Be sure to leave about an inch of space from the center to fit the chalkboard in place.This picture was taken after the chalkboard was already on the wall, so it's not the best, but you get it.
After your frame is assembled and your chalkboard dry, fit the chalkboard onto the back of the frame, unpainted sides up. Then use your short nails to tack the hardboard into place all around the frame. I did nails about about 5 or 6 inches apart. 

This is IMPORTANT! Before you draw on it, you need to "prime" your chalkboard by taking a piece of chalk and rubbing the side of it all over your chalkboard. Then wipe if off and you're done! Chalk will now show up nice and bright.

To hang it, we used French Cleats ($15 at Home Depot)
I didn't hang it, but my hubby said it was really easy. There were instructions included. They are secure and do a great job of flush mounting without any hardware showing. The finished board was a little heavy and awkward so it's probably a good idea to hang it with help. 

So hopefully now the boys will use chalk on the chalkboard instead of permanent markers on the wall!

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