One of the first projects we tackled in our home back in 2017 was an oversized chalkboard in our eat in kitchen area. I knew I wanted a statement piece of some sort on the wall next to where the table would be. A chalkboard would not only give me a way to have a black painted wall but it would also be useful for photos AND fun for kids.
- sanded plywood 8’x4′
- 1×4, (3) 8′ premium pine
- 1×2, (3) 8′ premium pine
- wood filler (if needed)
- sand paper (if needed)
- primer, a good quality brand
- Rust-oleum chalkboard paint (not to be confused with chalk paint)
- wood stain or paint for trim
The walls in our home are heavily textured, not my favorite, and not an ideal chalkboard writing surface. We solved this problem with nailing a layer of high quality sanded plywood right over the wall. A typical sheet of plywood at the hardware store is 8’x4′. We have an SUV which is great for project supplies and thrifted furniture, but it will not allow a full size sheet of plywood to fit in one piece due to the width. We solved this problem by having the store cut the plywood down for us in thirds lengthwise, making it much easier for us to transport. We began by applying all purpose construction glue to the backs of the panels and nailing them on the wall with a nail gun. We basically put the panel back together on the wall.
Once the panels were up, we filled the seams with wood filler to hide the cuts in the plywood. Once dry we sanded the wood filler.
Then it was time for 2 coats of primer. Raw plywood soaks up a good amount of paint so I wanted to give it a good base for the chalkboard paint. We used rollers specific for smooth surfaces which helped get the paint on evenly.
The first coat of chalkboard paint always looks messy. I promise after 2 and sometimes 3 coats the results are amazing. (Did you know you can get chalkboard paint in different colors no? Would make a great colored accent wall in a child’s room.)
While the primer was drying earlier in the day I stained some 8 foot lengths of 1’x4′ and 1’x2′ select one boards. Using just one pass of wood stain in a Walnut shade I got the color I was looking for. It was the perfect contrast against the black.
We did not use glue to get the trim pieces on, just our trusty nail gun.
And just like that, we had an oversized chalkboard! We did this in 2 days and total cost was under $100.
There is so many variations that can be added to a wall like this. There is also magnetic paint now that could make this an even more versatile family friendly board. Also, adding cork tiles to a section would allow for a bulletin board area. I’ve considered adding all of these things but I love the clean look of the black chalkboard for photos and backdrops.