July 24, 2014


I have been working on this for.ev.er.

But I am SO excited to show it to you guys! I wish I had some better quality pictures to show you, but my office space is very small, and I took these on my phone.

I've wanted to build a large chalkboard ever since I saw one on Little Baby Garvin. There are no babies around here, but I love her hand lettering, and it is something that I am interested in getting better at.

I have been casually looking around for a large frame for a couple of months, but when I couldn't find one that I liked, I literally took matters into my own hands.

I wanted this chalk board to be a little bit taller than me. I envision this being used for some special events in the future and I want it to have a lot of visual weight. For now it is going to sit in my office and act as my "to do" list for major projects. I have a notebook where I keep a running list of every task for the week, but I thought this could be a place where I keep track of big things.

First I had to buy my materials. I made a little sketch on a napkin (so classy) and thought some measurements through in the old noggin. I decided to use the board that they use to make dry erase boards out of since the frame makes it sturdy, and I didn't want the whole board to be too heavy (since it is pretty big). The frame is made of the cheapest boards they had. 1x4 I also bought some primer and a sample pot of paint for the frame.

materials DIY large leaning chalkboard

The board was 24" x 58", the long frame boards were 60" long and the short frame boards were 22" long. I had Home Depot make all the cuts for me.

I am very lucky because in the summer I am able to use the scene shop at the opera house where I work to work on small projects. So if you are wondering where I am in the photos, that's where I am.

The first thing I did once I got to the shop was start by sanding everything down. The piece of board was very smooth (almost shiny), and I was kind of concerned that the paint wouldn't stick to it very well. I used a hand held power sander for this and it made it go much faster.

I chose to paint the frame this minty color, because I think it's really pretty, but also easily changeable. It took about 2 coats not including primer.
I tried to prime the chalkboard part with magnetic primer, but that stuff is really hard to work with. After 5 coats it still wasn't magnetic, and I think it made the surface of the board a little bit rougher than it normally would have been.
To attach the frame to the board, I just took 1" nails, and hammered them in from the back, through the board then through the 1x4. That way none of them popped out the front. I used some braces to hold the joints together for some added stability.
**It should be known that this is not going to win any awards for craftsmanship. This was something that I wanted to create for my own personal use, and it works for me.

One thing that is REALLY important when you use chalkboard paint is "priming" it. By this I mean priming it with chalk. You can kind of see how I primed it with blue chalk in this photo. I primed this chalkboard a couple of times before I started using it, to make sure that it would be safe to use. Once it has dried for like 48 hours to be safe, you want to take a piece of chalk on its side and rub it all over the entire board. Then you should take an eraser and rub that all over it too. Then you can wash it and it will be alright to write on.

If you don't prime it before writing on it, that writing will be stuck on there forever. You can wash, erase, everything and it will always show. You can probably paint over it, but who wants to do that, really.

So here is my new chalkboard in my cubicle. You can really see here how exactly large and in charge it really is. As of today I had approximately 10 things on the to-do list, and many of them were crossed off. PS tomorrow is my last day before vacation!!

I have never done this big of a building DIY before. Even though the back of this looks like Frankenstein, I am absolutely thrilled with how it came out, and I keep showing everyone in my office, and telling them that I made it. If you are ever hesitant about making something that you want to make, you should definitely just go and do it! You may surprise yourself!!

The Grits Blog

1 comment:

  1. love it, great job. It looks really nice. Thanks for linking up at Tell Me About It Tuesday. We hope you hop over and share with us again next week.


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