How to Make a Giant DIY Chalkboard

Make this easy giant DIY chalkboard in an afternoon. It’s simple farmhouse style, and perfect for a playroom, office, family room…or anywhere in your home.

While we were building Old Salt Farm, I knew I wanted to make a giant chalkboard for a large wall in our dining room. I’ve always loved them–not only because they’re super cute, classic, and the epitome of farmhouse style, but because they’re so versatile! Since then, I’ve made several more, and each one has added so much to the whole space they’re in. You’ll love how easy this project is, and it’s perfect for beginners.

DIY Giant Chalkboard

Easy DIY farmhouse decor project

There are so many options for utilizing a big chalkboard. On the dining room chalkboard, I’ve hung several different wreaths, and strung twine to hang Christmas cards and paper sacks for a countdown. I’ve written messages and quotes on it, and left it plain. It’s where our birthday banners go, and any other celebratory, seasonal, or holiday banners. I put little nails on each side of the frame so it would be easy to take them off and on.  

I love having so many options. It’s also pretty inexpensive to make, considering it can cover a huge space! Ours is 4×6, and we spent less than $40 to make it. You just can’t beat that price for a large piece of farmhouse decor. It’s an inexpensive project that’s both functional and adds a ton of style.

DIY Giant Chalkboard

 It’s seriously one of my favorite things, and I just finished another one that’s 8 feet x 4 feet for our library. I painted the frame on that one white, and it’s so so cute. Two different farmhouse looks, and I love them both!

DIY Giant Chalkboard

If you have been thinking about making one…do it! They’re perfect for that large wall you want to fill: on a mantel, over a bed, in the office or playroom, on a craft room wall, in a long hallway, or a kids’ art room or school room. 

You don’t have to make it a giant size–it’s super easy to customize for whatever space you need or want it in. For example, a chalkboard is super cute for writing down your dinner menu, and you can make one to fit a kitchen wall. Or what about outside on a back porch, for your kids to draw on outside? You could even create a permanent calendar once your chalkboard is built.

DIY Giant Chalkboard
Farmhouse Christmas Home Tour

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GIANT DIY CHALKBOARD TUTORIAL

SUPPLIES:

DIRECTIONS:

I’m so sad I don’t have any pictures of the process for you! I made this in the week or so before we moved, and it was pure chaos. I know I took some, or at least I think I did…lol. It really is an easy project and very straightforward, and I’ll spell everything out in the directions below. Just let me know if you have any questions!

We used 1/4 inch birch plywood for a couple of reasons. First of all, it’s lightweight, and since I was going to hang it on the all, and because it was going to be quite large, I wanted to reduce the weight. Secondly, I was able to purchase it in a 4×8 sheet, which is the largest I could find at my local Home Depot. (You can check your local hardware store as well, if they carry lumber.) It was around $25, which for that size is a great price. The plywood comes 8 feet wide. For the dining room chalkboard I needed it to be 6 feet, so we cut it down to size–which is 4×6. The library chalkboard is the full plywood size, so we didn’t have to cut it down at all. That made it even easier!

On these massive chalkboards, I prefer using a pine board for the 6 inch width frame. But you can also use 4-inch furring strips, which are less expensive. 

1. I painted the whole board with three coats of the chalkboard paint using a foam brush, letting each coat dry before adding the next. I didn’t find it necessary to do any coats of a dark paint first–the chalkboard paint worked great all on its own.

2. For the 4×6 chalkboard: While the paint was drying, we cut the frame to size. The frame sits right on top of the plywood, and our 4×6 board was going to sit with the long side horizontally, so we cut 2-six foot pieces for the bottom, and 2 pieces that for the sides that were 37 inches long. How did we get 37? The top and bottom boards cover a portion of the sides. They are 5.5 inches in width, and 5.5 x 2 = 11. We subtracted 11 inches from 48, to get 37. Here’s a diagram that shows how it works–it uses different dimensions, but it’s a visual that explains how it works:

giant chalkboard diagram

For any other size, just change the measurements accordingly.

3. Once the boards were cut, I stained them with Minwax Dark Walnut. It’s a darker stain, a classic color, with no red tones. It’s my favorite, and I use it often. Once the stain is dry completely, use a lint-free rag for best results, or a clean paintbrush. The other alternative is to paint the frame. I painted the library chalkboard frame white, and it’s the perfect contrast against the blackboard. 

4. We attached the boards to the chalkboard frame first with wood glue, and then with 3/4 inch nails. We used a nail gun, but you could also use a hammer!

5. The last step was to season the chalkboard to avoid any “ghosting”. That means if you write on it without preparing it, you will never be able to fully erase it–a faint image will remain there forever. Seasoning it takes just a few minutes–use the side of a piece of chalk to completely chalk over the entire board, first vertically, then horizontally. Wipe it all off with a lint-free clean rag, and remove the excess dust. That’s it! You’re ready to hang your chalkboard!

For a vintage look…

Instead of black chalkboard paint, use green chalkboard paint instead! It gives you that old-fashioned schoolhouse vibe, which I love. That’s next on my list!  You can also wipe down your board with a dry rag, instead of a wet rag. That leaves a bit of that chalky residue, which lends itself more to vintage feel.

That’s it! I love how easy they are to make, and how affordable they are. It’s a little DIY project that makes a big difference. We are in the middle of an office makeover, and I’m thinking another chalkboard should be on the list!

more farmhouse style projects for you…

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13 Comments

  1. Hi Kirstie, I love this chalk board. Beautiful work! I am curious, how did you attach to the wall. Thanks,

    1. We put picture hooks on either side, then strung wire along the back. There are two more picture hooks on the wall on each side, and it hangs from the wire. Hope that helps!!! xoxo

  2. It’s perfect. I sure love seeing your new home come to life. I have a question. They also sell the chalkboard material at Lowes. Do you have any idea which works better? The prepared chalkboard boards or the chalkboard paint?

  3. Would you mind telling me where you got the ceiling light shown with the chalkboard? It would look perfect in our family room. Thanks so much … thoroughly enjoy your blog:)

    1. Of course! We got it through a lighting company, but I actually found it on Amazon and asked them about it. It’s this one, but in black:
      http://amzn.to/2jxvVsu (affiliate link).

      Hope that helps!! And thank you SO much for reading!!! xoxo

  4. Hi Kierste- Would you mind sharing the source for your bypass barn door hardware? We need to do something similar with two big doors that slide in front of each other and are having trouble finding something that works. Thanks so much – your home is so beautiful!

    1. Sure! I found it on Amazon, here: http://amzn.to/2jnbujT (affiliate link)

      We bought two of the 8 foot length, because we have such large span of space to cover. There is also a 6 foot length that’s a little less expensive, in case that works better for your space. Good luck!! xoxo

  5. Hi Kierste!!! I want to thank you for always sharing your beautiful ideas with us!!!

    Did you nail the frame to the plywood from the back or the front side? I did not notice any nails on the front so I was wondering! Everything that you do is amazing!

    Your new home is beautiful!

  6. You have posted before where you purchase your boxwood wreaths and I cannot find that information. Would you mind sharing?

    1. Target and Amazon are two places I check first–also check saveoncrafts.com–they often have them for a good deal.

  7. Hi
    Can you use chalk pens? Is the surface smooth? Some pen’s don’t work on a board that is grainy. Thanks

    1. Yes, you can use chalk pens–I have!! Not all chalk pens are made equal though, and I’ve had much better success with some as compared to others.

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