"Baskets!" moment: it's super easy to DIY your own chalkboard on the cheap

Updated Oct 12 2015
Guest post by Amanda Smith

As part of our ongoing series of "BASKETS!" moments, we share this "Why didn't I think of that…" chalkboard.

All photos by Amanda Smith.

I've been wanting a gigantic chalkboard to hang in my house for a while but they're expensive — or they were, until I realized just how easy it would be to make my own inexpensive version. I picked up a canvas at an art shop, a can of spray paint, and got busy! I tend to change things in my house pretty often, and since this chalkboard is lightweight, it's easy for me to move around or change the drawing.

What you need:

  • One canvas
  • One to two cans of chalkboard paint — I used spray paint because it's easy and fast. It's hard to keep it even and not drip, but I chose quickness over evenness.
  • Chalk — You can use plain ol' white school board chalk or get creative and use the bright sidewalk chalk.

How you do it:

  1. Purchase whatever size canvas will suit your needs.
  2. Make sure the canvas is clean (not dusty) before you start spray painting.
  3. Spray paint the entire canvas. I used several coats before it was covered.
  4. After it has dried for at least 24 hours, you may want to use the side of a piece of white chalk and go over the entire canvas then wipe it off. This gets the surface ready for writing.

The spray paint holds the chalk pretty well. Then I use water and a clean washcloth every time I want to erase it. If a canvas isn't your style, you could fashion up something similar with a large piece of salvaged wood or even a bookshelf or coffee table.

  1. I'm DIY-ing a chalkboard for my wedding using a really ugly huge framed piece of 90s deco-style art I found at Goodwill for $7.99. I spray-painted the frame white (instead of the heinous teal it was originally!) and will be painting the glass with chalkboard paint soon. ­čÖé

    • You can use dry erase markers on glass as well, just put something beautiful behind the glass like pretty paper and then use the markers right on the glass itself.

  2. I used a piece of foam board, painted it w/ chalk paint, and then framed it with some house trim leftover from a reno at my parents. 54 x 36 chalkboard for next to nothing!

  3. whoa. I never thought about using a canvas. genius! hmm…you could probably put a metal sheet behind it in the frame of the canvas and then use magnets there. awesome. doing this soon!

  4. I did this recently on the front of my home-office door; I just stencilled a nice shape onto the door and gave it a couple of cosats of blackboard paint. I use it to show when I can/can't be disturbed at work, so that the rest of my family know whether it's safe to come in or not. I've also got a large picture frame with no back-board, so at some point I'm going to paint a patch of wall in the hallway and then hang the frame around it. I love blackboard paint!

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