Our tips, tricks, and steps to make an easy chalkboard wall
My husband and I LOVE doing DIY projects around the house whenever we have the time and budget. When we moved into our new house recently, I knew I wanted to do a chalkboard wall in the playroom. When things finally settled down, I was excited to get started!
The chalkboard wall was a very simple and budget-friendly project. It didn’t require a lot of supplies and it only took about 6 hours to complete (split up over two days). I spent a lot of time on Pinterest prior to starting the chalkboard wall, and gathered as much information as I could from people who have previously done them.
Below I will walk you through step by step instructions of how we did our chalkboard wall, including the supplies we used. Make note at the end of the instructions, I also list a couple of tips for what we would have done differently looking back at the project now.
I always love seeing other people’s house projects, so if you find this helpful, please post a picture of your chalkboard wall at the end of this post so we can see how it turned out!
Paint on chalkboard wall step by step instructions
Disclaimer: Please note that many of the supplies listed below are linked to an Amazon page where you can find the product we used for our chalkboard wall. We do receive a small affiliate commission if you purchase the products through the links below.
STEP 1: MEASURE
Measure and mark the wall space where the chalkboard paint will go. Make pencil marks on the four corners and connect the four marks with a level to outline your chalkboard. Keep in mind that you will be painting over these marks, and adding wood trim on top of them, so this is just a rough outline of the finished chalkboard.
STEP 2: SUPPLIES
Time to purchase your supplies! One of my favorite things about the DIY chalkboard wall is that it required very little supplies to be purchased. Most of the supplies we already had on hand, and you may as well! You can purchase everything you need from The Home Depot or other hardware stores. However, I’ve linked most of the supplies below to where you can find them on Amazon to save some money.
Here’s a list of what you’ll need, as well as a few things you may want to make things easier, though they aren’t necessary.
- Chalkboard paint
- Paint rollers (handle + roller brushes)
- Paint tray
- All purpose Gorilla glue
- Wood trim boards – pick any from Home Depot – we paid $20 – ours were 2.5”
- Spray paint (for trim)
- Measuring tape
- Leveling device (like this Torpedo Level)
- Miter chop saw (We used a Table Saw & Skill saw, but a Miter Chop saw is preferred for this project)
- White chalk & colored chalk
STEP 3: PAINT
One thing to note about chalkboard paint is that you will definitely need to do several coats of paint to make your chalkboard look nice. We did 3 coats of paint on ours and I love the way it turned out, but it would have been even darker and smoother if we had a few more coats. We ended up having enough paint for exactly 3 coats, though.
STEP 4: DRY COAT & RINSE BRUSH
Wait for the first coat to dry and rinse the brush.
STEP 5: REPEAT STEPS 3 to 4
Paint your second and third coats the same as the first. I waited a couple of hours in between each coat, but it seemed to be dry before that. You just need to make sure it´s completely dry before adding the next coat.
STEP 6: CUT THE TRIM
You need to wait 48 hours before writing anything on the chalkboard, so in the meantime, finish your trim! Using the measurements you took at the beginning, cut the boards appropriately. We made it simple and just made the top and bottom boards longer than the two side boards so they would line up evenly. But if you want to get fancy, you could cut the corners at a 45 degree angle to have them meet at a point.
STEP 7: SPRAY PAINT THE TRIM
Time to give the trim some color! We only needed one can of spray paint for our boards, and we were able to coat them really well. We only painted the top and sides to save paint. Let the boards dry completely before bringing them inside.
STEP 8: GLUE ON BOARDS
Using the Gorilla Construction Adhesive glue, squirt glue all down the back of the BOTTOM board in a wavy line. Carefully place the board onto the wall at the bottom of the chalkboard and hold it there for a couple of minutes. It may be easier to have a second person help you with this to be able to put pressure on more of the board. Be careful not to move the board as the glue will still be wet. After a couple of minutes, make sure there isn’t any glue scoring out of the sides, and let it dry.
STEP 9: WAIT
In between coats you need to make sure your chalkboard is completely dry in order to make the coats go on evenly. I waited about 2-3 hours in between coats. During this time you can wash out your paint rollers, and work on the trim boards to save time.
STEP 10: REPEAT
Continue repeating steps 3-4 until you run out of paint.
STEP 11: CUT
You need to wait 48 hours before writing on the chalkboard, so use this time to complete the trim. Using your measurements from the beginning, cut the 4 pieces of wood accordingly. To make it simple, we made straight cuts on all the sides. If you wanted to get fancy with your corners, you could cut at a 45 degree angle to have your corners meet at a point.
STEP 12: PAINT
We only needed one can of spray paint to cover all four of our trim boards evenly. We only sprayed the top and sides to save on paint. Let the boards dry COMPLETELY prior to bringing them in to put on the chalkboard.
STEP 13: GLUE
Starting with the bottom board, squeeze the glue out in a curved line all the way down the back of the board. Gently place the board at the bottom of the chalkboard and hold it. It may be easier to have another person to help you hold the board in place for a couple of minutes. Be careful not to move the board as the glue dries. After a couple of minutes, check to make sure no glue has come out the sides of the board.
STEP 14: REPEAT
Repeat step 8 for all the boards. It’s easiest if you do the two side boards and leave the top board as the last piece. After 30 minutes or so, the boards should be completely glued to the wall. But wait a good 24 hours to make sure the glue dries completely.
STEP 15: PRIME
After letting the chalkboard sit for 48 hours, you need to “prime” it before writing on it. To do this, take a piece of chalk, lay it on its side, and rub it liberally across the entire chalkboard. This step is VERY important to do before you start writing on your chalkboard! Priming the chalkboard gives it a nice coat of chalk so that when you write, it actually erases. After covering the entire board liberally, use a dry rag to begin erasing the marks. You may need to use several different dry rags as they will fill up with chalk quickly. I went over the chalkboard at least 2-3 times with rags to get as much of the chalk off as possible. You can also go over it with a rag and then follow it with a chalkboard eraser to get rid of the marks.
STEP 16: ENJOY!
You did it! Now you can start using your chalkboard to your heart’s content.
What we would’ve done differently
- Remove drywall texture and have a smooth surface
- Use a miter chop saw instead of a table saw
I would love to see photos of your DIY chalkboard walls!
Drop them in the comments below and let me know how yours turned out.
Links for the supplies
Here’s a handy list of supplies you can get on Amazon: