He took photos of the process so that I could share it here. This project could certainly be modified to any size, but I wanted a somewhat narrow rectangle to hang on our dining room wall. The end project is 36x16" end to end (frame included).
Frame: Three 1x3" boards (short sides need to be 16", longs sides 36")
Chalkboard: 16x36" board (we asked the folks at the home store to make the cut for us- it was out of a 2'x4' piece)
1 can of stain (we chose Minwax in Jacobean)
1 can chalkboard spray paint
Rags for spreading stain
Screws for securing the frame to the board. We chose to use some oil-rubbed bronze finishing screws for an industrial look.
Here's how we made it!
1. Cut the 1x3” pieces into a frame, angling the edges so that they fit together.
2. Stain the pieces separately, let them dry well. Don't forget the edges!
3. Sand the edges of your chalkboard piece, and then cover the edges with painters' tape. Spray paint the board with chalkboard paint, let dry well.
4. Once the chalkboard is dry, remove the tape and stain the edges of the board to match the frame.
5. Lay the frame pieces on the chalkboard, being sure that the corners meet up well.
6. Measure the boards, and mark three even spots on the frame. Screw the frame to the board, following the guides you marked out. We did three screws on each side (obviously they are closer together on the short ends than the long sides). If your chalkboard is sitting on a shelf, you're all done!
If you want to hang your chalkboard like we did, here's how:
1. Screw C-shaped hooks into the top of the chalkboard- again, in three evenly spaced spots. Have them all facing the same direction once finished.
2. Measure out three evenly spaced spots on your wall, at the same places as the C hooks. Drill a hole into the wall, add the anchor, then screw in your decorative hook. Be sure you measure these two steps carefully so that the wall hooks match up with the chalkboard hooks. If they don't, and it's just a touch off, I'd recommend adjusting the hook on your chalkboard, since that's much less noticeable, given that it's on the top edge of the frame. The key here is to measure several times and triple check before drilling holes into the wall!
Before you write on your chalkboard, you need to season it. Do this by rubbing a piece of chalk on its side all over the chalkboard, covering it with a good layer of chalk. Then, erase it all. You might want to do this outside, since it's dusty! This step is needed, so that when you write or draw on it, it will erase completely, versus leaving a 'shadow' behind.
Then, have fun with it! I started with a Christmas board, and then changed it out with my new year's resolution, which is actually still up. I love how it came out, and I definitely need this reminder every now and again! The best part about writing in chalk is that it is so easily edited or fixed, so there's not much pressure. I like to write my message very lightly at first, to get an idea of spacing and size, and then when I'm happy, I trace over a couple of times with a heavier line. It's easier to erase those faint lines, so I like to make a first draft this way.
Do you have a chalkboard in your home? How do you use it? Let me know in the comments below! If you end up making one, please share a photo with me!