DIY Huge Wall Chalk Board With Barn Board Frame

3 Materials
2 Days

I used to have a store Downtown Burlington, Ontario where I sold my upcycled furniture and did lots of custom work and classes! It was a super cute location with lots of charm. It was an old house that had been converted to a retail space, and luckily the owners kept a lot of the original details like arch ways and millwork. I had this massive wall behind the cash desk that needed something substantial to fill the space. I have always loved huge chalkboards… not just for the neat look of them, but because they are functional and practical. I started shopping online for one big enough for the space and realized they cost a fortune -especially to have one custom made!! I was not interested in spending hundreds of dollars, so I called up my handy Dad and announced we had a new project!!What we built exceeded my expectations!! I am so thrilled with out it turned out. Here’s the step by step instructions to build your own Barn Board Chalk Board!

  • House&Canvas Furniture Paint in SHADOW (You use this as your chalk board paint)
  • Foam roller & paint tray
  • 1′ x 4′ x 8′ Barn Board Wood for Frame (Home Depot has "faux barn board now - such a great, inexpensive option! I needed 2)
  • Sheet of masonite cut to size (mine was 5′ x 3′ and my Dad had a spare so it was FREE!!)
  • 10 x 3/4 Wood Screws
  • French Cleat Mounting Bracket  ( I needed 2 because of the size and weight of the board)

Step One : Measure & Cut Your Frame
You want to make sure you measure and cut your frame before painting the masonite so you don't risk scratching or scuffing the fresh paint.
Lay the masonite flat on some saw horses and measure out the 4 sides of your frame. Don't feel like you need any fancy mitered edges - it's barnboard, so the more rustic the better!!
Our chalk board was 5′ x 3′. Because our boards were 8′ long, the cuts were pretty simple.
*Important TipWhen purchasing your wood, pay attention to each board. Barn Board is very inconsistent – make sure you select pieces that are as flat and straight as possible. My Dad and I went through the whole pile at the Home Depot to get the straightest pieces.

Step Two: Paint Your Chalk Board
You can purchase actual chalk board paint from your local hardware store, but I've used it before and find that when you roll it on, it get's an orange peel texture. AND, it takes way too many coats to cover.This is why I just use House&Canvas Furniture Paint. It's water based, and come in an ultra matte finish, so you can use it as chalk board paint. The key is to NOT use a top coat. Most chalky-finish paints require a wax or poly top coat for durability. When using the paint as a chalk board paint, scrape the top coat!!
Apply 3 or 4 coats of paint using your foam roller. This paint dries in no time, so you can get quite a few coats on in just a day.
Another plus to using the furniture paint instead of the actual chalk board paint is that you can use a fine grit sandpaper to smooth out any uneven sections in between coats.
Once you have finished painting your board, leave it overnight to fully dry.

Step Three: Screw on Your Frame
Arrange your frame pieces on the floor as if they were fully assembled and put the chalk board face down on top of the frame. Clamp the frame to the masonite to hold it in place. Start screwing the masonite to the frame using the wood screws.
I didn't find I need to predrill my holes. They screwed in super easy!

Flip it all over and ta-da!!

Step Four: Mount to the Wall
Mount it on the wall using the 2 french cleat mounting brackets. Add one cleat to each top corner of the chalk board to ensure the weight is distributed evenly. Follow the provided instructions in the mounting hardware based on the type of wall your are hanging it on. This type of mounting bracket is SO easy to use! Mine even came with a built in level!

That's it, you're all done and you can start decorating it using regular chalk or chalk markers!
Some tips for maintaining your board:
  • Before using your chalkboard for the first time, be sure to prime with chalk. Simply lay your piece of chalk on it side and rub it all over the surface. Be sure your whole surface is covered in chalk, then erase it
  • When your chalk board is looking a little worn, you can add a quick coat of paint to freshen it up. I gave mine a fresh coat every 6 months or so (but, I used it a lot!)
  • You can easily erase your chalk with a dry, lint free cloth or eraser.
  • For a better clean, use a slightly damp cloth. Don't forget that the paint is water based so excessive water will activate and wipe off the paint. Be sure your cloth is just damp.
  • Always wait for the board to be completely dry before writing on it again.

The store is currently occupied by The Handmade House Burlington. When they moved in, they wanted to keep the chalk board sign, and I am so happy they did. Look how adorable it is!

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2 of 6 comments
  • Admiring art
    Admiring art
    on Jan 18, 2020

    Just love it! Good tips to get the best results. Thx!

  • Katen
    on Jan 19, 2020

    Great idea. Size lends itself to so much more than message board. I see kids keeping score when playing games or group hangman or whatever game. Littles can draw on when winter takes over. And I just can’t stop thinking of uses! Thanks for sharing

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