Thursday, March 10, 2011

How to Make a Chalkboard for Your Schoolroom

For the last few springs and falls, we have been doing our homeschool work out in the garage with the big door open. I keep shelves of homeschool stuff out there anyway, and I have an extra door and tableframe that I put together to make a huge homeschool table out there. Its very enjoyable. 

A couple of years ago, I made this chalkboard on one of the walls of the garage. It has been soooo useful! I posted it once before and got lots of comments about it, so thought I'd share how to make your own.

I have three ways of making a chalkboard for your homeschool. The easy way is to go to Lowe's or Home Depot and buy some chalkboard paint. This is what I did. It comes in a whole array of colors, including this spunky purple. I used a tape measure and level to draw the outline on the wall with a pencil, then tape it off with painter's tape. Then I painted two coats and let them dry. For the frame I simply bought wood framing from Home Depot. If you bring your measurements you can even cut it there - they have a sawing station with built-in ruler right on the aisle. I don't know how to miter (cut the corners slanted so that they fit together), and it is just the garage, so I just lined the frame up as is. I used little bitty nails to attach the wood frame to the wall.

Another way to make a chalkboard is to make your own chalkboard paint. The benefit of this is that you can make it with any paint, including your own wall paint. So you get any color you want. If you are making the chalkboard in your home, this might be important to you. 

Mix 2 tablespoons of unsanded tile grout with 1 cup of paint. That's it! You now have chalkboard paint. Paint at least two coats, and depending on the surface you may want to sand it after the paint is dry. If you don't want a schoolroom look in your home, you could use this method to paint an entire wall, or section of wall, your normal room color.

The third way, which I just found and haven't tried, is to buy sheet metal to paint with chalkboard paint. Then you can hang the sheet metal on the wall, either as is or frame it. You can get sheet metal at Home Depot or Lowe's and you can have them cut it to any size you want. While my chalkboard on my wall works just fine, I think using metal would make it so smooth and the writing would show up clearer. Also you can remove the chalkboard later if you need to. This idea can be found at Jeanne Winters.

Whichever method you use, you'll need to color the entire chalkboard with a chalk (use the side of the chalk) and then wipe it clean before using for the first time.

I had plenty of chalkboard paint left, so I painted this rectangle low to the ground for Little Bill to play with. Turns out, both he and Jill, and lots of neighborhood friends, love to sit down and draw all over it! It has gotten so much use!

Good luck,

1 comment:

  1. Great idea about painting a low section for the toddlers!!!