March 8, 2016

Chalkboard Decor {DIY Framed Chalkboard}

It all started with a love of chalkboards.
If you've been around long enough to get to know me then you know my love and obsession for chalkboards. Ever since I was a child I have loved chalkboards. I used to love in door recess because the teachers allowed us to take turns writing and drawing on the chalkboard. I had a dream of becoming a teacher just so I could write on the chalkboard.... 
I have brought that never ending love into my home. Some people think I have gone a little over board, but hey, it's my home and it makes me happy and that's all I have to say about that!
 I love being able to change things up and draw or write anything I please, or my children please and then when I get tired of it I can change it all over again.
 Chalkboards aren't just for expressing your self, a chalkboard makes for a fabulous backdrop for decor. I am more of a neutral decor person and I love the pops of black that a chalkboard gives off when it stands alone, unmarked and filled with the remnants of chalk from words or art that were there at one time. 
Today I decided to share some of the chalkboards I have on display in our home right now. I am also sharing how I made the huge chalkboard display in our dining room. 












I told you I loved chalkboards!
So if you would like a huge chalkboard display in your home here are the details:

All materials for this project were purchased at Home Depot, but I'm sure you can grab them at your local home improvement store. This entire project cost me less then $20. I had everything but the wood on hand, but even if you have to purchase all materials it shouldn't run you more than $30 depending on the quality of wood you are using!

Materials:

4' x 4' Pre-cut plywood. 
The piece of plywood we used came pre-cut. It's not the best quality plywood, but it was fine for me and super inexpensive! If you intend to do a lot of art work and writing on your chalkboard I would recommend having a higher quality plywood cut to size.

1x2's cut to size to frame your chalkboard.

Chalkboard Paint (obviously) I used this brand.

Paint brush or roller (if you are making a huge chalkboard like mine I suggest a roller!)

Stain of your choice for the 1x2's (I used these staining wipes! Super easy!)


Nail gun (or finishing nails and a good ole hammer)

1 box of white Chalk (To season your chalkboard)


Make Your Chalkboard:


 Paint your plywood with the chalkboard paint.
I did four coats and let each coat dry for an hour in between coats.

Stain your 1x2'. Be sure to stain them completely including the ends! 
Let them dry completely!

Let everything dry completely before you frame your chalkboard with the 1x2's.

To frame your chalkboard you want to add just a little wood glue around the frame of the plywood to help secure the frame to the board before you add the nails. Do this in sections and use a clamp if you can to secure. This is a two person job for sure if you plan on tackling this with a nail gun for the first time or of you are using hammer and nails! 
My husband used a nail gun to secure the 1x2's to the chalkboard. You want to be sure the nails go into the edging of the plywood. This can be tricky if you are new to this. 

Once the 1x2's are framed out around your chalkboard there is one more simple step.
You need to "season" your chalkboard.
 To season a chalkboard this large you will need at least one entire box of chalk. 
Using the long length of your chalk, simply go over your chalkboard and cover it in chalk. This will make it much easier to erase your work without having permanent marks on the chalkboard. Be sure you cover the entire chalkboard and leave it on for at least 48 hours. I left mine on for five days. 




Although it was pretty simple making this chalkboard, due to the process of painting and letting things dry it is fairly time consuming, but so worth it in the end!! It's also an inexpensive way to change your home decor as often as you like! 
When the holidays were over I had all intentions of taking the chalkboard down, but right now I am loving the simplicity and the black backdrop against our light walls. Layering within and around the chalkboard also brings much needed depth and coziness to the space!
Please let me know if you tackle this project. I love hearing from you. Leave a comment below! 
Have a great week friends!!


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