Chalk Line: Kitchen Chalkboard DIY

Chalkboards are such a great thing to have around the house.  They are perfect for jotting quick notes, posting the menu, or creating changeable art.  Making a custom sized chalkboard is easier than you think and you can add in some features that you wouldn’t be able to get from a store bought version.


The chalkboard in our photos today has the added benefit of being metal based for magnets.  This makes it perfect for the kitchen or mudroom or wherever you call your hub. Making your chalkboard magnetic dramatically enhances its usefulness.  This is an excellent place to store post cards, invitations, signed school forms, etc.  For a few dollars you can even find magnetic storage containers to hold your chalk pens.  Check a craft store or teacher supply store. 

savour...  a clean slate

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Kitchen Chalkboard

If being a magnetic chalkboard wasn’t useful enough this one also serves as a sliding door for a cabinet.  What sits behind the chalkboard is a former double oven space that has been converted into storage space (plus a resting spot for one very old kitty).  We simply attached the chalkboard using drawer slides from the hardware store.


Before you start:

Not all metals are created equal.  Make sure yours is magnetic.  Bring a small magnet with you and test it.

Use magnets with smoother edges so it doesn’t scratch off any of the paint.

Alternatively, if you have a pre-made frame that you would like to use you can just have the sheet metal and backing board cut to fit and attach the frame with wood glue and nails.

While you will usually find a wide selection of sheet metals at the home improvement center, they will likely be of a “standard” size.  If you need something with more custom dimensions you may have to visit a metal shop.

Someone very wise once said, “Measure twice; cut once”.  This is some of the best DIY advice I could ever offer.  Be sure of your measurements before you commit to the cut.

Perform the application of liquid nails in a well-ventilated area.

What you will need:

  • Sheet      metal (thin gauge)
  • Liquid      nails
  • Sandpaper      (medium grit)
  • Steel      wool pad
  • MDF      (medium density fiberboard)
  • Moldings      (at least 3 or 4 inches wide for impact)
  • Wood      Glue
  • Finishing      nails
  • Nail      set
  • Hammer
  • Wood      putty
  • A      table saw or handsaw with mitre box
  • Primer
  • Chalkboard      paint
  • Paint      for trim
  • Chalk

The steps:

  1. Determine      the desired overall size for your board.
  2. Visit      your local home improvement center or metal shop to purchase your sheet      metal.
  3. Purchase/cut      your MDF.  It should be the width of      the metal (in inches) plus the width of the (molding x2) minus 2 inches.  The result should be a 1 inch overlap between the metal and the molding.  Apply the same math to the height measurement.
  4. Apply      the liquid nails to the board and one side of the sheet metal.
  5. Follow      directions on adhesive container to allow curing time before pressing      materials together.
  6. Press      the two surfaces together leaving equal space on all sides.
  7. Lay      the board/metal on a flat surface and load up with heavy books.
  8. Allow      for required drying time.
  9. Meanwhile,      cut and paint the frame using the moldings you have purchased.  Use a mitre cut for more finished      corners.
  10. When      the adhesive has dried, rough up the sheet metal all over with the      sandpaper.
  11. Following      the manufacturer’s instructions, spray primer evenly over the metal      surface. 
  12. Allow      primer to dry and repeat.
  13. Lightly      rub out any rough spots with steel wool.
  14. Following      the manufacturer’s instructions, spray chalkboard paint evenly over the      primed surface.
  15. Allow      paint to dry per instructions and repeat.
  16. When      paint is dry, rub a piece of chalk over the entire chalkboard      surface.  Erase.
  17. Using      wood glue and finishing nails attach your molding pieces. Be sure to place      a small amount of glue along the edges that will butt up against each      other at the corners.
  18. Sink      the nails with the nail set and fill with wood putty.
  19. Lightly      sand putty when dry and touch up paint as necessary.
  20. Paint      edge of backing board to match molding or finish out with another piece of      trim if desired.
  21. Use      hanging device of your choosing or just lean against a wall.