Chalkboard (From Leftover Materials)




Introduction: Chalkboard (From Leftover Materials)

Making a chalkboard is really simple. Heck, you can even buy "chalkboard paint" at almost any hardware store. But why buy chalkboard paint when you can make it yourself? Chalkboard paint can be pricey, and buying paint is bad for the environment, so use what you already have, and come up with something cool! The best thing about it is that it is customizable. There are an infinite amount of color choices and shapes that you can use. Go for it!

Everything that I used was stuff that I already had or salvaged (hence, from leftover materials), with the exception of the non sanded tile grout. You can do the same! Find plywood from some random back lot, at night, without clothes (best camo). Ask relatives for leftover paint, or see if anyone you know has big nuts that they can spare.

*Apologizes in advance for some of the low light, grainy photos. They looked good when I took them!*

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Step 1: What You Need.

-Plywood (I re-used an old project I had done).
-4 big bolts and 4 big nuts (as big as you want!).
-Drill and appropriately sized drill bit for your bolts.
-Circular saw.
-Pencil and measuring tape.
-Paint supplies (roller, pan, paint stirrer)
-Non-sanded tile grout (go into Ace and just ask) (not pictured here, but later in the Instructable).
-Leftover flat finish paint, whatever color you have or like (see below).

Now, you may be thinking that there is no way that using paint is a green thing to do, but it is when you consider the following:

- Paint cannot be recycled, it must be used, or dried up and thrown away.
- Many disposal places (dumps) refuse to take any paint cans due to leftover paint hazards. Some dumps even take leftover paint, put it into a new container, and sell it or give it away.
- The minute you bought paint, you commited the eco-crime. Death to you.

Do the responsible thing, and use what you have.

If you do not have any leftover paint, you can still buy paint, but buy low-VOC paint, which is low in "volatile organic compounds" which are pollutants. These paints are low in VOCs, and also low on fumes and odor, so no headache when used!

Step 2: Cut Your Plywood.

I cut out a rectangle, and that is what this 'ible will be based around, but you can be creative and use whatever type of shape you want! Basically, use your circular saw to cut out your plywood to whatever size you want.

You will want to sand the front smooth, the ridges of plywood can get in the way. I didn't do this, but it occured to me after I completed the project. You will do this, promise?

Step 3: Drill Holes.

For the bolts, drill holes all four corners. I went in two inches from the corners and drilled.

Step 4: Mix Tile Grout and Paint.

There are many recipes on the internet for chalkboard paint. I eyeballed it, but the Martha Stewart website suggests two tablespoons of non-sanded tile grout per cup of paint. Mix your tile grout in a little at a time, making sure there is no clumping. Slow and steady now, slow and steady.

Step 5: Paint.

Paint your board with your roller. I used a brush, but you won't. Please promise me you won't. You need two coats. Try to make the coats as even as possible.

Step 6: Sand and Prepare Board.

Using sandpaper, make your board nice and smooth, aka, sand the surface.

Then, rub the side of a piece of chalk all over your board and wipe off with a barely wet sponge.

This prepares your board for chalky goodness.

Step 7: Add Bolts and Mounting Wire.

Screw in two bolts on the bottom, with the nuts in front.

For the top bolts, you need to wrap wire around one of the bolts securely before bolting through. Screw in the top bolts lightly (not all the way), and wrap your wire around the two bolts, creating a wire across the board, between the bolts, for hanging purposes. Tighten the bolts, securing the wire in place.

I used florists wire. Don't use florists wire (if that is what it is truly called). Use a stronger wire if you have it, like iron wire.

Step 8: Hang.

Stick a few nails in the wall, and hang the board from the wire. (My room is slightly messy, please excuse.)

Step 9: Draw.

Your chalkboard is done! The best method of erasing is to use a cloth (removes most of it), and keep a spritzer bottle and a cloth around for heavy cleaning.

Let me know what you think! Comment and rate. Constructive criticism is a fun thing to do, and everyone can participate! If you have any ideas to add, let me know through commenting or PM.

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    8 Discussions


    Reply 10 years ago on Introduction

    I'd highly recommend Picasa. Also free, and incredibly user-friendly in that Google kind of way.

    Doctor What
    Doctor What

    Reply 10 years ago on Introduction

    You're right! I just downloaded Picasa, I've always seen it used at school, but never gave it a shot. Very, very, easy!

    Doctor What
    Doctor What

    Reply 10 years ago on Introduction

    They use picasa at school. It's on every school account desktop.


    Reply 10 years ago on Introduction

    Does that software do the same as PhotoShop's AutoLevels to give the result you've shown?
    (I've still got a copy of Lviewp1b, which was a free download maybe 10 years ago...)



    Reply 10 years ago on Introduction

    I don't know PhotoShop features, I know it only by name. PhotoFiltre has Autolevels option, but I don't used that. I adjust gamma, bright and contrast by hand. Maybe Autolevels is better.


    Reply 10 years ago on Introduction

    I might give PhotoFiltre a go then. Auto' can work very well, but if you have an odd (i.e. unnatural) balance of colours it can do some odd things. L