Inexpensive Easy To Make Chalkboard Sign ~ I have to chuckle a little bit that chalkboards are very popular right now to use as signs and even as part of a home decor. The reason why I am chuckling a little bit is because I started my teaching career when there was only chalkboards in the classroom. To be honest they were a bit of a pain to work with because they created a lot of dust.
My clothes would always have chalk dust on them and my hands were always dusty. Then I found out I was allergic to the chalk dust. That’s the reason why I was always blowing my nose and sneezing. I am sure my former students remember me as the teacher with the chronic post nasal drip and a tissue in her hand.
They also didn’t look very pretty in the classroom because to me they always looked dusty and faded. Years later I was so excited when they installed whiteboards in my classroom. Not only did my nose stop dripping but they were so much brighter and cleaner to work with. I even had a class set of student size whiteboards for my students to use.
But I do have to say there is a place for both. I love the vintage and artistic look of a black chalkboard compared to a whiteboard. A chalkboard sign does look more stylish when used as a sign in a photograph or hanging in a kitchen for messages. I even have one that I bought in a gift shop in a small village on one of my trips to Quebec. You can see it in this post about My Fall Vignette that I made last year.
It’s also really nice to have your own student size chalkboard to use for different things including signs, messages and homework practice with the kids. But they are hard to find so I came up with a very easy and inexpensive way for you to make your own.
For the base I found a dry mounted print I found at the thrift store for $5.00. It is 18” x 24” (46 cm x 61 cm) so this one is a bit larger. I didn’t feel badly painting over the print because it was dated and if you look closely a bit marked up. I upcycled it and gave it a new life by converting it into a really cool chalkboard that can be used for lots of different things.
This post is also going to be a bit of spray painting tutorial. I have spray painted several different projects with different degrees of success and several with failure. So I am sharing my how-tos that I learned through trial and error for how to spray paint a really good looking project. One thing I learned is the brand and quality of spray paint is really important. It is also essential to use a primer first and the one that I have had the most success with is the Kilz product that I buy at Home Depot. I also find that working with chalkboard paint is so easy to do. I used the same chalkboard spray paint when I made these Milk Cartons Turned Into Chalkboard Painted Herb Pots. By the way this is not a sponsored post.
You will also notice I added a temporary border to my inexpensive easy to make chalkboard. That’s because you can use the chalkboard for different purposes and easily change the look. For this Back To School sign I picked up a bulletin board border up at the teacher supply store. This border choice works perfectly for this event. You can even decorate the chalkboard with different borders for different celebrations or just leave it plain when using it for homework. There are so many choices for different occasions, topics and ages.
One more thing. The purple plastic tablecloth that you see in the photographs is one that I picked up at the dollar store. I find these make great table covers when working on messy projects.
Here are the how-tos for…
Inexpensive Easy To Make Chalkboard Sign
- dry mounted print
- T.S.P. All Purpose Heavy Duty Cleaner
- rubber gloves
- white primer spray paint
- black chalkboard spray paint
- bulletin board border
- double sided tape
Clean the dry mounted print with T.S.P. Heavy Duty All Purpose Cleaner. Follow package instructions.
Preparing Spray Paint Stage
Shake the spray paint and primer cans vigorously for one minute. Just before applying the primer or the paint spray some on a separate piece of scrap wood to make sure the nozzle is clear and the paint is ready to spray evenly. You don’t want to start off with a big blob of paint coming out of the can.
Spray paint a very light top coat using the white primer spray paint. Hold the spray paint primer can about 12 in (30 cm) and slowly go back and forth giving it a light ‘mist’ for the first coat. Start at the top and slowly make your way down to the bottom. Let dry for one hour. I find this light coat gives is a nice smooth layer and a starting point for the second coating to adhere to.
Give the print a second coat by holding the can of spray paint primer using the same technique. Then move around the table and starting at one side give it another coat going back and forth making your way to the other side. I find moving around and working from different angles makes sure the entire surface is evenly covered. Let dry one hour.
Chalkboard Paint Stage
Use the same technique as the spray paint primer. Make the first coat a light mist and let dry an hour.
For the second coat go one way starting at the top and working your way down to the bottom. Then move around the work table and do the same thing. Let dry an hour.
This should nicely cover the surface and make it a rich smooth dark black colour. If not, you may have to add one more coat.
Customize your inexpensive easy to make chalkboard with a decorative border! I just used a double sided tape to adhere the border to the chalkboard sign. I like the look of the layered border on the top and the bottom. The border was super easy to trim with scissors.
I am still not crazy about chalkboards but I love this chalkboard sign for several reasons. It was so easy and inexpensive to make. But most of all, it is very versatile and can be sued for lots of different activities and occasions just my decorating it with different borders!
I would love to hear about your chalkboard sign projects!
Thank so much for stopping by and allowing me to share this inexpensive easy to make chalkboard sign project with you!