DIY Shaped Chalkboards

I’ve been painting and cutting out chalkboards for the last few weeks and I’ve learned more than a few things in the process. 🙂 What could be cuter than a shaped chalkboard for a kid’s room? Or in the kitchen? What about one just for leaving notes to your sweetheart in the morning? I saw one on Etsy and just had to try it for myself.

We started with 1/4″ plywood… I penciled the outline of something that resembled my inspiration, and traced it onto the wood. In the same process that used to make the LOVE doorhanger (see my post here), I cut out the shape and then sanded the edges of the shape. There were a couple problems with this method, one of which is splitting veneer. As soon as you cut around the outline, the veneer on the plywood splinters off around curved edges and corner cuts. Then you have to sand/fill to make the surface smooth enough for chalk paint. My solution? Use hardboard instead! Cuts beautifully, no splintering, and the surface is perfectly smooth because it’s a composite product. Also, it’s about half the price. Winning.

Before we get to the pretty, here are a few of my other tips on using chalkboard paint:

1. Apply chalkboard paint (I love Rustoleum, personally) with either a sponge or a dense foam roller for a smooth finish. A roller will give you a more textured finish, where the sponge will give you more “lines” in the finish. It’s whatever you prefer.

2. Apply at least three coats of paint for a good working, erase-able finish.

3. When finishing the back of your board, using a foam roller will be faster, and give you a more even color. You can finish the back in any way you like, but I recommend Rustoleum indoor/outdoor water-based paint. It’s water resistant, dries quickly, and covers well.

4. When you finish painting your three coats (or more if you like), let the paint dry for a good 24 hours. Rub down your entire piece with chalk and then wipe clean. You’ve conditioned the chalkboard paint and it’s ready to use!!

So, how did ours turn out?




What do you think? They look adorable on the easel stands, but honestly they are not sturdy enough to write on while sitting on them. My next one is going to either get a ribbon hanger, or maybe get mounted on the wall with command strips. Live and learn, right? But I couldn’t be happier with how CUTE they are!!

What other shapes would you make? We made a house, a flower … and I’ll share those with you soon!

~ The Woodworker’s Wife


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