Have you ever wished you had a chalkboard wall in your home? But, those bumpy textured walls or damaged drywall are not smooth enough? Well, today I’m about to rock your world by showing you How to Make a SMOOTH Chalkboard Wall For Imperfect Walls!

SMOOTH Chalkboard WallHow to Make a SMOOTH Chalkboard Wall {For Imperfect Walls}

I feel your pain! We have a little wall between the kitchen and the dining room that was the perfect spot for a chalkboard wall. But the drywall was ripped from the removal of the beadboard. Sure, I could have ripped out the drywall and added new, but honestly I was beyond drywall in our kitchen renovation process and I didn’t want to back track.

I’m cringing at the photo below because the pantry looked like that long after we finished the kitchen. Luckily, I finished the pantry last year. You would not recognize it as the same space!

SMOOTH Chalkboard Wall

But enough about the kitchen renovation. I came up with a new solution for making the wall smooth enough for a chalkboard! You could also use this technique if you wanted to remove the chalkboard in the future if you live in a rental and aren’t allowed to paint walls.

Ready? Alright, let’s get this chalkboard party started now!

SMOOTH Chalkboard Wall Materials:

(I’ve included affiliate links for your convenience. I earn a small percentage from a purchase using these links. There is no additional cost to you. You can read more about affiliate links here.)

Optional (if you have an outlet or switch to work around):

SMOOTH Chalkboard Wall Instructions:

Cut Your Pieces:

Cut your masonite to size. (Or bring your measurements and ask the store to cut it to size for you.)

SMOOTH Chalkboard Wall

Use a jigsaw, circular saw, table saw, or other power saw to cut each panel. Dry fit the panels on the wall and make any adjustments as necessary.

SMOOTH Chalkboard Wall

Plan your sections:

Use one large sheet to cover as much wall as possible. The fewer the seams the better.  Plan to hang a small piece for over any doors. (Note: The skinny little section on the left side of the door was left blank, no one has noticed after it was painted black.)

SMOOTH Chalkboard Wall

If you have an outlet or light switch, you need to cut a hole in the masonite to accommodate them.  To cut the hole, smear lipstick around the edges of the box (or you can smear it on an outlet as shown in this post.) Hold the masonite panel in place and push against the outlet box. When removed you should  see the lipstick impressions. (I used an extra outlet box to trace around for lines that were easier to see.)

marking_outlet_location_lipstick

Drill holes in the corner of the outlined shape. Use a jigsaw to cut from hole to hole. Test fit your panel.

drill_holes_for_outlet

Install Panels:

Time to hang the masonite panels. For a permanent hold, use construction glue and then secure with finish nails. If you want to be able to remove the panels later, skip the adhesive and use only finish nails.

glue_and_nail_board

Fill nail holes and seams with wood putty. Lightly sand smooth after the putty has dried.

SMOOTH Chalkboard Wall

Prime and Paint:

Using a foam roller, prime the chalkboard with tinted primer (ask your paint department to add as much black as they can to a small can of primer. This will reduce the number of coats of chalkboard paint needed.) My Lowe’s store was able to produce a 50% gray color.

SMOOTH Chalkboard Wall

After the primer dries, lightly sand, and wipe clean. It’s important to sand between coats because this will give you the smoothest results and it gives a little tooth for the next layer to adhere to. You’ll need at least two coats of chalkboard paint.

SMOOTH Chalkboard Wall

Seasoning the Chalkboard:

After the paint has dried thoroughly, enlist the help of your son or daughter to help season the chalkboard (rub chalk on its side over the entire surface.)

SMOOTH Chalkboard Wall

Then wipe off the chalk using a completely dry rag.

SMOOTH Chalkboard Wall

There is beauty in the gray movement on a chalkboard wall, wouldn’t you agree?

SMOOTH Chalkboard Wall

Don’t forget to add  your outlet covers. You can paint them with chalkboard paint to match the wall.  (Important: Do not paint the actual outlet, this violates electrical codes.)

chalkboard_open_dining_rm

Christen your chalkboard with drawings or your to do list.

kitchen_to_do_list

Within two hours I had to erase the list because I was feeling a little stressed by all the things I needed to complete in our kitchen renovation.

This fun quote was a lot less stressful!

SMOOTH Chalkboard Wall

We added a chalkboard calendar a few years ago and this has been the best way for our family to stay organized (also the kids love seeing what’s coming up each week.)

2014 chalkboard calendar wall

What would you use a chalkboard wall for? I’d love to hear your ideas.

PHGFancySign

58 replies
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  1. Meg Sluyter
    Meg Sluyter says:

    What a great solution. I have textured walls ALL over my home but really wanted a chalkboard wall somewhere for the kids. Now I know what I can do, thanks for this :).
    I don’t know if you’ve seen the chalkboard paint recipe to make your own chalkboard paint with unsanded tile grout but I tried it on some furniture (for the kids) and it worked great. 1 cup paint to 2 tablespoons unsanded grout and you can use any paint color too. Your wall looks great, I can’t wait to make one, once I find a place.

    Reply
    • Brittany Bailey
      Brittany Bailey says:

      Meg, thanks. Yes, I found the same chalkboard paint recipe. It is economical, but not as smooth as the pre-manufactured kind. (Then again, maybe I need to use a blender to make it more smooth ;-D)

      Reply
  2. Maggie S
    Maggie S says:

    I was wondering is you used a special blade in the jig-saw? My husband was worried that the edge would be ragged
    Thanks
    Maggie

    Reply
  3. Su@TheIntentionalHome
    [email protected] says:

    why don’t you paint the outlet? I have painted all my outlet covers and the outlets themselves. . .oops, tell me the reason you do not do that.

    and I love the new background to the blog. . the turquoise distressed wood. . I loved the pallet wall background too. . .both more fitting than the floral

    peace to your home, body, mind, and heart-
    Su

    Reply
  4. AnnW
    AnnW says:

    You are just too Good! That was a smart problem solver. I just can’t picture where that wall is, though. How are you doing on the time frame here? I’m betting for May. Ann

    Reply
  5. Shannon Fox
    Shannon Fox says:

    I do and I did. I love it. And I totally wrote CAT when my girly was hanging by it. hehe. Mine is rough but I’m going to sand it down (making a mess) and then re paint it. When I get to it.

    Yours looks great!! It’s a wonderful feature and the perfect spot 🙂

    Reply
  6. Kristen
    Kristen says:

    I recently bought some chalk MARKERS that I saw someone mention online. They work on any non-porous surface and look GREAT. You have to wipe them off with something wet, but I think they would minimize the chalk dust problem, just to mention. Plus they just don’t smear quite so easily. Kind of like dry-erase markers, but more opaque for dark surfaces.

    Reply
  7. Cath
    Cath says:

    Interesting fix for the rough wall problem. Maybe chalkboard vinyl would have worked on this rough wall, too? I can’t help but wonder, though, every time I see a big chalkboard wall in a house–what about the chalk dust? Isn’t it going to collect on the floor? I see you have an air vent just below it. Will that blow the dust around the room? I’m not actually planning to make one of these but I can’t help but wonder how people cope with the dust. When my son was little I put a small chalkboard my MIL found at a yardsale out on the porch for him to scribble on. There I wasn’t worried about the dust. I was thinking chalkboards must be a girl thing, he didn’t use it much, but gosh your son did a nice picture. Actually, I’m a little tired of chalk drawings on sidewalks in the neighborhood. It gets on your shoes, so you have to tiptoe through the artwork. Could everyone please put one of these in their houses so the kids stop drawing on the sidewalks? (Just kidding)

    Reply
    • Lyndsay
      Lyndsay says:

      We have a large chalkboard wall in my son’s room. Yes, we do get dust almost everywhere, but it’s not like it’s permanent. We even have a rug in his room, and there aren’t any chalk marks on the rug. So, yes, there’s dust, but it is completely manageable (I am not a neat freak, though, so my standards are probably different from most). 🙂

      Reply
      • Brittany (aka Pretty Handy Girl)
        Brittany (aka Pretty Handy Girl) says:

        Cath, you know, I must be totally immune to messes by now. With two boys, it’s just inevitable. I don’t mind a little chalk dust as long as I’m fostering creativity and fun in their lives. Lyndsay, How cool that you have a chalkboard actually in your son’s room! I bet he loves it.

    • Jen B.
      Jen B. says:

      They make chalkless chalkboard markers that are fantastic! You use them like any other marker but they are justliquid chalk, so just a damp cloth removes whatever you write. They are excellent for precision drawings, with NO chalk dust & great color options!!! Still prime your chalkboard with chalk dust, though, just to get the best results. 🙂

      Reply
  8. hellebelle
    hellebelle says:

    awesome! i am trying to find a wall to do this on because my house is horrifying devoid of magnetic spaces (stainless steel fridge). how well do magnets stick to your chalkboard wall?

    p.s. i like your lipstick cut-locating trick.

    Reply

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