I’m always looking for DIY ideas on Pinterest to include in my home décor. I happened to find an amazing DIY magnetic chalkboard and thought we’d fill an empty space on Ziya’s playroom wall. I thought that it is a fun way to inspire creativity and be really useful for homeschooling – especially during the pandemic.
One way to create a chalkboard is to simply paint the wall with chalkboard paint, but where’s the fun in that? If you want a more stylized magnetic chalkboard, keep reading to learn how you can do it yourself.
What You’ll Need:
Most of the supplies can be purchased at your local Home Depot, but the galvanized metal sheet had to be preordered and custom made. Even though it was harder to get, it was super important to me since I really wanted Ziya to have a magnetic chalkboard wall.
Step 1: Clear off the wall
Make sure you have a clean wall space with nothing in the way. I decided to create a 5×6 ft magnetic chalkboard and used painters’ tape to get a rough estimate of where I wanted it to go. Since Ziya is only 4 years old, I centered it on the wall but placed it low enough that she can reach the majority of the chalkboard.
Step 2: Paint the metal sheet
Use the chalkboard paint to paint directly on the galvanized metal. You’ll want to use at least 3-4 coats of paint; it took about 4 coats of paint for mine to finally look consistent and opaque.
Be sure to let the paint completely dry for about 24 hours in between coats so that you can have a nice and even coating.
Step 3: Prep and paint the framing
I purchased my framing from Home Depot, and they were able to cut the pieces in the sizes I needed. But, I needed the corners of the mouldings cut at an angle so that they would fit together when framing the chalkboard, which they weren’t able to do. I had to ask my handyman to miter the corners for me.
The moulding that I purchased was already white, but I wanted to give it a fresh coat of paint since it looked a bit old and dingy.
Step 4: Prep for mounting
To prep the wall for mounting the frame you’ll need to measure where you want it to go. Use the level to make sure it is straight and draw out the frame with pencil.
If you’re using a galvanized metal sheet, use a stud finder to locate the studs and mark them off. It is super important to attach the chalkboard to the studs, and not the drywall – since the metal is surprisingly very heavy.
Mark where the studs are on the metal sheet and pre-drill holes into the metal so that it will be easier to nail it into the wall.
Step 5: Season the chalkboard
After it has been painted, let the chalkboard cure for at least 3 days. Then, to season the chalkboard, rub a piece of chalk sideways over the entire surface and erase it afterwards. This will make sure that it will erase properly when you write on it.
Step 6: Mount the board on the wall
Use the 2-inch roofing nails to mount the chalkboard into the studs. We put a few across the top and a few across the bottom to make sure it was really sturdy.
(TIP: After mounting the chalkboard and seeing it on the wall, it didn’t seem as seasoned as I would’ve liked. So, we actually quickly seasoned it again by rubbing a piece of chalk over the entire board and erasing it afterwards.)
Step 7: Add the frame
To add the frame, use the small finishing nails to nail directly through the framing. Use the level to be sure that the frame is placed on properly and looks straight.
Step 8: Caulk holes and seams
The small nails used to install the frame were quick to install, but it was easy to see the nail heads through the framing. Use a small tool to push the nails all the way through so that they are flush with the frame.
Fill in the holes from the nails and any cracks on the corners of the framing with fast-drying caulk, and wipe of any excess as you go along. Let the caulk dry for about an hour.
Step 9: Sand and repaint frame
When the caulk is dry, use sandpaper to sand it down as much as possible so that it is smooth and seamless. Use the leftover trim paint to touch up and cover any holes or cracks that were filled.
Step 9: Add your accessories
I purchased a curtain rod from Walmart and paper from Amazon so that Ziya can have a mini pull-down paper roll to use for coloring with crayons and markers. You’ll want to pre-drill holes for the curtain rod, since you won’t be able to do so once the chalkboard is installed on the wall. You can install the hardware that came with the curtain rod directly into the pre-drilled holes.
I also wanted Ziya to have a place to hold her chalk and eraser, so I purchased a small basket that happened to have a chalkboard front and mounted it to the wall. I also added some of Ziya’s magnetic numbers and letters directly onto the board.
This DIY magnetic chalkboard was a great addition to Ziya’s playroom. It is super functional, educational, and really fun – and is a great way to keep kids busy. It added a lot of function and style to her space and I can’t wait to finish decorating and accessorizing the rest of her playroom. Even though it took a long time to make, Ziya loved her chalkboard and was so excited by the time it was done.