How To Make A Vintage Inspired Chalkboard


vintage style wall chalkboard

A few weeks ago I shared our rain gutter bookshelf project, which is working out beautifully.  Since school is sneaking up on us and I am busy getting our school room up to snuff, I  wanted to show you how we created a vintage inspired school room chalkboard. This project really cost me nothing, as I already had all the supplies.  Even if you were to go buy the supplies, I can tell you it would be minimal. This was a quick and easy project-my favorite kind!


How to make a chalkboard on the wall


how to make a wall chalkboard
1. Measure and tape off for chalkboard area with painters tape. (Clean wall and fill any holes ahead of time.)

2. I used Rust-Oleum chalkboard paint available at home improvement stores. There is plenty of paint in the can for multiple projects.

3. Apply with a dense foam roller and be sure to smooth out roller lines and avoid drips.  The foam rollers are best for smooth finishes.

4. Let dry 30 minutes between coats. I applied 3 coats.

Remove the blue tape right away after finishing the last coat.

Leave painted chalkboard area for 3 days to cure before writing on surface.  

how to make a vintage style chalkboard

Wanting to achieve a vintage inspired chalkboard, I decided to add a yardstick frame and make it appear as old.  Here are the steps I took to achieve the vintage frame.

1. I didn’t have antique yardsticks so I used new ones I had purchased from Walmart.  Cheap and easy!

2. I used 5 yardsticks total for the size of my chalkboard.  Of course this is going to vary depending on the size of your chalkboard. We nailed the 4 full length yardsticks first in the places we wanted them first with a nail gun and small finishing nails.  Then we used a small hacksaw for cutting the shorter pieces to fill in the gaps, and nailed those in place.  It was so quick and easy.

3. I then applied Minwax water based stain.  I rubbed it on and right off. Mine was Walnut color.

4. I repeated the application of stain a couple times till I got the desired color I was wanting.

chalkboard framed in yardsticks

This is how the chalkboard looked with just the yardsticks attached.  Very awesome.

wall chalkboard with rest

We then nailed on a piece of quarter round molding for a chalk rest.

This step is out of order! We actually attached the chalk rest before I applied the stain.

minwax paste wax

After all the stain was dry I rubbed the entire yardstick frame and chalk rest in a paste wax.  Using a soft rag I applied and buffed it.  I put on 2-3 coats of wax.  This gave the frame an even better look that mimics old yardsticks.


steps to make a wall chalkboard


1. Be sure to “season” your chalkboard before allowing anyone to write on the board, by covering the whole surface with chalk then wipe off. This will create the rubbed look of a chalkboard, and keep the first words you draw on to stick permanently.  You want to create the “chalky” gray surface.  My kids had a blast helping me with this.

2. I  spray painted a ball jar ring and left the top open to make a chalk jar that sits close by for extra chalk.

3. Here is what the chalk rest looks like with all our fun bright chalk lined up–so inspiring!


Now have fun creating with your new chalkboard!


kids chalk drawings

My kids love coming in and doodling to their hearts content.

kids chalkboard drawings

Anyone for rainbows and spiders?

You might just have fun doodling on your chalkboard with your kids!  After all, who doesn’t like drawing on the wall?  A wall chalkboard is the perfect canvas for letting the imagination loose.  Perfectly fun, cheap and easy!

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  1. Great project! Wish I had the wall space for it. Can’t wait to see the room!!

  2. What an excellent addition to your schoolroom! Love the use of the yardsticks! :)

  3. I love this idea!

  4. You are so creative! Love seeing the pics, great visual tutorial, and beautiful family!

  5. What a great project! I love chalkboard paint :)

  6. I bet the kiddos LOVE this! I had a little chalk board when I was little and I hauled it all over the house teaching anyone who would listen! No surprise I became a teacher!

    Thanks for hosting the link-up!

    • Cute story! Thanks Mary Beth for sharing your story. It is No surprise that you are a teacher!

      Thank you for coming to linkup. God bless!

  7. If my kids were smaller, I would totally make this. Perhaps I could make a smaller one for my kitchen! I linked up today. So exciting!

  8. What a great idea – your schoolroom looks fun!

  9. my, my what a creative streak you are on. Love both yesterdays and today project. My daughter used the blackboard paint on the back of the kids closet doors. it is great.

  10. Love this, Denise. I am just recently completed a couple of projects, for my kids, and it has been so much fun. Challenging, too. But so worth it. :) My post I linked up shows my attitude during one of the projects and what I learned about my heart. Bless you, friend.

    • I am sure you are very talented at projects! After I saw your beautiful writing space, I have no doubts of your talents! You are such a blessing to me, thank you for coming be here and linking up each week.

  11. ro elliott says:

    Oh we did one wall in my daughters room…on her 14th birthday…we had everyone at her party go and write a word that described her to them…2 years later she still has all those beautiful words on her wall…blessings to you new school year.

  12. Such a great idea. But I am sad…I do not have any kids around these days that would enjoy using such a nifty thing. I do, however, eventually plan to use this concept on my kitchen cabinet as a list/menu keeper.

  13. My two-year old grandson would love this. Maybe this will be a playroom project. Thanks Denise!

  14. shawn heeney says:

    Such s great idea using the yard sticks for the frame. I want to make a chalkboard using an old wooden picture frame. Just haven’t found the right frame yet lol

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