Saturday, January 25, 2014

Overseas Friendly DIY Chalkboard

So, let's talk a little DIY, shall we?

I have wanted a chalkboard since we left the states.  I had one in Michigan in our playroom.  The boys and I loved it and it was a sweet reminder of my years in Sunday School because it came from the church I grew up in. 

But chalkboards don't fit nicely in a duffel bag or foot locker.  The things we give up, huh?

I finally had mental energy and time to figure out how to get my hands on a chalkboard.  It only took 3 years folks.  Things just take time on the mission field. Ha!

After asking around, I finally decieded to just make one.  The results aren't too shabby!

So here's the deal.  All you need is paint, whatever color you want, and some unsanded grout.  I figured grout would be incredibly easy to find here, since there are entire rooms that are tiled.  No, I am not joking.  There are three rooms in my house alone that are covered from floor to ceiling with tile.  Anyway.

Overseas Friendly Chalkboard Paint
1/2 cup of paint  I used Dark Secret (the blackest I could get)

1 Tablespoon of unsanded grout (I used midnight black, but if you picked a different color paint, you should use something lighter...but you are all smart and knew that already!)

A smooth surface  (My husband found me some particle board type stuff that I didn't have to sand or mess with in anyway.  It's not real wood, but it was great for this purpose.)

Use something disposable to mix your paint and grout in.  And just know, as soon as you start mixing this, it will start to harden.  So don't go mixing an entire liter of paint with grout thinking you can save it for later. 

I used a small roller brush and put three coats on my 60 x 80 cm board.  The  1/2 cup paint to 1 Tbs of grout recipe was the perfect amount for that sized board.  So maybe you could go in on this project with someone because you are going to have a TON of leftover supplies.

After the board is completely dry, take a piece of chalk and cover the whole board with it.  No really.  Then wipe it down with a damp rag.  Drill a couple of holes, find some twine and you are all set!  And just so you know, this isn't like a real slate chalk board.  You will probably need to wipe it with a wet rag to actually get the writing off of it.


  1. Thanks for the budget-friendly idea, Liz! I've been wanting a few chalkboards for around the house, but they are very expensive here. I'm not the greatest when it comes to DIY....but never too late to start, right?

  2. honestly Jen, this is as easy as painting. Noah had the guys at the hardware store cut the boards for me so I didn't have to even do that! Just paint! Sí!! Se puede!!!

  3. Liz, this is great. I've been wanting a chalkboard wall on this little half wall where the kids play in the back yard, but can't find chalkboard paint. I'll have to add this to our "to-do" list!!

  4. do you want black? Because seriously, when you are back in country, we should meet up and I can give you some of the black paint and grout!

  5. this is how we've done chalkboards at the elementary mission school and at the mk school my kiddos attended. :-)