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DIY Chalkboard Paint Wall Idea

How to paint a chalkboard wall mural that doesn’t turn into a huge mess

Are you looking for a creative wall or interactive element for your child’s room, playroom or even kitchen? Chalkboard paint is the perfect way to create a unique feature in your home. We loved the idea of chalkboard paint but didn’t want it to just turn into a big mess once we let our children start showcasing their masterpieces. This DIY chalkboard wall idea was an awesome solution to that problem.

child's hand using chalk on a chalkboard mural

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Where to put a chalkboard wall?

Using chalkboard paint is a semi-permanent accent wall. We recommend using chalkboard paint in a small area first to see if you like the look. Make sure you stay tuned for our tips on how not to have your first drawings become permanent. The good news is that if you don’t like your design, you can always just repaint it!

Other factors to consider when planning your chalkboard wall

  • How smooth is your wall?
  • Is it for kids?
  • What kind of floor is there? Will chalk dust easily clean-up?
  • What is the purpose of this wall? For kids or another decorative purpose?
  • Do you want this wall to be magnetic as well? Check out magnetic chalkboard paint.
  • Chalkboard paint doesn’t have to be black, so consider different color options.

Our chalkboard wall is a small room around our sump pump in our basement. We have even added a metal door that truly showcases my husband’s love for Eddie Van Halen (google his frankenstrat guitar to see the door inspo). This DIY chalk mural will also eventually double as a scoreboard for the dartboard and a fun place for the kids to create artworks.

before chalkboard mural in basement with red Frankenstrat door design and dartboard

You very easily could have frames go all the way up the wall for your children to design in. Or make a more permanent design element to the mural by adding a quote or family to the parts the kids wouldn’t be able to reach anyway.

The room is built with simple plywood and is a place we honestly don’t care too much about. Therefore we didn’t really sand the wood or anything to have a completely flat surface. Make sure if you want a pristine chalk wall (if that is such a thing) that you start with a super smooth surface. However, kids will love chalking on any wall you allow them to.

Why create a chalkboard mural with frames?

If you are looking up chalkboard walls then you probably have already figured out that they can get out of hand pretty easily, especially if children are involved. While we want children to have free range, a little structure of where can be a good thing. Creating picture frames is an awesome way to keep their artworks contained. If you have multiple children, then you can even assign specific frames to them.

In the picture above, you can see what our wall looked like without any structure. Not to mention we did not “prime” the wall. More of that later.

Also, this side of our basement is where we paint cabinets, use it as a home gym, and more. This area is a perfect place to let our kiddos create (and it is right near their true DIY kid’s craft room).

Supplies used to paint chalkboard wall

chalkboard wall supplies

How to paint a chalkboard wall

  1. Sand the wall for the smoothest surface you desire. The smoother the wall the easier. However, our wall is plywood and still works.
  2. Measre and tape out work area if need be.
  3. Wipe wall to get rid of extra dust.
  4. Use a small or large roller to apply chalkboard paint. We used a small 3/8″ nap roller and small sythetic brush to trim out areas. We chose a 3/8″ nap roller instead of a foam roller beacuase we were painting plywood. Rustoleum recommends painting on a smoother surface with a small foam roller.
  5. Let dry.
  6. Paint at least 2 coats of chalkboard paint.
  7. If you are not going to add any other painted elements, make sure that you prime the wall before allowing chalk to just be used.

Why should you prime a chalkboard wall?

If you do not add a base coat of chalk to your chalkboard wall you chance it not be able to be cleaned. Yes, chalk is temporary but will get stuck in any textures. By priming the wall, you are making it easier to change your drawings, lists or writings.

How to prime a chalkboard wall

  1. Rub the side of the chalk in the area that will be chalked on.
rubbing side of chalk on chalkboard wall to prime

2. Use fingers to rub the dust into the texture of the wall.

hand rubbing chalk on DIY chalk wall to prime

How to create a unique chalkboard mural

  1. Plan out your design. You could measure everything, but I just found the middle of the wall and went from there.
  2. Find objects that can be traced to create the frames. We used an oval paper plate, piece of tagboard and plastic circle that holds a paper plate.
supplies used to trace frames on diy chalkboard mural

3. Use white chalk to trace shapes.

white chalk shapes on chalkboard wall

4. Continue using chalk to design frames. You can be super precise or just kind of wing it. Repeating different simple lines will do the trick to create a frame-type feel.

chalkboard frame idea

5. Once you like your design, go over some of the lines with watered-down white acrylic paint (about 1/3 water to 2/3 paint). You really won’t need much paint. You don’t have to water down the paint but we like the “chalky” look of the paint mixing with the chalk on the wall.

paint brush adding white acrylic paint to mural idae

6. Let the paint dry.

chalkboard wall idea with white frames

7. Prime inside the picture frames by rubbing chalk on its side and rubbing with fingers.

frames on chalkboard wall

8. Let your little ones start creating. We love this colored chalk for more vibrant colors.

hand drawing flower on chalkboard wall

Optional:

Use paint chalk markers to come up with more permanent designs. I used a letter transfer method with chalk on the back of my printout instead of graphite.  Eventually, we will be adding a dart scoreboard and possible quote on the wall.

Other Tips for your DIY Chalkboard Paint Wall

  • Read the instructions carefully on the chalkboard paint you use. You can see which product I used here.
  • Most chalkboard paints will say to “prime” the wall first. Do not skip this step! This helps ensure that your drawings will not be permanent on the wall and can be erased.
  • Use chalk paint markers to add extra details to your chalkboard mural.

My kids absolutely loved this chalkboard wall idea. They were so excited to start creating artworks.

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creative chalkboard wall idea with hand drawing on chalkboard wall

If you like this creative wall and home decor idea be sure to check out these home decor ideas:

Or check out these creative art projects for kids:

This chalkboard wall idea was such a fun and easy DIY project. Now you just have to find the right wall!

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Robert Johnston

Thursday 25th of April 2019

this is a great idea. I like the frames part because it creates order.

Jacquie

Thursday 25th of April 2019

Great ideas here! I have had the chalk paint bought was a little weary to do it ... after reading and seeing this I can’t wait to set up my chalkboard wall for my kids!

Erin

Thursday 25th of April 2019

Awesome! I am glad this post provided inspiration for you! Let me know if you have any questions!

Angelina

Thursday 25th of April 2019

Such a cool idea! My brother has been looking into this for his kids, I’ll have to share this post with him!

Kippi

Wednesday 3rd of April 2019

Amazing idea I wish I had done this when my kids were young. I would love to share this with my readers too. Happy Spring, Kippi

Jenn Summers

Wednesday 3rd of April 2019

This such an amazing idea for creativity! I’ve only used chalk paint directly on wall in my home. I used it to create a space for our grocery list next to our pantry. I created a stencil with my silhouette to give it a fancy frame. I think my girls would love this in their room!

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