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How To Build a Chalkboard

Difficulty: Complex  |  Estimated time: 6 hours  |  Help needed: 6 volunteers

A chalkboard gives children a space to be artists! Children can collaborate to make murals, play chalk games like tic-tac-toe, and use the chalkboard to keep score for field and asphalt games. A chalkboard can also enhance an outdoor classroom.

Download Instructions

Materials and tools

Quantity: Materials:
3 8' door casing pieces
2 2x4x8' boards
3 4x4x8' boards
1 ¾"x4x' sanded plywood
½lb 3" deck screws
1lb 1" finishing nails
12 3" corner braces
½lb 1 ⅝" deck screws
1lb N8 (1 ½") Simpson nails
1qt Chalkboard paint
1qt Colored paint (for casing)
Tools needed:
Miter Saw
Tape measure
Safety glasses
Carpenter's square
Painting supplies
Screwdriver bit

Preparation instructions

  1. Sort all materials into piles by like items to ensure you have materials needed to complete project.

  2. Set aside the [3] 4x4x8' boards. They will not be cut.

  3. Take [1] 2x4x8' board. Ensure that it is 8' - trim it if you must.

  4. Take the remaining 2x4x8. Cut down to [2] 2x4x42 ¾" pieces.

  5. Set aside [2] of the pieces of 8' door casing. Do not cut.

  6. Cut the remaining 8' door casing into [2] 4' lengths.

  7. Angled Cuts:

    • Take the [2] 4' pieces of door casing cut in step 5. Cut a 45° angle off both sides, creating [2] trapezoids.
    • Take the [2] 8' casing pieces that were set aside in step 4. Cut a 45° angle off both sides, creating [2] trapezoids.
  8. Priming:

    • Set up an area to prime the casing and the 4x8' plywood board. The casing will be the border around the chalkboard.
    • Prime both sides of each piece of casing.
    • Prime the plywood board on both sides and all edges.

Build instructions

  1. Before building, inventory and sort all of your materials.

    Quantity: Inventory:
    3 4x4x8' boards
    1 2x4x8'board
    2 2x4x42 ¾" pieces
    2 4' door casing trapezoids (primed)
    2 8' door casing trapezoids (primed)
    1 ¾"x4x8' sanded plywood (primed)
  2. Use the chalkboard paint to paint the plywood.

  3. Use the colored paint to paint the casing.

  4. Determine where the chalkboard will go. Once located, dig [2] holes 8' apart in a row. These will be for the ends of the chalkboard. The holes should be 2' deep.

  5. Measure a third hole 4' from the center of the 2 holes. Dig a third hole here. This will be for your middle 4x4x8' support post. This hole should also be 2' deep.

  6. Using the 3" deck screws, attach the 2x4x8' lumber to the top of the 4x4x8' posts. [1] of the 4x4x8' posts should be flush with the edge of the 2x4x8'. [1] of the 4x4x8' posts should be flush with the other end of the 2x4x8'. The third 4x4x8' post should be perfectly centered between the end support posts.

  7. Measure 48" down from the top of the 2x4x8' piece across the top of the chalkboard. Mark this spot on the 4x4x8' posts.

  8. The spot you marked should line up with the bottom of the 2x4x42 ¾" pieces. Using the corner braces and the 1" nails, attach the [2] 2x4x42 ¾" pieces. When you are attaching these pieces, make sure that the bottom of the 2x4x42 ¾" is 48" from the top of the 2x4x8' piece.

  9. Using the 1 ⅝" deck screws, secure the plywood to the frame. Make sure the plywood covers the entire face of the 4x4x8' posts.

  10. Using the 1" finishing nails, attach the painted trim to frame the plywood.

  11. Place the completed chalkboard in the holes that were dug. Pour concrete into the holes to set the chalkboard, using the level to ensure that the chalkboard sits evenly.