How to make an outdoor chalkboard

On Pinterest (my internet boyfriend) I saw an outdoor chalkboard attached to a brick wall and fell head over heels. Ezra draws on EVERYTHING (my couch, the table, my floors... you get the point) so I thought this would be a perfect blend of his love of outdoors and drawing.
For the supplies you'll need:
*1 gallon latex flat paint (color of your choice)
*1 sheet of treated plywood safe for outdoors
*frameing moulding of your choice
*Liquid nails heavy duty construction indoor/outdoor
*1 small tub of unsanded grout
*latex outdoor paint for the trim in the color of your choice (semi-gloss
or high gloss whichever you like)
*1 quart of Kilz indoor/outdoor primer
*wood screws

I bought a 3/4"x6'x8' sheet of plywood and had it cut down to 4X6.5 feet at Lowes b/c I had to get it small enough to fit in my car and I knew I was going to be hanging it by myself so I just thought that would be the easiest way to go.

I think the only place I found outdoor chalkboard paint was from a company in Australia so I decided to make my own.  Here's what I used:

Basically to make chalkboard paint you add 2Tbs. of unsanded grout to 1 cup of paint.  Since 1 gallon=16cups I just added 8 Tbs. of grout powder which was almost an entire tub so little was wasted.

I used a thick roller brush usually used for brick to apply the paint b/c my plywood was so rough.  I wish I could have used a smoother finished plywood BUT the treated outdoor kind doesn't come smooth so I had to make do.  I also primed my frame moulding with the Kilz at the same time.

To save yourself alot of extra steps and time and frustration you could just skip the frame part but I wanted a pop of color so I just sucked it up and got out the mitar saw.  I picked a really plain moulding to cut down on cost and just made my 45 degree cuts as per below.

After applying 3 coats of paint to the frame and 5 coats of chalkboard paint (you'll want to do several coats to really get a good layer onto the board) to the plywood I attached the trim using liquid nails:

I used wood clamps to hold down the edges of the frame and let it sit for 24 hours.

Once everything had dried it was time to attach it to our fence.  I used 1 1/4 inch screws to drill it onto our fence.

Now my little artist has a huge wall to create his masterpieces on:

One very happy chalk covered boy :)


sasha parker said…
That is so cool! I wish I could just pay you to make one for me!
You are so creative :)
Jenni said…
very impressed! looks great!
Andrea said…
I love all the faces he drew!

Glad all is well.
Lindsey said…
Thanks for the instructions! I am going to make one for my kids this summer :)
Just some girl said…
Did you use up the whole gallon of paint?
Unknown said…
Thank you! My husband just finished one and our three girls (all through adoption) are loving it!
Heather said…
Who would have thought I would googe outdoor chalkboards and find an article from a high school friend! I love what you did and will give it a go myself. Hope life is treating you and the family well!
Heather L.
Unknown said…
Divine photos. We're giving this a go tomorrow!
Stephen said…
Did you mean "1 tbs of grout powder to 2 cups of paint"? If not, your measurements are off.

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