Give kids a place to create and share their outdoor artwork on this weatherproof chalkboard.
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Cut 1' off the 5' width of both HardieBacker boards to create two 3'x4' pieces (A). For a clean cut edge, use a straightedge and utility knife to score the backer board.
Lay a piece of 3/4"-thick lumber under and to the larger side of the cut. Push down on the scrap side to snap the board.
Cut the top and bottom front frame boards (B) to length. Apply construction adhesive to one face of each board and place them beneath the two backer boards with the edges and ends flush. Check that the backer board edges are pressed tightly together and screw through the backer boards into the top and bottom front frame boards.
Measure the distance between the top and bottom boards (about 31") and cut the front sides (C) to that length. Apply adhesive and screw these boards in place with the outside edges flush with the backer board edges. For a more attractive look, keep screw heads from showing on the front frame by screwing first through the backer boards and then into the front frame.
Cut the back frame sides (D) to length, apply construction adhesive, and screw them to the two backer boards. Measure the distance between the back frame sides, and cut the top and bottom boards (E) to length. Apply adhesive and screw through the sides into the backer boards.
After the adhesive dries, sand the frame and round over any sharp edges on the front of the frame. Wipe off any sanding dust, prime all the surfaces on both sides, and let dry.
Apply a coat of primer to the backer board and frame on both sides and all edges. Let dry. Tape the front frame and paint the backer board with three coats of black latex paint. After the final coat, remove the tape and let dry overnight.
We used exterior flat latex enamel instead of chalkboard paint, which is not recommended for outdoor use. The flat sheen provides enough texture for chalk to rub off on it.
Mask off the painted backer board and apply three coats of paint to the frame on the front and back. Let the final coat dry overnight.
Using lag screws, fasten the chalkboard to the fence. Drive the screws into a fence post where possible and add blocks to the fence pickets to grab the screws as needed.