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How to Make Mini-Chalkboards

Make quick-and-easy mini-chalkboards that you can use outside. Just brush a few coats of chalkboard paint on a poplar board. You'll be writing in no time!

Mini Chalkboards

Project Overview

Skill Level


Estimated Time

1 day

Estimated Cost


Tools and Materials


  • Miter saw or miter box and handsaw
  • Painter's tape
  • T-square or straightedge
  • 4" roller
  • Sandpaper (medium and fine grits)
  • Wax candle
  • Craft knife


  • 1/4" x 6" x 4' poplar board, #1228
  • Latex primer
  • 1 - 8-ounce sample Valspar Hacienda Tile 2010-4, #94101
  • 1 - 8-ounce sample Valspar Clove Bud 2004-5B, #94101
  • 1 quart Valspar Chalkboard Enamel, #203261
  • 4" heavy strap hinge, #64167
  • Flat black spray paint

Items may be Special Order in some stores. Product costs, availability, and item numbers may vary online or by market. Paint colors may vary slightly from those shown. Availability varies by market for lumber species and sizes.

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Step 1

Cut the poplar board into 4-1/2" x 6" pieces. Sand each piece and wipe clean before priming them. After the primer dries, coat the back, edges, and a 1" front border in Hacienda Tile.

Step 2

For an aged look, rub the front Hacienda Tile border vertically with a wax candle. Paint over the wax with Clove Bud and let dry. Sand vertically with medium-grit sandpaper to expose the Hacienda Tile.

Step 3

Using a T-square or straightedge, measure 1" from each edge of the board. Tape off with painter's tape.

Step 4

Paint the center of the board with three coats of chalkboard paint using a 4" roller. Allow each coat to dry before applying the next. Remove the painter's tape after the third coat.

Step 5

Spray hinges with flat black spray paint. Add additional layers until the hinges are evenly coated. Dry completely between each coat.

Step 6

Open the black hinges all the way to create easels for the mini-chalkboards. Rest the hinge on one arm and place the board between the pin and top arm.