I’m under no misconceptions here that I’m way on the tail end of the chalkboard wall craze, but I just have to tell you guys that I am totally ♥In♥Love♥ with our dining room chalkboard wall. Our chalkboard wall isn’t a message board or a place for us to color pictures for each other. Nope, our chalkboard wall is “Nick & Melissa’s European Bucket List”.
How could I not be in love with this chalkboard wall?
There’s a lot of chatter on the interwebz about chalkboard walls, so I’m gonna hop on that pony and ride on down to DIY Town, sharing with you all (because clearly, you’re dying to know) how I made our chalkboard wall.
I’ve read that chalkboard paint isn’t exactly a piece of cake to remove/paint over. Because we never know how long we’ll be in any given Army apartment, I didn’t want to worry with chalkboard paint. Instead, I went the route of a peel and stick chalkboard wall.
1. Select Materials
In the United States, you can buy Con-Tact® Brand self-adhesive blackboard paper. I wasn’t able to find Con-Tact® paper in Germany, but I found a product that’s virtually identical called d-c-fix®.
2. Purchase Materials
AAFES didn’t have Con-Tact® or d-c-fix®, so I adventured out into the local economy to purchase my materials. There are two major hardware store chains here, both of which are similar to The Home Depot® or Lowe’s® in the U.S.: OBI and Hornbach. I went to Hornbach purely out of proximity to our apartment.
Tip: If you don’t speak German, just take a few minutes before your shopping trip to use an online translator or German dictionary to write down the translation of the materials you’re searching for. Take your translated list to the store with you in case you need to ask for help.
3. Prep Surface
- Start with a very smooth surface (heavily textured walls probably won’t work).
- Wipe the surface down with a damp cloth to remove any dirt or dust.
- Allow the surface to dry completely.
4. Size Paper
- Measure the surface you want to cover with your blackboard material.
- Carefully unroll your blackboard paper face-down on the ground.
- Mark off your dimensions on the back side of the blackboard paper.
- Tip: I recommend using both a straight edge (yard stick, ruler, etc.) and the grid patter on the back of the paper to help you create clean, straight line
- Using a sharp knife or scissors, trim your blackboard paper to the size of your surface.
5. Hang Chalkboard
- Ensure that surface is completely dry.
- Choose a starting place
- Tip: I started from the top and worked downward, working with gravity instead of against it.
- Peel off the backing of the first inch or two of blackboard paper.
- Apply the first edge of your paper, taking care that the paper is straight.
- Use your hands or a firm edge (I used the binding of a hard book), apply paper to surface, smoothing any air bubbles as you go.
- Tip: Air bubble are much easier to manage if you smooth them as you go. Waiting until the entire wall is done will make it much more difficult to remove bubbles.
- After you’ve mounted the first inch or two, remove a few more inches of the chalkboard backing. Smooth air bubbles, and continue.
- Repeat until your chalkboard is on hanging.
See that ugly, worn out step stool in that picture up there? Check out what I did with it by reading this post.
This step is crucial: Once your chalkboard is mounted to the wall, you need to use the long edge of a piece of chalk to temper the paper. Cover the entire surface of the paper with chalk, then wipe clean.
This step gives the paper enough texture to hold the whatever you draw or write onto the board later.
7. Enjoy Your Chalkboard!
We’ve used our finished chalkboard to write our “European Bucket List”, but there’s no limit to the ways you could use your chalkboard.
Tip: While this style chalkboard looks fantastic when completed, it’s not quite as easy to write on as a slate chalkboard. If you have children, you’ll want to be careful, as they may naturally press hard into the chalkboard to get their pictures or writing to show up. I’d be concerned about indentations or scratches appearing in the wall beneath your chalkboard as a result.
Have you created a home chalkboard wall?
Link up your blog post or leave a comment telling us about your project, below!