How to create a chalkboard wall for your kid’s room
June 12, 2018
Looking to make a playroom decor statement and give your kid something fun to do on a rainy day? Get crafty with a bucket of chalkboard paint and transform the playroom or bedroom wall into a creative kid’s dream: their very own DIY chalkboard art wall. And as an added bonus, it provides all the vertical storage space you need for art supplies and inspirational materials—it even adds family ambiance to your home decor. You can supply decorations to provide a little bit of inspiration and make space to display finished artwork.
We love this idea because it not only looks amazing and is super simple to set up, but also because it is an amazing unstructured play resource. A great big chalkboard laden with fun arts and crafts supplies inspires kids to get off the iPad, the PS4, and actually create something. It’s big, full of potential for fun activities, and just screams “DRAW ON ME!” Here’s how to turn a wall in your home into a chalkboard craft station.
Painting a kids chalkboard wall
First, find your wall. It can be in your kid’s playroom, their bedroom, or even in a family area. Here’s what you’ll need before diving in.
- Chalkboard paint
- Painter’s Tape
- A tarp or drop cloth
- A paint roller and tray
- A box of regular chalk
Step 1: Prep the wall
Start with a clean wall. Dirt, grime, and scuffs will make your chalkboard difficult to draw on. Once the wall is clean, run a drop cloth the entire length of the floor. This is especially important if you have carpet. Then, use painter’s tape to block off your baseboards. Taping the cloth to your baseboards will keep any rogue paint splatters from sneaking under your drop cloth. Then block off the ceiling and the ends of the walls with painters tape. You should end up with nice, straight lines.
Step 2: Paint the wall
Now you can start painting. Using a roller and tray, use “W” motions to coat the wall evenly in chalkboard paint. Most brands recommend 2-3 coats of paint, so this might take a while. Make sure to let each coat sit for 12-24 hours before painting over it.
Step 3: Prime the wall
After all the paint is on and all the coats are dry, you’ll need to prime the wall (with chalk, not wall primer!) If you’ve painted a large area of wall, you’ll need 5-6 pieces of regular white chalk. Just cover the entire wall with chalk dust by using the side of the chalk stick. Once the entire wall is covered, wipe it down with a dry paper towel. Think of it as rubbing chalk into the paint. If you skip priming the wall, you’re more likely to see ghosts of drawings past stick around after you try to erase them.
Decoration ideas for your chalkboard wall
So now you’ve got a blank chalkboard. Why stop there? Add utility and interest to your wall by putting in vertical storage and decor. Here’s what you’ll need:
- Shelving (we used stick-on shelves)
- Stick-on wall hooks
- Picture frames
- Tiny Buckets
- Regular and colorful chalk
- Markers and crayons
- Construction paper
- Any other art supplies you want!
Step 4: Set up your vertical storage
We only put one shelf on our chalkboard wall, but like all DIY projects, there are no rules or “right way” to do things. The more shelves you have, the more books and fun crafty things you can store. Whether you choose stick-on shelves or something more heavy-duty, place your shelves and attach them to the wall.
Shelves can hold books on drawing, origami, and other creative topics. They can hold construction paper, toys, and all sorts of materials. When kids have access to supplies and a huge canvas, they can stretch their creative muscles whenever inspiration strikes. And when they have a wide variety of creative materials and colors to choose from, they can keep trying new things. No two drawings are the same, and every new project will be a new adventure for your child.
When placing your shelf, (or shelves!) think about your child’s height and whether they’ll be able to reach their supplies. Paper, books, and less messy supplies can sit at easy reaching height. Depending on your child’s age and maturity level, you might decide to store paint, glue, and other messy supplies higher up so you can regulate when and where the mess happens. It’s worth keeping in mind that through your kid’s creative use of chairs and other furniture, this may not be a foolproof strategy.
Simple supplies like colorful chalk, crayons, and markers can be stored in the buckets, at easy grab-and-go height. We placed our buckets on wall hooks right below the shelf. The beauty of the buckets is in their portability. Maybe your child wants to draw with crayons in the kitchen, in the backyard. Their supplies are portable and super-easy to clean up and put away.
Step 5: Get decorative!
We segmented our wall into open space and smaller spaces by removing the glass from some thrift store picture frames, then hanging the frames on the wall. That way, the kids can draw big or small.
The frames also allow kids to try different artistic ideas in different frames, learn to share their space with a sibling or friend, and even use the frames as part of their imaginative designs. They can draw pictures of themselves, of family, friends, pets, creatures, and all the places—real and imaginary—that they want to go.
The chalkboard doesn’t have to be chalk-only, either. You can tape your kid’s crayon drawings and finger paintings inside the picture frames or hang a length of twine or ribbon across the board to clip drawings, A+ report cards, and childhood photos on display. You can use clothespins to easily hang up your child’s creations.
Not only is this a simple and fun craft project for parents - kids will get years of creativity, fun, and joy from it. We hope your family has a great time with it!