Who doesn’t love chalkboards? I do, and I don’t appear to be alone so I thought I would share 15 beginner chalkboard tips I have learned along the way.
If you want to lure me into your shop or restaurant, all you have to do is put a sandwich chalkboard with some beautiful lettering and chances are I’m in…bait set!
I am sure you have seen some of the truly amazing chalkboard artists work out there too. GORGEOUS, right?
I don’t come close to that professional skill level, BUT I am learning while I go and thought you might like to get some of the tips I am picking up along the way.
Now, before we start on the tips remember art is subjective. It doesn’t have to be “perfect”. We each will have our own handwriting and style and that’s what makes it unique and fun!
Are you ready to start?
(And be sure to look for the giveaway!!)
Table of Contents
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BEFORE YOU START WRITING ON YOUR CHALKBOARD:
- Condition/Season Board – If your chalkboard is new, you will want to season the board before you start lettering. If you don’t, the design won’t fully get erased when you go to change out your board. Here’s what you need to do…take a piece of regular chalk and rub it all over the board. When the board is completely covered, take your cloth and wipe it down. Some of the chalk dust will remain and that’s what you want.
- CHALK CHOICES – You may have seen chalkboard markers, in fact, I used it on this project here…Updating a Thrift Store Painting. Although these do provide crisp lines, they can be more challenging to work with and some are permanent so be careful when you make a purchase. But, here’s the deal…you really just need regular chalk. A good brand can be helpful, like Crayola, as some of the off brands are a little inconsistent.
- GET A SHARPENER – Did you know you can sharpen chalk just like a pencil? Yep, just make sure it has a side for the fat pencils. GAME CHANGER!
- SKETCH IT OUT – Although I am not a perfectionist, by sketching it out the design on paper first, you can save your chalkboard from constant erasing, which can start to wear out the paint. Try and sketch to scale so you will be able to get the center (see no.6).
- GOOGLE IDEAS – I often will google a certain phrase or concept and then take a few different ideas and blend them together. When you are starting out, this can be a good way to get some practice and ideas on utilizing borders and other design elements.
- CENTER – Finding the center of the board, and your design. You can divide the design in quarters and that way you will know what goes in each section.
- STENCILS – Don’t want to freehand it? There are a ton of stencils out there or you can create your own with a Silhouette or Cricut. Here’s one we did with stencils, DIY Slate Chalkboard Sign From an Old Wall Hanging
- MIX & MATCH – I’m sure you have seen chalkboard art generally has a mix of fonts and even colors. Don’t be afraid to try to mix and match to get the design you are looking for.
- WET CHALK – I really didn’t think this would work when I first heard it, but it does. Wet chalk provides the crisper lines than dry chalk. Here’s what I do: I dip the point of the chalk in water and then lightly wipe it on my cloth microfiber towel or t-shirt rag. When it goes on it will be faint, but I PROMISE it will darken!!!!!!
- Q-TIPS – Q-tips are so helpful in cleaning up a design after it’s all said and done. Get the q-tip slightly wet and erase little “errors”, as needed.
- TRANSFER – You can take a printed piece of paper and do a transfer onto your chalkboard. On the back of your drawing, lay a piece of chalk on its side and then rub the back of the paper so it is covered with chalk. Flip it over and place the drawing (chalk side down) where you want it to go on your chalkboard. Lightly, draw over the image with a soft-tipped pencil. The pressure from the pencil will transfer chalk onto the chalkboard. When you remove the paper you will see a faint copy of the drawing. Go over the lines with chalk to bring your image to life.
- ADD COLOR LAST – Color chalk really gives an image a little extra kick. Just keep in mind that you will want to add it last. And you will be using wet chalk again so the white will dull until it’s dry again.
CLEAN AND SET
- SEAL IT – If you used regular chalk and would like to set the design onto the chalkboard for an event so it won’t smudge, you can spray regular hairspray in an aerosol can lightly over the design.
- CLEANING – When using regular chalk, just start with a damp towel and cloth to clean it for a new design. When extra strength cleaning is required try a magic eraser. You can also try Windex wet wipes for erasing chalk pens.
- REPAINT IT – When your chalkboard starts to fade, you can repaint it with regular chalkboard paint.
Alright, are you ready to become a chalk artist? We would love to see your creations over on ourFacebook page where each Wednesday we have a share day.
Here are a few more posts we think you will enjoy:
- DIY Upcycled Chalkboard
- How to Make: Home Decor Rope Beehive
- DIY Magnetic Chalkboard, pictured above
Thrifty Style Team
Each month we participate in a monthly thrifty challenge with some amazing bloggers. This month EACH blogger is offering their own giveaway as a thank you to all of you who follow along with our thrifty shenanigans. Our giveaway is this chalkboard menu board that we found, where else, a thrift store. On the back, there is even a place to hold your napkins. It will be hard to give it away but sharing is caring.
To enter this giveaway (each item is one entry):
- Leave a comment telling us what’s on your menu for tonight.
- Visit our Facebook page and comment on any post leaving #thriftystyle so we can find your comment.
- Visit our Instagram page. Like and comment on recent post again using the #thriftystyle in your comment.
- Follow on Pinterest and/or pin this image:
Final Giveaway details: Must be 18+ years old to enter. Shipping available only to US residents only…sorry! Winner will be selected on January 31st, 2020. Be sure to check your email and/or social media for the winner. The winner will have 48 hrs to respond or another winner will be selected.
Now, let’s see what the other Thrifty Style Team members are giving away, shall we?
THRIFTY STYLE TEAM HUGE HOME DECOR GIVEAWAY
Redhead Can Decorate – Butcher Block Cheese Board Giveaway
What Meegan Makes – Thrifty Style Team Giveaway
Bliss Ranch – Fake Porcelain Tags
Unskinny Boppy – Leather Leaf Earrings