How to make an outdoor chalkboard

We’ve been thinking about making the little man an outdoor chalkboard for a little while but presumed it’d be a complicated process. Thankfully, it turned out to be a lot less stressful than we thought – buying the wood was the hardest part!

Our garage is a sad state of affairs. It’s not used to house our car, only junk and garden equipment so it’s often forgotten about and most definitely needs some love. Eventually we’ll be replacing the tatty old metal door but that’s a future task, instead, to try and brighten it up a little and give it more of a purpose I decided to use the large rear wall as giant out door chalk board for the little man.I hadn’t realised ordering a large piece of wood would be such a nightmare! After much faff and hassle I finally managed to get a 8 x 4 foot piece of marine Plywood delivered to our house for £25.I prepped it with Dulux Weathershield but you can use any outdoor wood primer. I coated both sides of the wood panel with two coats in the hope the wonderful British weather wouldn’t ravish my chalkboard too soon. We measured up the rear of the garage and then measured the wood to size using another piece of wood and a tape measure. To cut the wood to size Hubby used the Ryobi 18v cordless jigsawThe saw is light weight and very simply to use. The LED work light illuminates the cut line when there’s not enough natural light or you’re trying to finish when you child finally decides to go to bed whilst the 25mm stroke length and up to 3,000 strokes per minute give a smooth and professional finish. Once the wood was cut to the correct size I started painting it with the chalkboard paint. It’s worth noting that I couldn’t find outdoor chalkboard paint so I just used the stuff you’d use indoors. A little goes a long way but you do need a few coats.

I let each coat dry overnight before adding the next, doing three in total. While the chalkboard paint was drying I sprayed the dado rail with blue paint. I used Rust Oleum outdoor paint in Cobalt blue.When everything was dry and ready to be put on the wall, Hubby screwed some wooden blocks to the rear of our garage, this is where the chalkboard would be mounted.  Once the board itself was mounted and screwed to the wooden blocks, we attached the blue frame with the Ryobi cordless nailer.The nailer is a fantastic addition to our tool collection. It’s quiet, powerful and easy to use. The handle is easy to grasp, especially if you’re working at height and don’t want to flatten anyone working below you. The nailer is powerful enough for jobs such as laying decking or affixing skirting boards to walls. The low nail indicator lets you see when you need to reload and the dry fire lockout prevents it working without the nails being loaded correctly. The nailer attached the frame easily and securely and looked great around the chalk board. I think the bright blue colour finishes it off nicely. 

The little man seems really pleased with his chalkboard. It’s the first place he goes in the garden now. 

Update – two years later the chalkboard is still going strong. It hasn’t been re treated or repainted and still looks good as new so don’t worry about using normal chalkboard paint

What you’ll need
A large piece of marine Plywood (or other exterior wood)
Some boarded or eding for the frame (I used lengths of dado rail)
Exterior wood primer (I used Dulux Weathershield)
Exterior coloured paint to paint the frame
Chalkboard paint

Things you may need

 *We were provided with some tools and money towards materials to help complete the post from Ryobi*

* Contains affiliate links



  1. 1st July 2015 / 12:51 pm

    Fab idea! I LOVE it! We have a fence against the oil tank that's just, well, ick. I was thinking about growing some flowers up it but come the winter they'll look terrible so this could be the perfect solution #hometc

  2. 1st July 2015 / 4:28 pm

    LOVE this!! My boys would absolutely love an outdoor chalkboard — I was thinking of painting one of their bedroom walls with blackboard paint but this is a much better (and cleaner) idea! 😉 Thanks so much for linking up with #HomeEtc — hope to see you again next week! x

    Caro |

  3. 1st July 2015 / 6:16 pm

    I love this, and it is so brilliant for kids!! I bet it is such a hit! Want one so much! Oh the twins would love it. Thanks for sharing, fab idea and so simple.

    Jess x #HomeEtc

  4. 1st July 2015 / 7:20 pm

    What a great idea and the tools looks so good to use too. Full of inspiration now 🙂 X #HomeEtc

  5. 2nd July 2015 / 8:52 pm

    That's a great project! Love a good chalkboard 🙂


  6. Tammy
    20th May 2017 / 8:45 am

    Can I ask where you sourced the marine plywood from?
    I’ve had a quick search and all seems ridiculously expensive compared to what you found!

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