Frame by Frame

Plywood, paint and trim are all that are needed to make a big-statement chalkboard.

Show off a Bible verse in your living room. Keep a group grocery list in the kitchen.

Classic Crown Chalkboard


  • 6×3½-foot ¼-inch plywood
  • Chalkboard paint, Home Depot
  • Three 8-foot pieces crown molding, Lowe's
  •  White satin paint, if desired


  • Paint roller
  • Paint tray
  • Measuring tape
  • Pencil
  • Miter box with saw or circular saw
  • Nail gun
  • Level
  • Joint compound


Paint smooth side of plywood with an even coat of chalkboard paint. Let dry. Repeat four times. 

Lay plywood flat. Using a miter saw or circular saw, cut one end of a piece of crown molding at a 45º angle. Position the angled molding piece along one long edge of plywood. Position the angled end where you will attach it. Measure from the tip of the angled molding to where the tip will be at the opposite end, and mark that point. Cut the molding at the opposite end at a 45º angle. 

Using a nail gun, secure the molding piece in place using only 3 or 4 nails. Repeat process around the plywood, one molding piece at a time. Once all molding is in place and joints are tight, secure with more nails. Use joint compound to fill nail holes and plug any gaps. Touch up with white paint, if desired.

Modern Metal Chalkboard


  • 4×3-foot ¼-inch plywood
  • Chalkboard paint, Home Depot
  • Four 4-foot aluminum corner trim pieces, Lowe's
  • Four 4-inch flat brackets, Lowe's


  • Paint roller
  • Paint tray
  • All-purpose caulking
  • Measuring tape
  • Pencil
  • Hacksaw
  • Miter box with saw
  • Medium clamps


Paint smooth side of plywood with an even coat of chalkboard paint. Let dry. Repeat four times. Run a smooth, even line of all-purpose caulking down the length of the inside corner of an aluminum trim piece. Center the trim over a long side of the plywood. Secure with pressure. Use clamps on either end to set. Repeat for other long edge. 

Measure a short edge between the two framed sides. Mark the measurement on a remaining trim piece. Use a hacksaw and a miter box to cut the metal trim piece to size. Apply all-purpose caulking to inside of cut piece. Set and clamp in place. Repeat for remaining edge. 

When trim is dry, remove clamps. Lay board on flat surface. Dot all-purpose caulking to the back of a flat bracket. Press bracket onto corner of chalkboard. Repeat for all corners. Let dry.

Chalk Lettering


  • Hand-Lettered Verse template printed on 24-inch-wide paper (download here)
  • Chalkboard


  • White chalk
  • Transparent tape
  • Lead pencil
  • Chalk pencil
  • Cotton swabs
  • Water


Follow the steps with the images in the gallery below to create the chalk lettering shown, above.

Chalk Lettering Instructions

Launch Gallery
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Step 1

Print Hand-Lettered Verse template on large format paper at an office store.

Download: Hand-Lettered Verse template

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Step 2

Turn template facedown. Rub chalk lengthwise over the entire back of the template. 

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Step 3

Flip over chalked paper and center on chalkboard. Secure with transparent tape.

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Step 4

Use a lead pencil to firmly trace over the letters of the template.

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Step 5

Remove template. Use a chalk pencil to fill in text on the chalkboard. Avoid smudging.

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Step 6

Finish by using cotton swabs and water to remove any chalk residue or mistakes.

Photographed by Tobin Bennett
© Grey Dog Media, LLC 2023. All Rights Reserved.

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