Project Knock-off: Pottery Barn Chalkboard

knock off decor
pottery barn chalkboard
 You know when I was telling you about me taking pictures with my phone of projects or stuff I like in magazines and then going through it weeks...months..years...later to find fun projects to do? Well, this is one of them.
I took this out of the Pottery Barn spring catalog. Can't seem to find it in their store, ...nor find the catalog. lol So, you'll have to take my word for it. I don't know the cost. But I super like the way they are displaying it and how different and rustic it looks. So, I figure, hey why not make one for myself? This is like super easy...scrap wood no cost easy. Plus you can make it in any size and color.
 I got really lucky with this go around. I found some perfectly shaped pieces of particle board in my wood pile to use as the chalkboard. Then cut 4 pieces of a 1x3 to length in order to frame it. I stained the 1x3s with English Chestnut and painted the particle board with some chalkboard spraypaint.
 I then used one screw on each adjoining side of the 1x3s to make the frame. Since I was flying by the seat of my pants with this one, I wasn't sure how I was going to connect the chalkboard to the frame. I wanted it to fit right in the middle of the 1x3s, so I couldn't just screw it into the back. Since I wasn't sure what I was going to do yet, I screwed all four sides of the frame together and tried to smash the chalkboard into place.

Didn't work. But then I realized, that this was a really really tight fit. Which was a complete good thing.
 So, I took off one side of the frame, placed the chalkboard in place, and then screwed the piece back on and voila! Perfect hold. No screws or nails needed. Who would have thought??? So essentially this whole thing is only held together with 4 me, I'm not sure how that happened. But its staying together and isn't going anywhere :)
diy chalkboard
 I've thought about putting it on an easel like they did in the picture to make it a total knock off, but I really like the whole idea of not having to have anything to hold it in place. This baby sits perfectly on its own.
pottery barn knockoff
 I put three coats of spraypaint on the particle board to make the chalkboard. You may only need two, but I accidentally left it outside overnight...and then it rained...and then the sprinklers came on the next morning...and well, I just wasn't so sure if the chalkboard was really chalkboard-y anymore. So I threw on an extra coat for good measure.

As I said before, the best thing about this chalkboard is that you can make it in any size and color. So...of course, that's exactly what I did :)
diy chalkboard
 Luckily...once again. I found some plywood downstairs that was the perfect size. Then got some 1x4s, cut them and stained them.
 But I couldn't find any chalkboard spraypaint other than black. So, I figure, why not take the bull by the horns and make my own for once? I've been dreading do this for the longest time for some reason. I have no idea why. Well, I guess, kind of I do. It calls for unsanded tile grout. ...... umm. What in the sam hill is that??? I had no idea. Literally. No idea. And where the heck do you find that anyway? This whole time I'm thinking of tile grout that hasn't been sanded yet. I know, that seems ridiculous. It doesn't help that I have no experience in the tile grouting arena.

Anyway. I wanted this chalkboard to be, desperately wanted it. So I had to do it. I went to Lowes, went to the tile area. Found some tile grout. And lo' and behold...whatta ya know. Unsanded tile grout was staring right back at me :) And in white! Which was perfect, cuz obviously, I didn't want crazy brown grout to ruin my white chalkboard.

Okay. So to make this, use:
1 Tablespoon for unsanded tile grout
1/2 cup of acrylic craft paint (make sure its flat. I thought they were all flat, but then I came across a gloss one...weird :) )

Mix it up real good. And apply! Its that easy :)
 ...its that easy until you have a sweet little mutt walk all over it when its wet. lol. Not just once. He did this twice. It was probably my fault for having it on the ground. But still, it obviously did not look like the kitchen tile, so I don't get why he thought it was....anyway....., the paint dries after doing two more coats than needed. I wipe of Max's feet. Send him outside to get the rest off. Throw the ball a little...etc etc etc. Come back in. Think I learned my lesson the first two times? Think he did?? lol. No. Now with muddy feet, he walks all over the paint again.

Well, I learned my lesson and put him in his room (aka our bedroom) until I was completely done :)

 If you happen to be using plywood or some other surface and painting it, you may start to notice that the stain is leeching up through the paint. No matter how many coats of paint you put on it, it will still leech through. So, stop it at the first coat by applying some clear nail polish on it. Then continue with your coats. Or if you use an oil base primer before, that usually stops it.
 Once you have all your pieces stained and painted, for this large one, you'll want to make sure its secure. I used a flat plate on the back to screw in the plywood to the frame. I did this on every corner. Then I screwed the pieces of the frame together with two screws where they met (how I did on the smaller one)
diy chalkboard
And there you go! The plywood isn't the best for using as a chalkboard since it isn't smooth. But I love the texture it brings....although you can't see it very well in the pictures. I found this brown chalk in a box of some sidewalk chalk at the store. It's a huge piece of the only brown piece I could find :)

The cost of either of these was pretty much nothing since I had mostly everything on hand. Well, I guess the tile grout was $4. But I only used maybe 3 tablespoons of it. So it was like essentially mere cents :)
Thank you Pottery Barn for your inspiration...again!

Also, I've been compiling a few of your own Knock-offs for my Project Knock-off page. If you want me to add yours, just email it over!!

Pin It


  1. I love all the chalkboard paint projects going around right now - yours is definitely my favorite!

  2. Your home and thrifty finds are fabulous! Keep up the great work!

  3. I have never heard of a white chalkboard before. What a cool idea! I love it.! It looks great! BTW, you can also use some spray poly on wood to stop it from leeching through.


happy DIYing! Alicia