Create a Family Message Center

Build a custom-framed chalkboard to hang in your kitchen, creating a central location for everyone to leave messages, write to-dos and keep up with each others' schedules.

Kitchen With White Cabinets and Family Message Center

Kitchen Chalkboard Family Message Center

By: Janell Beals

Materials Needed:

  • 20" x 46" x 1/4" sheet hardboard
  • 23" x 51" x 1/8" sheet hardboard
  • (2) 49-1/2-inch lengths 3-1/2-inch wide primed MDF baseboard
  • 20" x 3-1/2" primed MDF baseboard
  • extra strength wood glue
  • caulk and caulk gun
  • extra fine sanding pad
  • painters' tape
  • roll masking paper
  • white spray paint
  • 27" x 4-1/2" primed MDF baseboard
  • 28-1/2" x 3-1/2" primed MDF baseboard trimmed down to 1 1/2–inch
  • 28" x 3-1/2" primed MDF baseboard trimmed down to 1 inch
  • clear protective spray
  • chalkboard paint (in black or tinted to desired color)
  • chalk
  • 2 ring hangers
  • picture wire
  • 2 picture hooks and nails

Cut and Lay Out Pieces

Cut primed MDF baseboard and hardboard to size. Lay out cut pieces of MDF around hardboard on flat working surface. Tip: Have materials cut at a home improvement store and consider purchasing trim that matches your home's door casings for a consistent look.

Glue Together

Apply extra strength wood glue to both sides of adjacent cut edges. Press together firmly. Repeat for all sides.

Glue frame

Glue Pieces Together

Let Frame Dry

Let glue dry for 24 hours. Tip: Place stacked magazines along outer edges of frame to help pieces dry in position.

Allow the frame to dry one day

Let Frame Dry

Attach Backing

Turn message board over. Attach sheet of hardboard to back side with glue to stabilize frame.

Attach hardboard backing for stability

Attach Backing

Tape Corners

Temporarily tape corners to secure backing while turning. Turn message board over.

Tape corners temporarily

Tape Corners

Apply Caulk

Run a bead of caulk around inner edges of message board and fill in any gaps between joints. Let dry two hours.

Caulk inside frame

Apply Caulk to Frame

Protect Hardboard Surface

Apply painters' tape along edges where hardboard meets frame. Cover hardboard with masking paper. Tape in place.

Cover hardboard and tape

Protect Hardboard Surface

Paint and Seal Frame

Spray paint frame. Let dry one hour. Spray protective finish on painted frame. Let dry one hour. Remove protective tape and paper.

Paint chalkboard frame

Paint and Seal Frame

Tape Edges and Paint Chalkboard

Apply painters' tape around inner frame edges. Paint hardboard with chalkboard paint.

Tape edges and paint chalkboard

Tape Edges and Paint Chalkboard

Attach Hardware and Hang

Screw two ring hangers into back of chalkboard with picture wire strung between rings. Nail picture hooks into wall and hang.

Attach hanging hardware to chalkboard backing

Attach Hardware and Hang

Prime Chalkboard Surface

Treat chalkboard by covering entire surface using large chalk stick on its side. Rub into chalkboard and wipe away with rag. Tip: This allows future chalk marks to be fully erasable.

Rub chalk all over surface

Prime Chalkboard Surface

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