How to Use Chalkboard Paint to Create a Headboard

Kids love chalkboards and chalkboard paint can make almost any surface into a creative space. You can make a chalkboard headboard for your kids with some simple tools and materials. Or maybe you'd like one in your bedroom to write messages to your sweetheart.

Tools and Materials Needed:

  • Measuring tape
  • Plywood
  • Wood Trim
  • Trim nails
  • Hammer
  • 150 grit sandpaper
  • Tack cloth
  • Chalkboard primer
  • Chalkboard paint
  • Small paint rollers
  • Paint
  • Miter box
  • Hacksaw
  • Construction adhesive
  • Stud finder
  • Wall anchors
  • Wall hangers
  • Long screws
  • Decorative tack
  • Long string
  • Eraser
  • Wall pocket or canvas bag
  • Chalk
  • Canvas bag or wall pocket

Step 1 – Determine the Size of the Headboard

The headboard should be the same width or a few inches wider than the width of the mattress. A twin size bed is 39 inches wide. Full size beds are 53 inches wide, queen size beds are 60 inches wide, and a king size bed (lucky kid) is 76 inches wide. The height of the bed makes no difference buy plywood comes in 4 by 8 sheets so it makes sense to make the height 4 feet. If you are doing a twin size headboard you can get a 2 by 4 foot sheet and make the height 2 feet. Measure the perimeter of the proposed headboard for finish trim.

Step 2 – Buy the Supplies

Go to the lumber or home improvement store and have them cut the plywood sheet to the width that you need. Get the other supplies you need while you are there.

Step 3 – Paint the Back

Paint the back side of the headboard with regular paint to protect it. Also paint the trim for the edges.

Step 4 – Prime the Headboard

On the front of the headboard if the surface is not as smooth as you would like then sand lightly with fine sand paper and take off the sanding dust with a tack cloth. Now apply primer to the headboard with a small paint roller. Let it dry.

Step 5 – Apply the Chalkboard Paint

Roll on the chalkboard paint evenly. Let the first coat dry and then apply a second coat. Let it dry thoroughly.

Step 6 – Install the Trim

Take the trim and cut mitered corner with the miter box and a hacksaw. Put a bit of construction adhesive on the back of the trim and put it on the headboard edges matching up the ends. You can also cut the trim straight and butt it up against the ends if you don’t know how to make miter cuts. Now hammer very small trim nails into the trim to secure it and touch up the paint on the nail heads. Let the paint dry.

Step 7 – Hang the Headboard

Use the stud finder to find 2 studs behind the bed. Insert screws into the studs through the drywall. Screw wall hangers into the headboard. Then hang the headboard on the screws. If you want to make it extra sturdy you can screw the headboard directly into the studs through the headboard with long sturdy screws. You will have to paint over the screw heads or conceal them in some way.

Step 8 – Make it Ready for Use

Push a decorative tack into the top of the headboard. Attach a string to the tack and a piece of chalk to the other end. Or hang a canvas bag or mount a wall pocket at the side of the headboard to hold chalk and erasers.

Step 9 – Assemble the Bed

Put the bed frame, mattress and box spring in front of the headboard centering it with the headboard. Now the room is ready for fun. You can personalize the chalkboard with colored chalk or apply a cork or steel strip to the front of it for a corkboard or magnet board.