Chalkboard Painted Canvas

“Art washes away from the soul the dust of everyday life.” – Pablo Picasso

Make a canvas chalkboard for the kids

chalkboard painted canvas

Chalkboards…I love them. You? The texture, the dust, and contrast are oh-so-appealing.

When I started to see them disappear from classrooms in favor of dry erase boards, I was a little bit shocked. Dry erase boards are wonderful too, but they’ll never have the same rustic appeal as a chalkboard.

This project began when I found a $3 canvas at a thrift store back in September (it had a print of a cow on it — truly hideous), and painted over it with a few layers of black chalkboard paint. Since October, it’s been filled with these house “rules,” and while I enjoyed looking at them, and even managed to inspire a neighbor to add some chalkboard quotes to her own kitchen, I was ready for a fresh start and enlisted the help of my crew to come up with something new.

And maybe I was feeling a little bit guilty on those days that I just ate buttered toast and wanted to spit. Maybe.

chalkboard painted canvas

So I pulled the canvas down, wiped it clean with a damp rag, and let the kids go to town.

They loved it.

chalkboard painted canvas

This is how it looked two weeks ago, and then this week we started all over again.

chalkboard painted canvas

We also have a chalkboard that’s painted right onto part of our kitchen door, and it gets a lot of use for everything from chicken scratches to make-shift calendars to homemade infographics.

chalkboard painted canvas

We collaborated on this one: the bunny is mine, the yellow is N, and the pink is Baby R. Funny thing, at least for me, is that back when I was brainstorming names for this blog, I called it Chalkbunny for a couple months before landing on Tinkerlab. So here we have a real, live chalk bunny, which is what we decided to call the little character in my new banner.

chalkboard painted canvas

Do you have a well-loved chalkboard? What makes it special? And how do your kids use it?


  1. The chalkboard is surely better than the cow. Great choice 🙂 I love the chalkboard on your kitchen door! I bet that does get a lot of use. The only chalkboard we have currently is the one on one side of R’s easel. But it does see a lot of action! He’s really into drawing the stories he makes up as he goes along. The chalkboard has been my favorite part of that easel thus far. 

    • Sooooo much better than the cow, Joyce!! Thanks for sharing your chalkboard experience — we have one on the back of the easel, but it’s rarely used since I store the easel away most of the time. It’s helpful to know that they work well!

  2. We have a chalkboard pub menu sign the kids love to use. It’s in our kitchen. We use it less for menu’s and more for countdowns to important events, welcome notes to guests, and love notes to each other. I recently made “Think Boards” for each child to collect ideas of topics they want to learn about. They are a big hit and could easily be made with a chalkboard.http://thinkmagnetkids.com/2012/01/27/think-boards/

    • Thanks for sharing your think boards! What a good idea for kids just a wee bit older than mine. And I’m so glad to know about you and your blog!

  3. I don’t have a favorite chalk board yet… but I’m going to soon!  Does “Don’t Spit” mean that we are not the only house where spitting is a problem?!?!

    • Well, spitting hasn’t exactly been a problem here, but I liked reading it 🙂 Although now that it’s gone from the chalkboard, I’m sure I’ve set myself up for spitting problems. Ha. Can’t wait to see what you come up with, Jillian.

  4. I painted a small wall by my kitchen door.  My children are older now, but that doesn’t mean they don’t love chalk boards.  I have quotes, smiley faces,cell numbers, and silly sayings that the kids leave when they come to visit.

    • I’m a grown-up, and I love chalkboards too! I actually have yet to meet anyone who doesn’t appreciate a chalkboard 🙂

  5. We did have a well-loved chalk board when my daughter was younger.  Thanks so much for bring back all those precious and creative times.

    So glad to have found you.


    • I’m so glad you found me too, Eydie!!! xo

  6. We love our chalk board too!  We have an Ikea easel type.  We use it to “play school” a lot.  My daughter loves to be the teacher!

    • We have the same easel — it’s great, and so economical! How cute that your daughter likes to be the teacher. How old is she?

  7. My dear husband made a nice big chalkboard for the kitchen, and it has been such a clever idea! we use it everyday, for drawing with friends, leave notes and also just for fun. My little daughter enjoys it so much. We also bought crayola chalks with new bright colours wich adds a little more colour. 
    The whole idea was to have a something to share with my family while cooking is on the why and it works! 
    Martha Bernhard 

    • Oh, how I wish we had room for a wall chalkboard in our kitchen. I can totally imagine how inspiring this is for your whole family. Thanks for sharing your experience, Martha!

  8. Yes, we LOVE our huge chalkboard. We painted a whole wall with the chalkboard paint (ok, so it’s a narrow wall, but still). My son loves it and all his friends do too. And the mess and the dust are really no big deal. I love your idea of a canvas chalkboard and will try it (have old canvas and remains of the paint ready). Love the portability of it. Might be good for car rides too if using smaller canvas. 

    • How cool, Yelena. If I had a whole wall in my kitchen, I would do the same! Thinking on how/where we could make a wall chalkboard. Maybe there’s another spot.

  9. Love the chalk bunny. I would love to make a canvas chalkboard….what a great idea! I love the idea of hanging it up and changing the display from time to time. I think I have an old canvas in the basement…so maybe. As a child I had a chalkboard ( still in my parents basement) and used it for my pretend teaching days all the time. One of my fav toys if I really think about it. I love the sound of people writing on the chalkboard….dry erase have that squeak from time to time….not the same. you are are brilliant. This is why I keep coming back….love Tinkerlab! Bunnies were my fav animal as a child…..drew them all the time!

  10. we have one that is framed with distressed wood from houses in our old hood… it hangs in our guest bathroom and N is the official chalkboard artist in the house. we take the board down and let her go to town when she’s inspired. just yesterday she made a valentine-daddybday-stpattys-spring picture (because she was hoping she wouldn’t have to do it again until late march – she’s getting efficient -or lazy- like her momma!) i’m attaching a shot of her working on a pic for it last summer…. i’ve been collecting some photos of her chalkboard art for a blog entry, so this a a fun reminder to share that soon. thanks, rachelle!

    • I knew I wasn’t alone in the chalkboard art 🙂 Yours is lovely, Jen! Oh, and the efficiency is hilarious. Way to go with packing the spring punch!!

  11. I love, love, love this and will make one for my classroom!!

    • That’s awesome, Deborah! I can’t wait to see it!!

  12. In my classroom I have a wall that I covered with full length white board well after a few years the wall was stained by the wipe off markers so I went to the local hardware store and found the chalk board paint that I can choose the color. Well I now have a full Chalkboard wall and love it. I even painted the doors in the room which happen to be metal so kids have more areas to use chalk they love it!

    • Isn’t that funny that you painted OVER the whiteboard with chalkboard paint! Ha! And great idea to paint the doors — have you added magnets to them too?

  13. I was just googling to see if you’re able to paint over a white board to make it a chalk board. I am so glad I found this blog and see it HAS been done! I have a large one in wood frame from Staples and can not wait to convert it. We had one in our kitchen for years and I got rid of it in September when we moved. I miss it already. So much more character and fun to them!

    • Hi Barbie,
      I painted over a canvas, which is really different from a white board. I haven’t tried painting on white board, but if you’re planning to do it I’d recommend sanding the surface really well to give it some tooth before adding the chalk board paint. Good luck (and keep me posted on how it works).

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