Chalkboard Lettering Tips and Tricks
One of my favorite (easy) DIY projects that we’ve done so far in our home is definitely the chalkboard wall that Rob and I did in our kitchen’s breakfast nook. It has become such a statement piece in our kitchen that has been so much fun to change up for the seasons and holidays. I often times get questions about our chalkboard and lettering, whether when I share a photo on social media or when guests visit our home, so I thought it’d be fun to share a post with some of my top chalkboard lettering tips and tricks to help y’all create your own chalkboard statement piece at home.
READ ALSO: DIY Framed Chalkboard Wall Tutorial
The Best Chalkboard Lettering Tips
Today on the blog, I can’t wait to share with you some of my top chalkboard lettering tips and tricks to get a clean and professional hand lettering look to make our chalkboard wall a focal point in my home’s decor all year round.
1 | Clean well in between uses with damp paper towels
One of my top tips to creating a really clean look with my chalkboard is to make sure I clean the surface well in between designs. This helps make the black background pop and keeps it from having a chalky haze in the background. I do this with damp paper towels that I can easily throw away when done. Because the wet cloth can smear the chalk around, I also make sure to do it several times to make sure I get it really clean. I find it’s easier if you start with a full size paper towel, wipe, then fold the paper towel over and repeat.
2 | Map it out using Frog Tape
While my chalkboard fully dries, I will map out my design using Frog Tape. With my chalkboard being so big, I find this is really essential to make sure that my lettering is straight. It also helps me to map out the different elements of my design (wording and drawings) to cut down on spacing mistakes and ensure everything ends up exactly where I want it when I’m finished and take a step back.
3 | Sharpen your chalk
For smaller letters and smaller lines, especially on smaller chalkboards, I find that it really helps to create crisp lines when my chalk is sharpened. With smaller pieces of chalk like these, you can use a small pencil sharpener to sharpen the chalk. On the larger pieces of chalk that I use for my chalkboard wall, I will rotate the chalk and utilize the pointed corners as my sharp edge. You can also create a ‘sharp’ edge using a small knife.
4 | Start with focal words and work outward
When it comes to my designs, I tend to start with my focal words and work outward. This is especially the case when I combine cursive and print writing. I like to start with my cursive ‘focal’ words first and then fit in my print around it to create a look that flows and fits well together. For all cursive or all print writing, I’ll start with the middle lines first and work outward to the top and bottom lines to make sure it’s spaced perfectly and the lines fit together well.
5 | Layer for thick, clean lines
For thick clean lines, you simply just layer the chalk on! I typically go over my lettering and designs at least twice to create thick and clean lines that look solid and not patchy. I like how super solid lines look against the crisp, black background of the chalkboard. It looks super ‘professional’ and more like a statement piece of art.
6 | Use 3-M Strips to Create Dimension
Last year for Christmas, I used 3-m strips and command hooks to hang wreaths on our chalkboard wall to create dimension in my ‘Joy to the World’ design. It was such a simple thing that made the chalkboard really come to life. I absolutely loved how it turned out! (You can take a peek back at it, here!) Meanwhile, you can use 3-m strips and hooks to create dimension with way more than just wreaths for Christmas. Get creative!
7 | Clean up your lines or design with a damp cloth (or q-tips!)
Another way to ensure that you have really crisp and clean lines / designs is to clean them up with a damp cloth. Q-tips also work extremely well! Clean lines against the crisp, black background of the chalkboard will make it look super ‘professional’ and more like a statement piece of art that will tie your home’s decor together each season.
Frequently Asked Questions
Where did you learn calligraphy / hand lettering?
This is one of the questions that I get asked the most often! Over the years I have really taught myself to hand letter using books, Pinterest, and following people on Instagram. While I definitely have my own ‘style’ and do things my own way, I really learned my basics on hand lettering from Sarah over at Chalkfulloflove on Instagram. She has hand lettering books that she’s written to help you learn the art of it for yourself. I bought mine for myself, and they make the perfect gift for your girl friends who are interested in learning! I personally love her Hand Lettering 101 and Hand Lettering 201 books as well as her kid’s book version.
What type of chalk do you use on your chalkboard?
I really don’t use anything fancy when it comes to the chalk I use for my chalkboard wall. I use these smaller pieces of white Crayola chalk as well as this huge pack of Crayola sidewalk chalk for all the colors.
Do you have an issue with chalk dust on the floor?
Naturally, using chalk is pretty messy! I typically time changing my chalkboard with the day that I mop my floors. While vacuuming gets the majority of it up, I still like to wipe down the floors and my baseboards to make sure that I don’t have any lingering dust that can be tracked through the house. (Especially the colored chalk dust on my white baseboards!)
Well there you have it, friends! I hope these chalkboard lettering tips and tricks help you create chalkboard art that can be a statement piece in your home’s decor throughout the seasons. Do you have any more chalkboard lettering tips and tricks that you’d like to share? Make sure to leave a comment below! In the meantime, you can follow along on Instagram for more tips and tricks as well as everyday DIY and styling.