The Best Chalkboards
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Whether you want to provide a surface for your kids to draw on or you want to display a message or art, a chalkboard gives you the flexibility to erase and create as often as you’d like. You can find chalkboards in a variety of styles and with different surface materials to fit your needs. These writing surfaces have also come a long way so that using plain chalk sticks isn’t always your only option.
Many chalkboards are simple boards you can hang on a wall using hardware that may or may not come with them. These can range from portable chalkboards for kids to use at a table or desk to wall-sized chalkboards you can use to present a lot of information or display big drawings. Smaller boards of this type may have two sides. Often, these will have simple wooden frames.
Other chalkboards look more like foldable signs that you can place inside or outside. These usually have two sides and can work well for advertising an event at your home or business. They can come in a variety of frame styles and colors.
When it comes to surfaces, some chalkboards feature a traditional style with a painted wooden surface. While often easier on the budget, this type can be harder to clean and easier to scratch because of the porous surface. In addition, these chalkboards aren’t suitable for use with chalk markers, so you’d need to use traditional white or colored chalk with them. Therefore, these work well for simple everyday uses.
Due to the popularity of chalk markers, many modern chalkboards feature a nonporous surface made of vinyl, porcelain or a similar material. Such chalkboards make the cleaning process easier and offer better durability than porous chalkboards. You can safely use chalk markers, so these chalkboards are a great choice for making creative designs. However, keep in mind some surfaces may not work well with traditional chalk. Some surfaces may also be magnetic for hanging items.
When choosing any type of chalkboard, make sure you buy the right size for your needs. For example, if you’d like to make several chalk marker drawings to hang around the home, you might want to buy a pack of small chalkboards that more resemble picture frames. On the other hand, you might opt for a chalkboard multiple feet long if you’re using it for teaching your kids or you’re wanting plenty of room to be creative.
Our Picks For The Top Chalkboards
- 1. HBCY Creations Free Standing A-Frame Chalkboard
- 2. Loddie Doddie Rustic Frame Magnetic Chalkboard
- 3. U Brands Universal Mounting System Chalkboard
- 4. ARTEZA Distressed Pine Wood Frame Chalkboards, 5-Pack
- 5. Plaid Paintable Frame Double Sided Chalkboard
- 6. HBCY Creations Torched Pine Wood Frame Chalkboard
Free Standing A-Frame Chalkboard
If you're looking for a two-sided option to show an announcement, this standing chalkboard works well. You can choose from six colors to fit your style preferences. It's magnetic and compatible with both chalk sticks and markers.
Handy for AdvertisingThis chalkboard sign offers flexibility and plenty of space for displaying messages using different types of chalk.
Rustic Frame Magnetic Chalkboard
With this wall chalkboard, you can choose from two large sizes and three frame styles. The surface is magnetic, easy for you to clean and suitable for chalk markers and sticks.
Multiple Size OptionsYou might opt for this chalkboard when you need a lot of writing space and prefer a frame that can blend in easily.
Universal Mounting System Chalkboard
Measuring 17 inches tall and 23 inches long, this board has a nonporous surface and simple wooden frame. You can use it with chalk markers and the manufacturer's dry erase ones.
Good for Everyday UseFeaturing a classic design, this chalkboard is a good choice when you just want to use chalk markers.
Distressed Pine Wood Frame Chalkboards, 5-Pack
This option gives you five chalkboards that work especially well for making art to hang around the home. You get a convenient string that makes hanging easy. Both chalk sticks and markers work well.
Convenient ChoiceYou'll find this option handy if you want several chalkboards in a smaller size.
What to Look For
- Before you start using a chalkboard with a porous surface, take some time to prime it. The process involves rubbing the entire board with a stick of chalk and then cleaning it all off. This helps fill in any porous spaces so that there’s less of a risk for ghosted marks or images in the future. Sidewalk chalk can help make this step go more quickly if you’ve got a large chalkboard.
- You can usually clean your chalkboard fine with just a chalkboard eraser or a damp cloth. However, you might need to resort to using a mixture of water and dish soap to remove tougher residue on porous chalkboards. You might also consider professional chalkboard cleaners, but check with the manufacturer to make sure this won’t harm your product.
- If you ever accidentally write on your chalkboard with a regular marker, you can try using rubbing alcohol to remove the stain. Be sure to rinse the area with water and dry it off after you finish.
- Before using chalk markers, always check with the manufacturer to make sure your product is compatible. In some cases, the marker may not work on the board, or it might not come off easily if it does work. Also, you might need dry erase spray or wipes to clean these markers off compatible chalkboards.
- If you buy a chalkboard with a wooden frame, you can have fun customizing it to fit a theme or go along with your room decor. You can simply paint the frame one or more colors, or you can get more creative by gluing on decorations.
- Be careful if you’re hanging a large chalkboard on the wall. Consider getting some help since the item can be heavy, and you’ll want someone to help you line it up straight as well. Make sure that use the right hardware that will support the weight on the wall.
More to Explore
Ancient cultures such as the Babylonians used various forms of tablets in schools for writing and drawing. However, these were usually for students to use individually. The use of a classroom blackboard didn’t originate until 1801 when James Pillians of Scotland invented one with a slate surface. George Baron would first use one in America the same year.
You’d start to find classroom blackboards in common use in the United States by the mid-1800s. It was during the 1960s that a board with a green surface would start to show up; therefore, you’d start to find these items called chalkboards rather than blackboards. During the late 20th century, whiteboards would become a popular alternative, and the 21st century would make smartboards popular.