I watch a lot of YouTube woodworking videos. Since I’ve never had any formal training in carpentry, I find the videos super useful and, more often than not, I end up with new ideas on how to use the tools I already have in my workshop. Recently I was watching one on cabinet-making (random, I know) and watched them make grooves in the sides of the wood frame to hold the middle of the cabinet door in place. They did this using a table saw, which I happen to have.

Since I’d been on the lookout for a chunky-bordered chalkboard for a while, I thought this was the perfect way to DIY one.  I wanted something that would add some dimension to one of my kitchen walls.


24×16.75 piece of 1/2″ thick plywood (this is what I had on hand, you can certainly adjust measurements / thickness for your own purposes)
8 foot 1×4 board
chalkboard paint
paint brush
wood glue
wood stain of choice


First, I found a piece of scrap plywood in my workshop. It was about 24×16 3/4 and about 1/2 inch thick. I painted it with two coats of chalkboard paint. (Note: you don’t have to use a piece this thick … I just used what I had on hand).

I cut the groove into the 1×4 board using the table saw. I set the fence to 1 inch for the first pass through and then to 1.25 inch for the second pass through. (I did two pass-throughs to make sure the groove was wide enough to accommodate the piece of plywood. I then cut the 1×4 into 4 90 degree mitered pieces, 2 at 25 1/4″ and 2 at 18″. I then mitered the edges at 45 degrees to make a box for the frame.

I then attached 3 of the 4 frame pieces with glue, hold in place with clamps.  Next, I stained the frame with a mixture of driftwood and weathered grey stains from Rustoleum (or whatever brand you want to use).

I chalked up my plywood chalkboard (so that when  you use it, you don’t get those chalk marks that don’t go away). Then slide the plywood chalkboard into the frame. 

Then I used finishing nails to attach the last piece of the frame using my nail gun. (And added some finishing nails to the other parts of the frame for reinforcement).