DIY: How to Create a Formica® Writable Surfaces Chalkboard Wall

Want something more fun and durable than a plain old painted wall? A Formica® Writable Surfaces chalkboard wall makes it possible to add an interesting and interactive new surface to any wall in your home. Think playroom, office, kitchen, laundry room or bathroom — you name it!

ChalkAble wall in little girls bedroom

Get your DIY hat on and create the perfect place to draw, doodle and design! To get full, step-by-step instructions for this project, see the DIY video

Prep the Surface

Remove any wallpaper or sand down paint with 100 grit sandpaper to ensure the adhesive sticks. To install ChalkAble™ on a wall, you’ll need to bond the sheet to a smooth substrate, either Medium Density Fiberboard (MDF) or particleboard, to create a firm, even surface. 

Determine How Much MDF and ChalkAble™ to Use

Use the formula “length divided by the number of panels you want to use” to calculate the size of the MDF and ChalkAble™ panels. Subtract one-eighth of an inch from any side of the MDF that will butt up to a wall, floor or ceiling. Subtract one-sixteenth of an inch from each side that will butt up to another panel. Then use a jigsaw to cut the MDF substrate to size. 

Mark the MDF Dimensions on the ChalkAble™

Make the measurements directly on the peel coat, about a half-inch larger so the ChalkAble™ will overlap the MDF. Place the masking tape along your cut line and redraw your cut line on top of the masking tape. Then, cut each sheet with the jigsaw.

Apply Adhesive

Spray contact cement completely and evenly on the back of the ChalkAble™ sheet and the front of the MDF. Place the sticky side of the ChalkAble™ sheet face down onto the dowel rods to line it up with the MDF. 

Bond the Materials

Remove the dowel rods and use a J-roller to apply pressure. Trim off the excess ChalkAble™ material on all sides.  

Sand and Clean

Use a sanding block to make sure the ChalkAble™ is flush with the MDF. Then, remove all dust and dirt. 

Consider the Space

If you’re putting ChalkAble™ panels on a wall where you might get water on the floor, use one-quarter-inch spacers to elevate the panels. 

Apply Adhesive, Round Two

Apply instant grab panel adhesive to the back of the MDF. Starting in the corner of your wall, place a one-eighth-inch spacer against the corner and the floor, line up the panel, and press it firmly in place.

Adjust for Corners

Place a one-eighth-inch spacer on top of the panel that was installed first and the floor, line up the panel, and press it firmly in place. When all panels are placed and the adhesive has cured, remove the peel coat and spacers. 

Caulk the Seams

Run the tip of the caulk gun from the top of the panel to the bottom. Run a plastic putty knife up the gap to remove any excess silicone. 

You’re all set!

DIY Chalkable wall thumbnail
Disenchanted with messy chalkboard paint? Us, too. Follow along with this video as we show you how to DIY a laminate chalkboard wall utilizing Formica® Writable Surfaces. You'll have a durable, easy-to-clean-up, chalkboard wall in no time!

You're using an unsupported browser and some features may not work properly. Please upgrade to a modern browser, such as Chrome, Edge, Firefox, or Safari.