How Is Our DIY Outdoor Chalkboard Holding Up After 3 Years?

Inside: Find out how our DIY giant outdoor chalkboard is holding up after 3 years!

It’s the question I’ve been getting a ton lately and I thought, heck, since it’s been over 3 years since we DIYed our giant outdoor chalkboard (as my now 6 year old’s 3rd birthday present) it was time to revisit the project and answer the burning question!

DIY outdoor chalkboard after 3 years

The short answer is, awesome!

It pretty much looks like the day we hung it up on the fence and has been outside year round with absolutely no maintenance what-so-ever. Well –  besides replacing the plastic buckets and the sidewalk chalk supply.

Why did it hold up so well?

We used HardiBacker board which is cement board. The same stuff you would use when tiling a tub surround. Unlike drywall it doesn’t absorb moisture so it doesn’t expand and contract.

The chalkboard paint we used is just regular chalkboard paint, and we haven’t had to put a new coat of paint on either. When the kids leave their art and scribbles on it for a few days, it’s a little bit harder to erase, especially if it has rained or been damp. But the easy fix is to rub the side of a piece of chalk all over the chalkboard surface and then wipe it off in a circular motion to “reseason” the chalkboard.

You can see in the image below that there hasn’t been any weather damage.

DIY chalkboard no weather damage after 3 years

Has it been up year round?

Sure has! Granted we live in Southern California so we don’t have snow, but it does rain. We have some pretty humid months and it hasn’t been a problem.

DIY outdoor chalkboard after 3 years

How much did the project cost?

I have links to all of the exact materials we used for our outdoor chalkboard in the tutorial post (which by the way was my second ever blog post and first ever tutorial post), and it will run you about 110 bucks for an 8 foot chalkboard.

Of course you could make it half the size, but 8 feet easily fits about 4 kids standing and drawing away, which is nice for when we have friends over. (And the very subtle seam down the middle acts as a referee for my kids to stay on their side so a fist fight doesn’t ensue.)

DIY outdoor chalkboard project cost

This has been a great addition to our backyard. It’s a fun spot for the kids to hang out and for us to sit back and sip an adult beverage while they play a fierce game of tic-tac-toe or practice their writing.

If you want to build your own outdoor chalkboard, I’ve got the step-by-step tutorial and materials list in this post right here.

Have a fantastic day!

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How Is Our DIY Outdoor Chalkboard Holding Up After 3 Years?

About Corey

Corey is the creative behind Hey There, Home where she shares easy-to-follow and beautiful home decor and entertaining ideas. Her mission? To make home decor accessible to everyone, even if you don't consider yourself crafty, and to empower people to decorate their homes in a way that they can actually be lived in, not just looked at.

24 thoughts on “How Is Our DIY Outdoor Chalkboard Holding Up After 3 Years?

  1. Adri says:

    We live in England, UK and made ours 10 years ago! We have a daycare nursery run from our home and the chalkboard gets used on a daily basis. Still looks fab and has survived a couple of massive weather storms, snow, wind, rain and the very cold winter months. 😊

    1. Corey Willis says:

      That’s awesome, Adri! Thanks for the input 🙂

  2. Karen says:

    Hi from beautiful NH! Anyone in our kind of climate try this outside? If yes, results and care recommendations?:). Thanks!

  3. Shirley says:

    Corey I came across your backyard chalkboard. I love the idea. My plan is to make one for my grand babies. I’m in Canada so I hope it holds up with the snow we can get here. I will assume the cold temps we get will not be a worry.
    Thanks for the up date as I’m sure like other peeps it puts the mind at ease it will holds for years to come.
    Thanks again, Excited Grandma.

    1. Corey Willis says:

      Hey Shirley, thanks so much; please let me know how it turns out and if you had to do anything different for cold weather/snow. Good luck!

  4. Juana says:

    The board I purchased isn’t as smooth as a regular chalk board. All the board were like that at Home Depot. Is yours smooth like a regular board? Also, how many coats did you use?

    1. Corey Willis says:

      Hi Juana, It isn’t perfectly smooth like the old school chalkboards but it works just fine. I think I put 2 coats of chalkboard paint on it. Thanks for stopping by!

  5. Juana says:

    Did you use anything else beside chalkboard paint?

    1. Corey Willis says:

      Hi Juana, I just used regular chalkboard paint (Rustoleum). See the complete supplies list here. Have a great day!

  6. Kristin says:

    Can I use a existing chalkboard? It’s fairly large in size, but I’m all about saving $$

    1. Corey Willis says:

      Hi Kristin, It depends on what it’s made out of. If it’s particle board it won’t last outside. The cement board I used doesn’t absorb water which is why it lasts so long outside.

  7. Curious Dad says:

    How did you deal with the on the hardibacker? How did you make your chalk board so smooth?

    1. Curious Dad says:

      *inset grid on the HardiBacker

    2. Corey Willis says:

      Hi, thanks for asking! If I remember correctly there was only one side with the grid. I used the other side. When I painted the hardibacker, it was smooth; nothing special was done to make it that way. Hope this helps!

    1. Corey Willis says:

      That’s so exciting, Laura! Good luck on your project!

  8. Mel says:

    Hi Corey,

    Love the board. My question is about the grass below it. Is it artificial? Please share where you purchased. I’m building a fenced play are for our kids in the front yard but the grass does not grow well in that area so looking for a solution.

    Thank you

    1. Corey Willis says:

      Thanks, Mel. Our backyard grass isn’t artificial but you might check with local landscapers for ideas. However, the grass directly below the board is artificial- I went to Easy Turf and they gave me scraps to use!

  9. Angel says:

    How heavy would you say this is? Our fence is pretty old and not ready to invest in a new one but would love to make this for my son’s birthday!

    1. Corey Willis says:

      It is heavy so you will need your fence to be sturdy. We did not attach ours to the actual fence, but the fence posts.

  10. Lanny Cotler says:

    Corey, maybe I don’t understand, but why is the hardibacker in two pieces? Why not just use the full 8-feet length? No verticle seam.

    1. Corey Willis says:

      Hi Lanny, We wanted the chalkboard to be 10 feet long and the 3 x 5 feet pieces of hardibacker fit nicely into our car. So it was necessary to get the smaller pieces. The seam is barely noticeable and in fact acts as a line for when my kids are both on there and “needing to stay on their side.” 🙂

  11. Phoenix dad says:

    Thank you for the update. I was wondering how the paint would hold up since it is labeled interior. I haven’t been able to find a chalkboard paint labeled exterior, but I’ll go ahead and use the brand you used since it held up.

    1. Corey Willis says:

      Hi, since you’re in Phoenix with not a lot of rain, I would think your results would be similar to mine here in Southern Cal. I haven’t had to retouch at all. Good luck with your project!

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