Which chalkboards are best?
Chalkboards bring an undeniable nostalgia to any space. They offer a classic look and reusable surface for keeping track of schedules, tasks, notes or art displays. As chalkboards grow in popularity, they come in more sizes, display styles and designs than their early days on the walls of classrooms. Today, you can browse chalkboards with chalk holders, various hanging methods, pre-printed designs and even magnetic backing.
If you’re looking for a sizable, high-quality chalkboard at a reasonable price, the XBoard Magnetic Framed Chalkboard is the top choice.
What to know before you buy a chalkboard
When shopping for a chalkboard, the most important things to think about include the size, display style, and any special design considerations. For example, if you need to display a restaurant menu, you may want a pre-printed weekly menu template on a hanging-style chalkboard.
Chalkboards come in many different display styles. Choosing which one works best for you depends on how you plan to use your chalkboard.
Hanging frames are usually made with wood or aluminum and come with hooks or pre-installed wire on the back. Rolls or sheets of sticker chalkboards are a fast way to turn any flat surface into a chalkboard. You can also find chalkboards with stands or easels, which are a great portable solution. A-frame chalkboards or sandwich boards are much larger two-sided chalkboards meant for outdoor or event use. And finally, magnetic chalkboards are thin magnetic sheets that can stick to your fridge or other metal surfaces.
Chalkboards come in all sizes. Whether you’re looking for a classroom-size board at 120-inches by 48-inches or a small 11-inch by 17-inch board for a home office, you can find a size that fits your space. Be sure to measure the space and visualize how a frame would look there before buying a chalkboard. The chalkboard should fit comfortably in the space and at a reasonable height for writing.
Some chalkboards also come with pre-designed elements printed directly on the board. These can be calendar boxes, straight lines, title spaces, floral elements, weekly menu, checkboxes or something else. If you’re looking for a chalkboard with a specific purpose, it may be worth it to seek out one with your ideal design already printed so you can focus on your content.
What to look for in a quality chalkboard
Finding a chalkboard that’s built to last and has all the features you want takes a bit of consideration. Chalkboards can come with various extra features like a chalk holder, magnetic backing, hanging hardware and other accessories.
Some chalkboards come with a slim stretch of a shelf at the bottom of the frame. Usually, the shelf is aluminum or a material that matches the frame. Sometimes the holder is a cup or clip to hold chalk. A chalk holder is an additional feature but can be extra handy as you don’t have to worry about where to store your chalk when you’re not writing.
For chalkboards with frames, like hanging designs and easels, look for a frame made of natural wood or sturdy aluminum. Having high-quality construction elements helps prevent warping or damage.
If you’re looking for a board that can also act as a magnetic catch-all, find a chalkboard with a magnetic backing. Not all chalkboards are magnetic and some magnetic chalkboards are stronger than others.
Ease of hanging
Consider how you plan to hang or mount your chalkboard and whether or not those materials come with your board. Remember that you may need to expand your budget to include extra tools if the hardware isn’t included with your chalkboard.
How much you can expect to spend on a chalkboard
Most mid-range chalkboards cost between $15 and $50. Based on their size and extra features, more expensive chalkboards can cost $100 or more.
Are all chalkboards magnetic?
A. No. If you’re looking for a magnetic chalkboard, make sure to look for one with a metal sheet under the porcelain enamel surface. Other chalkboards can have wood or different non-metal backings, meaning they won’t be magnetic.
How do I clean my chalkboard?
A. Always start with a clean eraser. To clean your eraser, tap it outside to get rid of dust, wipe it with a damp cloth or vacuum it with a small attachment. If a clean eraser doesn’t eliminate buildup on your board, try using a chalkboard-safe cleaning solution and microfiber cloth. Test it in a small area before wiping the entire surface.
Does it matter what kind of chalk I use on the chalkboard?
A. Probably not, as most chalks are made similarly. If you’re worried about leaving streaks or marks, use plain white or yellow chalk as some colored chalks use other pigments that could stain. That said, liquid chalk markers offer a wide variety of safe colors to use on chalkboards. Liquid chalk markers use various alcohols to create transferable liquid chalk that dries entirely on the board. If you use liquid chalk markers, you may need a particular cleaning solution to wipe the marker ink off.
What’s the best chalkboard to buy?
XBoard Magnetic Framed Chalkboard
What you need to know: This is a great all-around chalkboard that offers a large, sturdy and lightweight frame.
What you’ll love: The aluminum frame is lightweight. It’s easy to install with the four-screw hardware kit included. The board is easy to erase and clean. This larger size is reasonably priced, and it’s also available in smaller sizes.
What you should consider: Some customers received damaged boards. The two included magnets are not strong.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
Top chalkboard for the money
What you need to know: This is a high-quality small chalkboard that offers excellent value for the price.
What you’ll love: For quality chalkboards, this is a very inexpensive option. Weighing just under two pounds, this small board is lightweight and easy to hang. The wood-style frame adds an elevated look and acts as a small ledge to store chalk. The board is easy to wipe clean. You can buy them in packs of up to four at a time.
What you should consider: It is not magnetic. Some users suggest “priming” it first by rubbing chalk all over it and then wiping it clean to get the best results.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
Chalkboard worth checking out
VersaChalk Porcelain Steel Magnetic Chalkboard
What you need to know: This is a quality mid-range chalkboard at an approachable price.
What you’ll love: The board is sturdy and comes with a nice wooden frame. The magnetic surface is strong enough to hold items like spice containers. It comes in multiple sizes.
What you should consider: There is no place to hold your chalk or other accessories. Some customers noticed warping or bubbling of the backing material over time.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
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Katy Palmer writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.
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