Learn how to make a magnetic chalkboard with a smooth, natural slate looking finish.  I use a sheet of 2′ x 3′, 22 gauge steel and mount it on 1/2″ MDF using contact cement and then paint it with black chalkboard paint. Here’s the how-to video and some additional photos to show you how to get a smooth chalkboard h finish and on the magnetic surface.

Start by cleaning the steel panel with paint thinner to remove any oily residue on the steel.

Use contact cement on both the 1/2″ MDF and steel panel

Use sticks to align the steel with the MDF…the contact cement will not stick to the wood and you can remove them one by one once you have the first edge lined up. Be sure to let the contact cement dry for 15 minutes or until just tacky to the touch.

Use a J Roller and apply pressure to the steel to get a solid bond and a smooth surface

Use 120 grit sandpaper paint thinner to clean the steel one more time and prime the steel using oil based primer. I use Zinsser Primer on metal surfaces.

Apply two coats of chalkboard paint using a paint brush, sanding lightly between coats. Apply the final coat of chalkboard paint using a Bondo Putty Knife to get a smooth and natural finish without the paint brush marks.