Right from the chalk dust odor to the smooth surface, everything about a chalkboard has a sentimental feel. This is perhaps the reason why they still have their place in today’s modern world of whiteboards. While still seen in classrooms, chalkboards are now more widely used as a signboard or an informative board in homes and offices.
Recently, the trend is to use a chalkboard in outdoors! The users may be kids who simply enjoy scribbling or drawing on it or maybe business professionals who want to convey something interesting to their clients.
For example, it is common to see a chalkboard with today’s special menu just at the entry area of a restaurant or a café shop. You will also see one on the sidewalk of a wedding venue to make a wedding announcement with flawless calligraphy and floral design.
So, outdoor chalkboards are not only for kids. While many consider them only for fun, scoring, and games, they are more diverse uses such as signboards or announcements. Lastly, even the artists use them to show their design skills by adorning the black or green surface.
Outdoor chalkboards are designed such that they fit almost anywhere, which can be garden, small patio, or a balcony. Securely attach to a wall, garden shed, or a solid fence visible from your property, the chalkboards are available in different sizes so that even the smallest child or the biggest personnel can reach the board without fatigue or strain.
You can place these boards vertically or horizontally to ensure the easiest and efficient use. The outdoor models do not warp, are resistant to different weather conditions, are easy to clean, and are a good value for money as anyone can use them.
This post aims to guide you so that you can choose the best outdoor chalkboard as per your needs and budget. For this purpose, just read on to go through the reviews of the top 5 outdoor blackboards and a basic but practical buying guide.
Reviews of 2020’s 5 Best Outdoor Chalkboards
U Brands Chalkboard – Best Cheap Chalkboard
Measuring 24 x 14 inches, this non-magnetic, non-porous chalkboard is the most affordable piece in this list with the ability to bear moderate use. It is also a versatile one to mount vertically or horizontally.
This is because it comes with a universal mounting mechanism using which you can hang it in both these directions to fit the destined space. There are holes at the rear for easy hanging.
Aesthetically, this board is pretty pleasing. Thanks to the frame that is made up of sturdy oak wood that can uplift the ambiance of any indoor or outdoor décor.
The black vinyl surface of this board is compatible with all liquid chalk markers, erases neatly, and is resistant to ghosting and staining. However, it is recommended using this board with standard chalks that give a bold laydown.
Unlike all other chalkboards, this one features corrugate material that is extra supportive as well as extremely resistant to damage while in transit.
- Aesthetically appealing
- Versatile enough to be used horizontally and vertically
- Easy to set/mount with DIY instructions and necessary hardware included
- Extra defensive to keep damage away at transit
- Easy to clean
- Extremely affordable
- The occasional residue after wiping actual chalk work
VersaChalk Frame Sidewalk Chalkboard Sign
Measuring 42 inches high and 24 inches tall with the writing area being 21 x 36 inches, this outdoor and indoor chalkboard is captivatingly a big one to have in front of entry gates, café shops, restaurants, and event venues. The double-sided folding sandwich design stands out on flocked streets.
The whole surface is magnetic so that you can easily see artistic decorations and trinkets to stick to it for adding some visual charm. The surface is made up of high-quality porcelain steel that does not stain or ghost if it is maintained well. This surface facilitates constant use, never fades, and helps in erasing things cleanly and effortlessly.
The chalkboard comes with a heavy frame made up of solid blocks of natural lumber that are layered with a polished golden oak finish that is waterproof and gives a rustic feel. The feet of legs are made up of plastic and protects the ground or floor from any kind of damage. The board is so sturdy that it does not blow away with winds.
You can use normal chalks or liquid chalk markers on its magnetic steel surface. To be on the safer side, consider using VersaChalk markers. Cleaning is simple by wiping using a damp cloth.
- Heavy-duty build yet light
- Magnetic surface
- Foldable design
- Sturdy A-frame design
- Durable waterproof frame
- Compatible with liquid chalk markers
- Easy to clean (just a damp cloth)
- No ghosting, fading, or staining
- A bit costly
- Some but rare durability issues
Excello Global Large Sturdy Handcrafted 40″ x 20″ Wooden A-Frame Chalkboard
This is another double-sided sandwich chalkboard to consider if a magnetic surface is not what you want, but accessories are! This is a set that comes with four liquid chalk markers with reversible tips (chisel and bullet), four regular chalk pieces, a magnetic eraser, and 40 pieces of plastic stencils having over 60 words and visuals that are reusable.
The double-sided A-frame chalkboard is sturdy without being bulky due to which you can quickly move to different places. It is the improved version that is made using thick wood of heavier grade and three reinforced hinges at the top to ensure better stability than its predecessors.
This heavy-duty construction makes it resistant to winds making it ideal for outdoor use. The smooth writing surface is better than those dry-erase ones and is compatible with liquid chalk pens and regular chalks. The liquid ones included are four primary colors. The rounded tips work well with stencils but not with hand lettering.
Still, these markers are pretty bright, do not smear easily, and clean up nicely with a simple wet paper towel. They are not waterproof but are water-soluble, which would require protection from rainwater.
- Sturdy; heavy-duty build yet not bulky for carrying
- Freestanding style
- Stable amidst winds
- No easy smearing
- Easy to clean
- Stencil sets and markers included
- Highly durable
- Available in four different frame colors
- Hardly any
Navy Penguin Magnetic Chalkboard Set – Best Mounting Chalkboard
This one is perhaps the most affordable magnetic chalkboard set in this list. It includes everything to get started to re-experience the school days’ fun. The set comes with a black chalkboard, two magnets for artistic display, 14 chalk crayons of seven different colors, and a magnetic eraser.
While the resin-painted steel surface works well with liquid chalk markers whose imprints go away quickly with a damp cloth, most customers recommend using this board with standard chalks. The board is pretty versatile; you can place it on a table easel or hang it from the outdoor wall or fence. The surface is flexible enough to facilitate drawing, making signs, painting, and writing.
Measuring 30 x 20 inches, this chalkboard is big and hangs only in landscape or horizontal mode. There are movable hooks due to which it is easy to adjust the hanging distance while mounting.
It is made up of heavy-duty aluminum that adds to the lightweight and sturdy build features. There is an attachable chalk tray on which you can keep chalks, erasers, markers, and other accessories for handy use.
The set is multi-functional; you can use the board for a variety of purposes to be served indoors or outdoors. It may seem like an indoor board upon first glance. However, it is just half right!
- East to mount
- Super affordable
- Lifetime replacement guarantee
- Time-consuming removal of protective plastic film
HBCY Creations Rustic Magnetic A-Frame Chalkboard
This is another A-frame chalkboard build to last. It is preferred by those who love to have a rustic look and attractive offers just outside their shops or cafes. The magnetic chalkboard is built using the porcelain steel of the highest quality, which means no ghosting or staining.
No ghosting means the chalkboard will clean up tidily using a damp cloth. The non-porous board has a texture similar to a conventional model but supports liquid chalk markers apart from the standard chalks. As per the manufacturer, its proprietary chalk markers provide the best outcomes.
The frame is made up of torched Russian pine; a wood admired for its consistent grain, durability, and density. This makes the board sturdy and weighty enough to withstand winds. At the same time, it adds a rustic as well as an aesthetic charm to the chalkboard.
The heavy-duty hinges and chains also give a rustic, vintage look. The double-sided chalkboard features aesthetically pleasing and strong joint reinforced with lasting glue and unseen pins. As a result, this board is undoubtedly going to last.
- Non-porous for being compatible with liquid markers
- No ghosting or staining
- Easy to clean
- Resistance to winds and light rains
- Warping in direct sunlight
How to Choose the Best Outdoor Blackboard
Easy to use, spacious to draw, and designed to convey your message for years, chalkboards are available in a variety of shapes and sizes. Many of them come with chalk holders, frames, stencils, chalks, inscriptions such as a weekly calendar, and other accessories.
While it may seem a simple green or blackboard, selecting one of them is a confusing task with so many varieties available. So, how do you choose one?
Well, for that, it is essential to know your requirements and then map them with the features of promising chalkboards to know which one is the best option for you.
For example, if you need an outdoor chalkboard that can be mounted to a wall horizontally, you will need to look for a model that supports wall mounting instead of standing vertically on the lawn.
The features are nothing but the factors to consider while choosing the best outdoor chalkboard. For example, you will need to focus on the shape and size apart from display options ranging from hanging frames to easels. So, let’s comprehend these factors in the form of answers to frequently asked questions.
How the purpose of buying a chalkboard helps in choosing the right one?
The purpose for which a chalkboard is required is perhaps the primary factor to focus on keeping all hassles and problems along the way at bay. Parents at home and teachers at school can benefit from those outdoor models that are easy for students to see and use and match with the area’s ambiance.
On the other hand, business owners who want to convey daily deals or a new product release will benefit from a chalkboard that is easy to adjust and move. Here, the flexibility of writing on both sides and a vertical layout are more appreciated.
Tripods or those with stands are widely considered options if you wish to set a chalkboard in front of a restaurant door or on a sidewalk. These outdoor places never fail to captivate your customers’ attention.
For sharing a welcome message, a chalkboard that easily mounts to the wall at the entrance is ideal. The main reason is that it will be visible to everyone and will not get in the way.
What to do if multiple users will be using the outdoor chalkboard?
It is wise to consider the number of users or groups who will be using the newly brought outdoor chalkboard. Sharing it with others is likely to result in a few barriers for you to overcome, especially when there two or more kids at home or two or more teams in an office.
For instance, you, as a user, may write down many essential points to save them for later use. However, other users, such as kids, may end up erasing these things when they do not find enough space for their drawing. For using a chalkboard, most users delete each other’s work due to a lack of enough space.
Well, this is something that all users want to avoid. This issue resolves if you choose a reversible chalkboard. Such a board allows users to write on both its sides, front and rear due to which they can save whatever they write or draw without impeding or stopping other users.
Reversible chalkboards are also available in a variety of sizes and styles. Thus, you can easily find the one that attractively stands out.
How do I decide the right chalkboard size?
Well, think of the users who will be using or viewing the chalkboard. If they are small kids, a horizontal and not too wide board is ideal. A long, vertical one is just not ideal unless they are grown-ups or teens.
A few are as small as a workbook, while others are as big as half your bed. You have to take a call on the required size.
Typically, you need a chalkboard that is big enough to fulfill your purpose and yet fitting at its chosen destination. If you wish to hang it from the wall, it is essential to measure the available destined area before searching for chalkboards.
Doing so certainly makes your life easier. It is wise to go for portable or compact chalkboards that can go backpacks so that you can use it while on the go.
Selecting the right size is the direct cause of increased productivity. This is something more than you can imagine. A wrong or an inapt size means a waste of your search efforts, time, and money.
Which design style should I choose for an outdoor chalkboard?
Well, the answer depends on your preferences and requirements. There are many styles to suit any play area. While this is usually the reason for confusion, it is also the reason why you can find your design as per your needs. Following are the different styles for you to consider:
- Picture: Is a conventional style popular amongst kids. These chalkboards usually hang on a door or a wall and give a handy space to draw, scribble, or write.
- Easel: Is the most popular style these days. It usually features a black writing surface on double sides, a storage tray, and a magnetic dry-erase design. This is useful for different activities, especially when you have more than one user at a time. Easels are often double-sided, meaning you can work even on the opposite side. They can come with accessories such as an eraser, a tray for holding chalks, and magnetic art decorations. They do consume floor space but are also foldable when not in use.
- Table: Is a vertical design that is suitable for those buyers for whom space is available at a premium. It comes with built-in storage space.
- Horizontal: This is a standard style that you find in classrooms.
Which build material should I choose for my outdoor chalkboard?
The build material is a critical factor to consider, especially if you are choosing a model for outdoor use. All chalkboards are not equal. Several cheaper models are made up of only wood painted with a finish. However, wood is permeable or porous due to which much ink or paint gets soaked by the wood.
Wood chalkboards are durable but are only fine for regular colorful chalks; they are usually not ideal for liquid pens and wet cleaning. They are prone to scratch and etch if you use chalk pens or pencils that get erased only with water wipes.
More durable materials are used to make non-porous chalkboards. They are metal, porcelain, laminate, and vinyl. These models are longer-lasting ones but are likely to prone to faint ghosting marks while erasing anything from the surface. However, some models prevent these marks and are ideal for outdoor use.
How should be the frame of a chalkboard?
The frame of a chalkboard is another essential factor to consider before making a selection. This is because it is responsible for the overall chalkboard’s weight as well as lifespan.
Steel frames are the costliest and heaviest options, but they last for years to come if you maintain them well. Go for one such frame if you will not be moving your board after installing it.
Then, there are wooden frames that are more affordable but with a moderate compromise. They are ideal more for indoor use. On the economic end, there are incredibly light and highly portable plastic frames. However, if the plastic is not tough, these frames are likely to break.
You can even choose an aluminum frame. It is incredibly lightweight, also if the chalkboard is big. In the matter of frame, it is more towards the design aspect. Mostly, a frame is considered when a chalkboard is needed for indoor use. However, these days, even for outdoor use, a wooden or metal frame is considered.
It is wise to spend some more time getting the frame of your choice instead of making yourself one. This is because it consumes less time and effort. Moreover, a frameless chalkboard does not look as delightful as the one with a frame.
What kind of chalk should I select or use?
There are a couple of chalk choices available for writing or drawing on a chalkboard. Your selection is reliant on what you will be writing or drawing, how long it should last, and what is the most preferred texture and look. Following are chalk options to consider:
- Regular Chalks: Are what we all use for the classic black surface. Available in different colors, these chalks are ideal as you can effortlessly outline and shade by applying different levels of pressure to them. Using a pencil sharpener, you can sharpen these chalks to have crisper lines. It is wise to keep these chalks with you even if your preference is pencil crayons or chalk pens. This is because they enable you to have a rough sketch of your design or to make grids.
- Chalk Pens: Are usually the markers known for the vibrancy and symmetry. You can use them on a non-porous surface and can have a lot of fun. Mostly, they are available in four different tips. Usually, two types of chalk pens or markers exist wet wipes that go away quickly with water and the pro markers that are made to last in wet weather and sustain wear. It is ideal to invest in these markers for commercial purposes or learning motives. For kids who are using the board only for entertainment, standard chalks are just fine. Just ensure to keep these markers horizontally so that they do not dry out.
- Chalk Pencil Crayons: Are ideal for making sketches or outlines without the risk of smudging, a drawback common with regular chalks. However, it is tough to remove whatever you have done on the chalkboard, particularly in areas where they were pressed hard. You can still remove from these areas by scrubbing hard.
Which kind of display style should I choose?
The exact answer to this depends on the destined area where you will be putting the chalkboard. As a fact, there are different display styles to choose from, which are as follows:
- Hanging frame: This is the most widely used display style and is available in various sizes and shapes to fit any indoor or outdoor décor. Usually made of metal or wood, they are versatile enough to allow adding some exciting things or retaining a minimal style. While some have a decorative rim, the rest are utilitarian. The frame in use can be oval, square, rectangular, or round. For hanging, they usually come with a jute cord, hanger, or hook.
- Stand: Is the choice of those who do not have enough wall space in their outdoor surroundings for hanging a chalkboard. It is pretty solid and durable, although it takes a fair amount of area on the ground. Mostly made up of aluminum or wood, it can even have wheels to ensure portability.
- A-frame/sandwich: This is the one that you will see almost at any sidewalk of a café. It is the most used display style for announcing offers and menus, keeping customers informed about the latest news, and sharing a daily quote. It is the perfect way to welcome anyone at the front door. The size is typically big, but a foldable option is what you should look for.
How do I ensure that my outdoor chalkboard is weatherproof?
When it comes to outdoor chalkboards, it is essential to ensure that it will sustain itself against all types of weather. This can be the harsh sunlight, heavy rains, strong winds, or chilling snow, any of which can damage even the best outdoor model.
The best way to ensure that a chalkboard is weatherproof is to see its description or manufacturer’s manual. Even customer reviews will reveal the same. If you have already brought a chalkboard and it is not weatherproof, you should consider keeping it in a shaded area or covering it when not in use. You can even apply an exterior paint and tile grout to transform it into a weatherproof board.
Should I buy an outdoor chalkboard available as a package or a bundle?
Bundle packages are beneficial than solo chalkboards, as they come with different useful accessories apart from the chalkboard. Choosing one of them is a great way to save money and shopping time. Just a little research is required to find outdoor chalkboards available as bundles containing a variety of accessories such as chalk pens, wipe cloths, and erasers.
You simply need not look for these accessories anywhere else and can instantly get started with your task. Just keep in mind that many bundles are available only for a limited time; it is merely a limited offer. So, do not overthink or take much time to buy one of them.
Should I choose a single- or a double-sided outdoor chalkboard?
This is simply a matter of personal choice for style. The single-sided ones are those that you can hang or mount, while the double-sided ones usually stand independently on the floor. The latter ones are ideal for cafes, events, and other venues, while the former ones are ideal for indoor use.
Whether it is a parent, a staff member, or an individual, choosing the best outdoor chalkboard is indispensable when it comes to conveying a message, advertising, or learning. It is wise to invest in a chalkboard that will last for years, even if you want to use it frequently.
If you are still confused and do not know where to start from, consider getting started with the most affordable as well as a durable option while considering the destined space of use.