DIY Outdoor Chalkboard & Trellis

This post is long overdue, but one that I am so excited to have completed.  If you remember back in the beginning of the summer I showed you my backyard in a summer home tour.  I left out the space where we grill because it was bland and void of any decoration.  I can now show you what I did.  We keep our pool open as long as possible  since it has a hot tub attached. We use it every weekend, but once Halloween rolls around – we have to close it up and store everything we keep outside for winter.


I created a very customizable organizing trellis and outdoor chalkboard with the help of 3M DIY.  It was easy to make since I bought the trellis ready-made. All I had to do was paint it. The rest is purely up to your organizing needs and imagination.

BEFORE  A big empty exterior wall.


supplies needed:

  • Foldable trellis – I found this one at Lowes
  • Plastic picture frame with acetate sheet – I found mine at Walmart
  • Black chalkboard spray paint
  • Primer| White Paint | Paint brush
  • 3M™ Advanced Abrasives – Sandblaster Pro 120 grit Sandpaper | Sanding block
  • Scotch® Professional Grade Electrical Tape in white
  • Scotch® Extreme Mounting Tape
  • 3M™ Safety Products – ForceFlex™ Plus Safety Eyeware
  • Nails to hang trellis | Cup hooks | Picture frame hook
  • Optional:  outdoor clock, baskets


1. Prime and paint the trellis.


2. I work outside to paint if the weather is good. When it is sunny, I love that there is safety eyewear that are sunglasses. The only thing they are missing for my 50+ eyes is a reader bifocal in them.  :-)  Once the paint is dry, don your safety eyewear to sand the trellis with 3M™ Advanced Abrasives 120 grit Sandblaster Pro sandpaper. If you place the sandpaper on a palm sanding block – sanding to smooth the finish is easy.


3. Use 2 screws or nails to hang the painted trellis. I wanted it to be secure, but easy to take on and off once winter comes around.


4. Take frame apart and remove the acetate sheet. 


5. Make sure the acetate is clean and dry, then use spray chalkboard paint to paint the acetate. Spray on in long sweeping motions. Wait 5 – 7 minutes and then respray. Repeat until you get full coverage.


6. To create the stripes on the chalkboard frame I used Scotch® Professional Grade 35 White Vinyl Electrical Tape.

Decorative uses-for-electrical-tape

7. Measure the width of the tape and mark with a pencil on the frame to get your spacing right. I just eyeballed it.  I started in the middle of each side and worked to each side to make sure the tape was spaced evenly. I did the corners last.

8. When placing the tape on the frame, do not stretch it as you work.  Pull enough off the roll so you can simply press in on to the frame. I cut each piece so that it was long enough to wrap around to the back of the frame.


9.  To tape stripes on the corners:

  1. Place one piece of tape diagonally on the corner following the seam where the two sides of the frame meet.  Cut the outer edge of the tape as shown.
  2. For outer corner: Smooth the right side of the tape to the left side and the left piece to the right. Smooth with your fingers and wrap excess to the back of the frame.
  3. For inner corner: Cut excess tape in half vertically.
  4. Wrap each cut section to the back of the frame.Scotch-Extreme-tape

1o.  I used Scotch Extreme Mounting Tape on the back of the frame to make sure it did not move once I hung it on the trellis.  Make sure to follow product user instructions: cut 2 inches of tape for every 1 pound.


11. I hung the frame on the trellis and marked where the wood hit the frame with Post-It® Page Markers.  I brought it inside on my worktable to line up where to place the Scotch® Extreme Mounting Tape.


I hung the frame back on the trellis. I hung the clock with a nail and the thrift store find basket with 2 cup hooks.  I keep grilling tools and plastic pot holders in the basket that stand up to the weather.


Since the chalkboard stays outside, I don’t create any masterpieces on it. Just fun and simple drawings to show the air and water temperature.


OPTIONS: I chose to use the trellis as a way to organize around the grill, but you can hang just about anything from it.  In the photo above I screwed 3 cups hooks into the trellis and it becomes a place to hang wet towels.

You could hang garden tools, flower pots, and whatever your heart desires or you need to make outdoor living a bit more organized.


To see more DIY projects from 3M DIY check them out on Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram, and Twitter

I am proud to be a 3M- sponsored blogger, and, as part of my responsibilities, I get the opportunity to evaluate products from 3M DIY. Opinions are my own and additional product used in the project were selected by me.

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  1. Tina Matteson says:

    That looks great, Diane! It sure adds interest to the plain wall. I have a (non-foldable) trellis that I painted last year and hever used in my yard, so I’m thinking of copying your idea! Thanks.