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DIY Outdoor Chalkboard : The Weekender Urban Patio Makeover

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hey there! I'm monica 

I pride myself on making amazing style and design accessible for everyone, regardless of location, budget, or ability! My design philosophy is rooted in authenticity + attainability - If I can do it, you can too! My work has been featured in countless publications, but I take the most pride in homeowners that have been personally inspired by my DIY ideas and have tried something in their own homes!

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Hey! This post is part of The Weekender Makeover Series- Watch all 10 episodes and get project details using the buttons below!


The Weekender: DIY Urban Patio Makeover – Watch Below!

DIY Outdoor Chalkboard & Kids’ Area : The Weekender Urban Patio Makeover

One of the main goals the homeowners had for this urban patio makeover was for me to create a kid-friendly space that was also sophisticated enough for adult get togethers. Zones  became by makeover buzzword… I needed to create 3 of them… 1 for hanging out: The conversation zone, 1 for eating: The dining zone, and 1 for play: The kids’ zone… which was my favorite zone in the place!

DIY Patio Makeover Outdoor Chalkboard Kid's Area

When I first arrived, this yard was NOT the stuff childhood dreams are made of…


Before you go thinking Tess and Barry just needed to go buy their kids some toys, they did have a storage bin with kid toys, but whenever it rained the dirt patch got super muddy and overall it just wasn’t a very kid-friendly space.

I knew that just a few simple DIY projects could create a zone that would entertain the kids and have them spending hours outside in no time! Our first project was the Outdoor Chalkboard.

1- Hardy backer board is usually used in construction in wet places, like bathrooms and laundry rooms, that’s why is the perfect thing to use as the base of an outdoor chalkboard.  It cost only $11.47 for a 3×5 board.


One side is smooth and one is textured- you want the smooth side as your chalkboard surface.  Put your board onto sawhorses or another place you can paint it.

2- Using a roller, apply two even coats of chalkboard paint (allowing dry time in between coats). I went with the traditional black chalkboard paint, but they have fun, tintable  chalkboard colors too if you want something even more whimsical.  Both the black and tintable versions are intended for interiors, but I’ve used it a bunch of times outdoors and it’s held up just fine.


3- After the paint had dried, we framed it with 1×3 pine boards  and attached it onto the modern privacy fence we’d made earlier in the weekend.  We just used straight cuts for the corners and didn’t even worry about miter cuts.  We used the same Olympic Elite stain as we used for the privacy fence.  It looks like a lighter tone than the lattice because of how the different wood types absorbed the stain. I love that we were able to get a two tone look, but only had to use one product.

DIY Urban Patio Makeover Kids Gardening

4- We attached wall hooks and hung little metal paint buckets on each side.  One I filled with outdoor chalk, and the other some handheld gardening tools and gloves.


I picked up some really cute kid gardening accessories at World Market.  Kid-sized tools are always a huge hit with my kids and they look adorable too!

Kids Gardening Tools

Since the chalkboard was mounted to the fence, I didn’t want the kids having to stand in the mulch to write on it, so I added 3 paver stones (one for each kiddo) to stand on.  The stones were 16×16 and cost under $5 each.

DIY Urban Patio Makeover Kids Area Gardening Privacy Fence Outdoor Chalkboard

Another fun and simple kids DIY project we made was the stump tic-tac-toe game- I actually brought a stump from my yard with me to Manhattan.  lol.

DIY Urban Patio Makeover Kids Space Outdoor Games

This project is as simple as it looks.  Find a stump or ask me for one (haha) and paint on a tic-tac-toe board.  I used sample paints from Lowe’s because I knew we only needed a bit of each color.

For the game pieces, I purchased a bag of rocks in the garden section and picked out the flattest ones we could find.  We striped half to look like bumblebees and painted the others red with black dots for ladybugs.

For projects like this, my motto is perfectly imperfect and they turned out so cute.
DIY Urban Patio Makeover Kids Area Tic Tac Toe

I really love how this zone turned out and I was so glad that Tess and Barry’s 3 little ones loved it too!  They’ve actually texted me a bunch of times since doing the makeover, letting me know how much they use it!  Yay!  Mission Accomplished!
DIY Urban Patio Makeover Kids Play Area Gardening Privacy Fence

As you can see, this urban patio makeover was filled with DIY projects. You can check out the makeover BEFORE & AFTER Reveal HERE and use the links below to check out the other project tutorials!

Urban Patio Makeover Reveal

DIY Cinderblock Planter

DIY Artificial Turf (yes, that’s fake grass and it’s amazing!)

DIY Modern Privacy Fence

And don’t miss a Weekender Episode- make sure you subscribe HERE to catch all 10!

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*The Weekender Series is a paid collaboration with Lowe’s Home Improvement. I’m thankful for the brands that believe in the mission of East Coast Creative and support my work!*

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