State Chalkboards

Decided to do some “simple” ideas to get some CNC products up on Amazon before Prime Day (usually spikes traffic).

The wife had an idea for state cutouts (we bought some SVGs awhile ago for all 50 states) and it morphed from the chalkboard sheets that Home Depot sells to buying a 4x8 sheet of plywood (cut into 2x2 squares) and a quart of chalkboard paint (Rustoleum brand)…it was about a 20% difference in cost of materials.

Here’s the first two examples that I painted up tonight:

This was 1/2" (0.46" actual) Sande plywood from Home Depot.

Cut settings:
Bit: 1/4" upcut (lovely fuzzies…sanded right off though)
Feed: 100 ipm
Plunge: 60 ipm (loving the new Z axis)
DOC: 0.125"

Each one took about 6 minutes to cut out with no issues. Broke the tabs off and hit it with the spindle sander and then rolled on the paint.

That picture is of the boards still wet after I rolled it on. I just went down and checked on them and wow it dries out amazingly smooth.

I’ll take some photo box pictures tomorrow and get my Amazon listing up.


Those look awesome!

You may want to test how cleanly you can erase from that on a piece of scrap - I seem to recall that it can be a bit fussy when applied directly on wood. May need to seal and sand it first to get a smooth base?

Good luck!

Thanks! I’ll try it out today and see.

Home Depot sells boards that have the chalk board material on it. Also they sell dry erase boards as well.

Yes. They do sell those and I looked into them. It made more sense to go the plywood route.

It’s $10 for a 2’x4’ piece and it’s only 3/16" thick. It’s a veneer of the material on top of what appeared to be essentially chipboard.

It’s $5 worth of material that is flimsy and had no clue how well it’d cut on the CNC or how reliable it’d work as a product (mounting might be a pain, is it too flimsy, etc.).

For $32 I got a 4’x8’ sheet of 1/2" plywood cut into 8 squares ($4 per square) and for $10 I got a quart of chalkboard paint that covers 90-120 sq. ft.

At the mid-point of that coverage area, that’s 105 sq. ft or 26 2’ x 2’ pieces of plywood. So the cost of the chalkboard paint is $0.38 per board.

More likely though, I’m only doing probably only approximately 70% of the 2’x2’ section so 2.8 sq. ft per board, which lowers the cost of the paint per board to be roughly $0.25.

The cost of the plywood route ($4.25) is cheaper than the chalkboard panel ($5) route. Yes there might be some extra time but if the chalkboard panel chips out or rough cuts, it could ruin the piece. If that happens on the plywood I just sand it and it adds character and is covered by the paint.

Also, I tested them yesterday and it seemed to erase just fine. The wood texture is interesting but had no issues erasing it.

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wow I would have never known this.