Chalkboard Sign Writing Tips

Chalkboard Sign Writing Tips

For businesses, knowing how to write neatly on a chalkboard can make a huge difference to the impact of your messaging. In this article, we outline practical chalkboard sign writing tips to ensure you can achieve clean and professional results.

First steps: plan your design

Consider carefully ahead of time what information you want to include, and the space you want to fit it in. What size is your chalk sign, and where will it be seen from? For example, do you want to display a menu on a large board above a counter, a special offer on a small tabletop sign, or a funny message on a pavement sign?

The size of the board and the proximity of the viewer will influence the size of your text and what you include. Try not to make your design too crowded or complicated.

Many chalk markers have a “chisel tip”, meaning that you can use different sizes of nib in the same marker, depending on how you hold it. Others commonly have a round tip, with a simple choice between thick and thin pens.

Make sure you use the correct nib to suit your design. Having a range of pens to hand ensures you can acheive your ideal graphics.

Chalkboard sign writing tips

Also, consider your colour scheme. Do you want to use lots of colour, or have a simple black and white display? Colour can be striking and beautiful, but a simple two-tone design can also have a strong visual impact.

Key choice: liquid chalk markers VS standard chalk

We always recommend using liquid chalk pens for the following reasons:

  • bright, vibrant results
  • greater precision
  • different sizes and nib types
  • longer lasting finish with some water resistance

How to use liquid chalk markers: prime your pens

Chalk pens have a pump action, which feeds liquid chalk to the nib. To prepare your pens, first give them a good shake (with the cap on!). Then, put the tip to a surface such as paper or glass, and press them up and down until the liquid chalk begins to mark the paper. Don’t over-pump the nib, as an over-soaked nib could leak!

If using standard chalk sticks, sharpen the tips with a craft blade for precision. Dip them into water before using for a stronger pigment. One way to make chalk stick designs last longer is to spray them with hairspray. To make your chalk sign writing permanent, there are proper sealant/fixative sprays available.

How to write neatly on a chalkboard

How to use liquid chalk markers

To write neatly on a chalkboard, first use stencils to apply your designs uniformly.

Our reusable stencil set has not only letters and numbers, but a range of useful symbols, including food, drink and social media logos. Adding images to your design can really help it to stand out!

Use the stencil to lightly sketch out your text or graphics with a pencil before filling in the design with a liquid chalk pen.

If you want a different style to a standard plastic stencil set, you can create your own stencils. One way to ensure this is reliably neat is to create your design on a computer, and print it out onto A4 sheets of paper. Then you can carefully cut out the stencils with a craft blade and cutting mat. Leave small connections between sections to maintain the strength of the stencil.

You may wish to stick the stencils down onto your board to keep everything in place, using masking tape or washi tape. Using these tapes is another way to write in straight lines on the chalkboard - you can stick the tape down in straight lines, draw on your lettering between the tape lines, and simply peel off the tape afterwards.

Note: paper stencils will be single use only - always have an extra copy, in case of any issues when cutting it out!

If you would like a more freehand look, we suggest practicing using regular marker pens on paper or cardboard first, to ensure you're confident before moving on to your chalkboard.

What to do if you make a mistake

If you make a mistake in your chalk sign writing, don't worry, it can be easily fixed. Before starting, make sure you have a microfibre cloth or rag ready, along with some chalkboard cleaner spray.

If you have a slight mistake to fix, spray a little bit of the cleaner onto the cloth, and dab gently at your chalk until it comes away. For precision on small details, use a cotton bud to neaten things up.

Chalk sign writing tips

How to clean chalk signs

Simply spray your chalkboard with chalkboard cleaner spray and, using a soft microfibre cloth, wipe the cleaning solution and the chalk away.

Final chalk sign writing tips

  • If you’re writing chalk signs on an A frame or upright stand, lay them flat first. This will ensure stability and prevent dripping of the liquid chalk
  • For a large display, print your stencil onto multiple A4 sheets first and line them up neatly - this is far easier than handling sheets of A3 and larger sizes
  • For left handed people, write from right to left to prevent smudging
  • The liquid chalk might look different colours as it dries. This is normal, and it should look even when fully dried
  • Don’t layer up different colours, as this sort of blending can damage your chalk pens

We hope we've made this sound easy! But, if this all sounds like too much work, we can print directly onto the chalkboard for you. This gives you a professional, permanent chalk sign or branded chalkboard, without all the fuss. Check out our chalkboard signs category, or simply contact us for more details.

Kira Swales

Kira Swales

Kira Swales is a copywriter for UK POS. Kira has nine years' experience in e-commerce and copywriting, with a background in retail. She enjoys researching topics in depth in order to provide readers with the latest information on point of sale merchandising. Read more of her comprehensive guides in our Knowledge Hub.