knowledge base.

Answers to all your menu board questions.

common questions.

What is a Menu Board?

Menu Boards are indoor or outdoor signs that showcase your food and beverage items for sale.

They are the largest of the restaurant sign family and designed on a chalkboard so restaurants can easily edit menu items, showcase specials, promote LTOs, and save on printing costs.

You’ll most often find them displayed behind the counter (on walls) or near entrances to attract curious customers.

What are some other fun restaurant sign ideas other than menu boards?

Here are some fun restaurant sign ideas:

Dog-Friendly — a small sign to let visitors know you welcome pets, usually with a water bowl or bucket of treats nearby.

Handwashing Signs — friendly signs that remind your guests and employees to wash their hands before they return to the dining room.

Drink Station — guide your guests to the drink station or describe what drink options are available.

Review & Rating — politely ask your guests to go online and review your restaurant.

‘Treat Yourself’ — also known as ‘Take One’ signs, these tell your patrons to take a free food sample or any other complimentary goodie.

Wait Time — these are great signs to keep your guests updated (and patient) on their current wait time.

Besides restaurants, what types of businesses use menu boards?

You’ll find menu boards at all your typical restaurant establishments — diners, fine dining, fast food, pubs — but here are a few places you might not expect:

  • Food Trucks
  • Weddings
  • Catering Events
  • Wineries
  • Breweries
  • Smoothie Bars
  • Gyms
  • Spas
  • Salons
  • Clubs
  • Coffee / Tea Shops
  • Marijuana Dispensaries
  • Oxygen Bars
How much do custom menu boards usually cost?

Restaurant menu boards should cost you anywhere from $100 for a small sign to a few thousand dollars for a full wall menu.

The price can depend on many factors: the board dimensions, the experience of the artist, any object art, word count, etc.


Get a taste for chalkboard success.


Who are your courses for?
Business owners, their employees or creative freelancers, who are looking to boost their visibility and make money.

It doesn’t matter what industry your business is in — you’ll learn how to make chalkboards that convert customers.

Do I have lifetime access to your courses? Is there a recurring fee?
You are a lifetime member. You don’t need to do anything else.

And there is no recurring fee or subscription — you pay once, and you’re all set.

How long does it take to complete the course?
It depends on the course, but on average each course will take around 3 hours IF you don’t stop and take the time to complete the worksheets (or make a chalkboard).
Can my employees use this course?
Definitely — that’s actually how most business owners use our courses.

You can sign up one employee per account.

Who teaches the courses?

I do!

(I’m Whitney, by the way. 😁)

How do I sign up for a course?

Just visit and choose the best course for you!

Are all the courses online?
Yes, they are — online videos and printables accessible anytime you’re ready to start learning at your own pace.
How much do you courses cost?
It depends on the course, but on average the basic starter package starts in the ~$60 range.
Do I have access to all the materials right away?

For any course, there are absolutely no restrictions on when you can watch the videos, download the printables, etc.

And you also don’t have to take each level in order — you can jump directly to the material that interests you the most.

Are courses always open for enrollment?
No, they are not.

We close enrollment, after a short enrollment period, before we release all-new content updates, add course levels, videos, etc.

Do printables come with each course?
Yes (plus more to come on each course update).

You can download each printable by clicking on the file name link within each course level.

Can I get a refund for a course?

Yup, there’s a 30-day money back guarantee on any course.

Just make sure to send us an email within 30 days of your course purchase.

(More about our Refund Policy.)

What is ChalkRight?

ChalkRight is the name of the school that teaches all of A La Chalk’s chalkboard courses.

Are the course videos live?
No, they are not.

Each course includes pre-recorded video lessons that are updated with each new course release.

What is ChalkRight?

It's our chalkboard school. You should apply.

supplies & diy.

Gear up on our Supplies Page.

supplies & diy.

Where can I buy chalkboard signs?
You can find affordable business chalkboard signs on Amazon or Etsy.
How do I make my wall a chalkboard?

Get yourself some chalkboard paint.

You can make your own homemade chalkboard simply by painting your wall with chalkboard paint (not chalk paint, that’s different).

What can I use on a chalkboard instead of chalk?

Chalk markers or chalky pastels.

Just don’t use dry erase markers or crayons.

How do I prime my chalk marker?

Priming (or activating) is when the marker tip is filled with ink and ready to letter.

With the cap on, shake the marker a few times (you’ll hear the ball rattling around inside).

Then press the tip hard on a piece of paper for a few seconds, then lift up.

Repeat the process — it should take around 10 times — until the whole marker tip has changed color and you see ink on the paper.

Is a chalkboard better than a dry erase?

A chalkboard is much better.

If you use the right chalk markers — especially on any outdoor or sidewalk sign — your chalkboard writing will stay permanent and be able to withstand the elements.

Can I use Windex to clean my board?
Yes, you can.

After you season it, you can use Windex to give it that ‘new’ look.

Do I need to 'finish' my chalkboard sign?
Yes, to increase its life. The weather, people, accidents, etc. are all likely candidates to destroy your signs before you know it. So make sure to give it a protective coating.
Can I nail Sawtooth or D-Ring Hangers into plastic frames?
No — only use them on wood frames. Plastic frames will crack and break. Your best bet is to screw a hook or hanger directly into your wall.
How do I reuse my chalkboard signs?
Erase your lettering with a quality rubber eraser to remove any chalk marker paint or chalk.

TIP: If you can’t salvage your chalk surface, re-spray it with a can of cheap chalkboard paint. Let it dry, then you’re good to go again.

Do chalkboard markers work on walls?

Yes, they absolutely do (it’s a myth that they don’t).

Erasing can be the tricky part, though.

If you want to be able to erase your marker, you probably want to avoid your average, textured drywall, since walls are generally porous.

What is the best brand of chalk markers?
I like to use Posca markers on chalkboards or chalkboard-painted walls.
Are chalk markers erasable?
Yes, they definitely are.

The best way to erase your chalk markers is with a damp cloth or a damp Magic Eraser.

But what really matters is your surface’s material.

This is when we start talking about the term porosity — if it’s porous, it will absorb the ink more and be more difficult to erase.

Here’s the best way to think about it:

Harder and smoother = less porous. So easy to erase.

Soft and textured = more porous. So hard to erase.

How do you make a chalkboard magnetic?

You can add strips of magnetic tape or you can try and paint a layer of magnetic primer on your board (unfortunately, that’s kinda hit or miss).

Can I reuse my transfer paper?
Yes. You can use each sheet up to around 50 times (at least in my experience).
Will the spray damage my wood frame?
No. You don’t need to cover or protect your frame from the spray.
How much weight can a Sawtooth Hanger hold?
20 pounds max (and that’s assuming you’re hanging from a stud). If you just have one sawtooth, definitely place it in the horizontal center of your frame backing, or better yet, use two sawtooths on each top corner.

design & transfer.

The Transfer Guide blog post has similar answers.

design & transfer.

How do I make my own chalkboard printable or template?

I recommend using a free online graphic design tool so you can use their template builders, fonts, and images.

(Don’t be intimidated, they’re easy to use.)

Start with Canva or PicMonkey.

What is Seasoning?

Seasoning is the process of filling up the tiny empty spaces in your porous board with chalk dust, to prevent ghosting and to give you a smooth, artist-friendly chalkboard surface.

  1. Grab a piece of regular chalk (yes, the old school kind).
  2. Turn it sideways (don’t use the tip) and make horizontal strokes back and forth.
  3. Then make vertical strokes back and forth.
  4. Let your chalk sit for at least 5-10 minutes.
  5. Now wipe off the chalk with a non-abrasive, soft cloth or dry sponge (don’t wet erase).

Your board will now be covered with a smooth cloudy surface that is ghost-resistant!

What is Ghosting?
Ghosting refers to the residual chalk markings leftover after you erase one of your previous designs.

They are those pesky faint lines that leave a ‘ghost’ like impression on your chalkboard.

To prevent ghosting, it’s always a good idea to season your board before you use it for the first time.

What is Transferring?
Transferring is the process of copying a design from a printed piece of paper or digital image onto another canvas or medium, like chalkboard or wood, typically using transfer paper or a projector.

Learn more in the Transfer Guide.

Can I transfer images using any of the 3 transfer methods?

Yes, you can.

If your images are very detailed, I would recommend either the Transfer Paper Way or the Projector Way, since the Chalk Way can be more difficult to transfer crisp markings/guidelines.

Does the transfer paper have to match the exact dimensions of my board?
No. Just make sure your transfer sheet covers the area where you want to make tracing marks.
How many images (object art) should my board have?
That depends on your sign size — aim for 2 images per 24 inches of diagonal sign width.
What colors should I use for my restaurant boards?

Choose colors that represent the themes and emotions of your restaurant brand:

  • Red — red is all about passion, energy, and speed. If you’re an efficient, fast-paced operation, consider this color in your signage. Think Chick-fil-a or Chipotle.
  • Green — green signifies tranquility, health, and calm. Use it if you sell organic or farm-to-table ingredients or a menu that promotes wellness. Think Panera or Starbucks.
  • Orange / Yellow — these represent simplicity, convenience, and a touch of youthfulness. So you’ll see it a lot in high-energy venues, like fast-food restaurants. Think Whataburger, Popeyes or Denny’s.
  • Blue — blue is all about peace, nature, and freshness, usually seen with seafood or nautically-themed menus. It’s hard to pull off on its own, so make sure to pair blues with reds or yellows. Think Joe’s Crab Shack.
  • Pink — unlike blue, pink resonates with females and is often associated with affection, love, and family. That’s why you’ll see them in bakeries and ice cream shops. Think Pinkberry.

TIP: Try and stay away from the color black — not only is it difficult to stand out on signage, it’s often associated with work or intensity, rather than relaxation and enjoyment.

Why do I need to season my chalkboard?

You want to season to brand new chalkboards for a few reasons:

  • To extend the life and quality of your board.
  • To prevent ghosting (faint leftover chalk).
  • Creates a smooth surface for your chalk markers.
  • To prevent stains.
  • To make your board easier to clean.

If you don’t season it, your chalk markers will leave stains after you erase each design — especially if your board is not labeled as ‘non-porous’.

How do I erase ghosted artwork?
If a wet cloth isn’t working for erasing leftover chalk marker, try using vinegar instead of water on your cloth.

If this doesn’t work, use a wet Magic Eraser or a Magic Eraser sheet.

If the Magic Eraser still doesn’t work, you may need to repaint the surface of the chalkboard — I like to use Rustoleum chalkboard spray paint for this.

What are the 3 methods for transferring my template design to my chalkboard?
There are 3 methods you can choose from when transferring a design to your chalkboard:

Use the Chalk Way, if you’re on a budget and your printed design is not too complex.

Use the Transfer Paper Way, if you want cleaner markings to help you draw your final design.

Last but not least, use the Projector Way, if you want to go digital and have a large project.

What is the main difference between the Transfer Paper Method and the Projector Method?
The supplies.

The Transfer Paper Way requires transfer paper (shocking 🤣).

While the Projector Method requires an investment in a stand-alone projector.

How do you transfer letters to a chalkboard?

Design a digital template, print it out on paper, then use transfer paper to trace it on your chalkboard.

Just follow the Transfer Paper Method.

fonts & canva.

The Canva blog post has similar answers.

fonts & canva.

What’s the difference between a Heading Font and Secondary Font?

A Heading Font is used for your large section titles or sign headers, that you want to grab people’s attention with.

A Secondary Font is used for all your other words and large blocks of readable text.

What font looks like chalk on a chalkboard?

Check out the ‘Script’ section in the Free Fonts post.

How do I choose a secondary font?

Look for fonts that are super clean (i.e. easy to read).

Here are some sweet Sans-Serif options in Google Fonts.

What Canva heading fonts should I use?

Try one of these two general font styles:

  • Script — a custom handwriting look with all the curls and swashes.
  • Serif — a more traditional look with smaller strokes attached to the end of characters.

In Canva, all you need to do is click the T text box in the left toolbar and search for ‘script’ or ‘serif’ in the search bar.

What is the maximum number of fonts I can upload to Canva?

100 per Canva Pro account.

How do I convert my web font files for a website?

To use a custom font on a WordPress website, the files need to be in the .woff format.

Use a tool like Convertio, to convert any .otf or .ttf file.

Where can I learn more about where to add fonts to my computer?

Check out my Canva tutorial on how to upload fonts.

What’s the best font for a food chalkboard?

See ‘My Favorites’ section in the Free Fonts post.

How do I make text a link on Canva?

Just click on any element — a text box, image, etc. — then click the link icon (paperclip) in the top toolbar.

Then just paste your link in the text field, and you’re all set. 😉

Where can I get more font-pairing ideas?

Check out the site Font Pair.

And don’t forget:

Within Google Fonts, if you scroll down on a specific font page, Google will make recommendations for you under ‘Popular pairings’.

How do I add a transparent background in Canva?
  1. Click Download in the top right corner.
  2. In the ‘File Type’ drop-down, select PNG.
  3. Check the Transparent background checkbox.
  4. Click the Download button.
  5. (Optional) Open your downloaded .png in a program like Adobe Illustrator to confirm your background is transparent.
How much does a Canva Pro account cost?

$10 / user / month.

It’s worth it —this cool drag-and-drop editor will save you a ton of time, so you don’t have to buy Adobe Photoshop (or any of those difficult programs) that cost hundreds of dollars.

It’s my favorite tool that I use for everything. 👍


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