Hey, I used blackboard paint for the first time making a scrabble chalk board as a gift for a scrabble fan. The paint was inexpensive and available at a local hardware shop. I used two coats. It works pretty well as far as I can tell, I wrote on it in chalk and erased it fine.
All I did was use masking tape to edge off a square (I'm a messy painter) and put a square of tape in the middle to keep the star. I painted it, and then glued on some letters and the letter holders which make a convenient chalk holder. I drilled a couple holes at the sides and top so it can be nailed into the wall, and attached some nails with tape on the board.
I Included "chalk" in English and French, because the girl I'm giving it to is French.