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What Is a Chalk Line?

A chalk line is a handheld tool that stores a spool of string covered in powdered chalk. To use it, the string is unwound and stretched tight against a flat surface and snapped in the middle. This snapping action leaves a chalk line where the line was stretched.

This mark has a variety of uses, such as making long cuts in wood or concrete, marking a perimeter and more.

See how to use a chalk line and how to fill a chalk line in this video from Mr. Handyman – we’ll even show you another creative use for chalk lines:

Chalk Line Tips

  • Chalk lines are easiest to use with two people. If you’re alone, however, you can drive a nail or screw to hold the other end of the line.

  • Powdered chalks are different colors for a reason. Red, black, yellow and fluorescent colors are permanent, and blue is temporary, but can be hard to remove on porous surfaces like concrete. This can vary by manufacturer, so always read the packaging before you fill a chalk line. Buy the correct color!

Your Local Handyman Experts

So, you’ve snapped the chalk line, now what? Whether it’s a new deck or hardwood floors, are you prepared with the right tools to complete the job? If not, our experts can help. For installation, repair, maintenance or replacement, give Mr. Handyman a call at (877) 685-1377 or request service online.


Mr. Handyman is a Neighborly Company. Handyman repair services are one of the many home maintenance solutions available to you through Neighborly. At Neighborly, we are committed to being there for all your home service needs.