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Using Chalkboard Paint

Living room with small sofa featuring colorful accent pillows set in front of a black chalkboard wall with matching colored diamond pattern.

Grab your paintbrush for some simple DIY projects

Unlike chalkboards in the classroom, most of which have gone by the wayside, chalkboard paint is finding a renaissance in today’s home décor. That’s because it’s easy to turn almost any surface into a chalkboard, big or small. All you need are a couple of coats of paint. Ready to start writing on the walls? Read on for helpful hints as well as ideas to use in your own home.

Good to Know

Chalkboard paint is a flat matte paint that’s available in a variety of colors (you don’t need to stick with black if that’s not your thing). Paint it on almost any surface and voilà—you’ll have a chalkboard. 

If you want to paint a textured surface, use sandpaper to smooth the area first before going to work. Apply at least two coats of paint, letting it dry in between coats. A rule of thumb is to let the surface dry for 3 days. Once it’s dry, you’ll want to “season” the wall before writing on it. Rub the paint with the edge of a piece of chalk, and then rub the chalk into the surface with a clean, dry cloth. 

And that’s it! Now you have your own chalkboard. (Just remember—use conventional chalk to write on the board, so that you’ll be able to erase whatever you write.)

 

Project Ideas

When it comes to chalkboard paint projects, the sky is almost the limit. You could use chalkboard paint to cover a large area or a portion of one. You might want to create an accent by painting a small section of a wall and hanging a vintage frame around it. You could even use chalkboard paint outside of the box—say, for a tabletop. 

Not sure where to begin? Any of the following spaces are good starting points. 

  • Kids’ bedrooms or playrooms. A chalkboard wall in your kids’ bedrooms or playroom provides them with a great outlet for drawing, playing games and simply expressing their creativity. If you have toddlers, consider painting only the bottom half of a wall—the area where they can reach.
  • Your kitchen. While you may not want to devote an entire wall to chalkboard paint in this room, paint on a portion of a wall or even on the exterior of a cabinet door can serve a purpose. Chalkboard paint in the kitchen is great for recording family schedules, keeping a running list of grocery necessities, or posting the weeknight dinner menu.
  • Your home office. A chalkboard wall calendar can help you stay organized by keeping meetings and to-dos top of mind. The most basic way to create a calendar is by outlining a grid on your wall and then filling in the month and days of the week. If you’re looking for something with a little more flair, you’ll find lots of ideas online for making a framed chalkboard calendar.
  • Your garage. A small area in your garage with a dedicated chalkboard wall is a great spot for project lists or items needed from the local hardware store. Likewise, you could paint the front panels of storage cabinets and note the contents on each panel, so you can easily find things like nails, screws, tape measures and hammers.

 

Kids’ playroom with many floor cushions in front of a large, black chalkboard wall featuring children’s artwork. A chalkboard wall is an ideal canvas for creativity.
Kitchen featuring a black chalkboard wall with creative designs and a shopping list. Keep a running grocery list on a kitchen chalkboard wall.
Office with a black chalkboard wall used as a calendar. Create an easy-to-update calendar in your home office.
Garage with tools and a chalkboard wall. A chalkboard wall in a garage works just as well for doodles as for to-do lists.

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