How to Create a Chalkboard

Functional and oh-so-current, chalkboard paint can help you change pretty much any part of your home into a chalkboard! Here's how:

How to Use Chalkboard Paint

Chalkboard paint can turn almost any surface into a chalkboard. Here are some fun uses for this unique black (or colored!) paint that will make you rethink your home’s décor:

  • Paint an entire kitchen wall and use it to display the family’s schedules and grocery shopping lists.

  • Paint a section of your child’s bedroom or study area. Use this chalkboard wall for drawing maps, leaving educational tidbits, playing tic-tac-toe, and jotting down reminders.

  • Paint the back of a cabinet door, side of the kitchen island, or small patch of your refrigerator (or the entire fridge) to create a spot for writing messages, weekly menus, and grocery lists.

  • Convert an old metal tray, ceramic platter, or framed mirror into an ornate chalkboard. Use it to display thoughtful holiday greetings, announce the dinner menu, or proclaim the evening’s activities.

  • Upcycle an old six-pane window into a weekly calendar and note keeper.

  • Paint chalkboard squares on coffee mugs to write morning greetings to your family members.

  • Create chalkboard picture frames to personalize with each new photo you place inside.

Making a DIY Chalkboard

Now that you’re brimming with ideas for using a DIY chalkboard in your home, follow these tips to achieve just the right look:

  • Purchase chalkboard paint. This comes in several forms, including standard paint, craft paint, and spray paint. Be aware that chalkboard paint is available in more than just black – you can also find it in fun, bright colors for your child’s room.

  • Find a material to paint on, whether it’s an old piece of wood, framed mirror, or flower pots.

  • Clean and dry the surface you plan to paint.

  • If you’re painting directly onto a wall, fridge, or cabinet door, mask off the area with painter’s tape.

  • If the item you’re painting is portable, take it outside to complete the project without introducing fumes to your home.

  • If you’re painting a smooth surface – such as a mirror, piece of metal, or medium-density fiberboard – apply primer. Allow the primer to dry completely before moving on (this may take a day or even longer).

  • Apply two to three coats of chalkboard paint with a roller to avoid brush lines. For spray paint, apply light, even coats to prevent drips. Allow each coat to dry completely between applications.

  • Once the chalkboard paint dries, “season” it so writing doesn’t become “burned” onto the surface. To do this, rub the entire chalkboard with the side of a piece of chalk.

  • Erase the chalkboard with a wet paper towel for a clean look between writings. Use a dry paper towel for a smeared, vintage look.

  • Write messages, make lists, and draw pictures on your DIY chalkboard with white or colored chalk as you see fit. Grease pens, also known as chalk ink, are ideal for writing with greater accuracy and creating more permanent chalkboard artwork.

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