Chalkboard Paint

Methods and Techniques for Making Your Own Chalkboard

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Chalkboards are all the rage, either pretend ones, just an image and some kind of font to make a digital picture, or a real one, painted with actual chalkboard paint.

Chalkboard Paint

The special kind of paint developed for chalkboards comes in several colors; black (of course) and sometimes a dark shade of green.

There are a few different brands.  I've used several, but the biggest mistake I ever made was to buy an oil based one.  Don't do this!  It's almost impossible to get it off your hands, and the smell of the off gassing is unbearable, especially indoors.  Get a water based type only.

The water based chalk paint has a texture that is creamy and goes on easily - but in most cases, unless you have a sprayer, it doesn't go on evenly.

So, celebrate that and make it an attribute!  I use a crosshatching pattern to cover the surface of the board, which gives it a bit of texture and looks a lot more rustic - which is all the better, as far as  I'm concerned.

Chalkboard textureChalkboard texture from applying it in a crosshatch pattern

The instructions on some types of chalk paint advise you to prepare the finished surface by rubbing chalk all over it, to prevent the lettering from marking it. 

Wipe the chalk on, then rub it off with a dry cloth, finishing with a damp cloth to remove it completely.  I guess this fills up all the pores of the paint.

Here are some options for smaller amounts of chalkboard paint, which can arrive in the mail ready for you to use; This one is an 8 oz jar of Folk Art Chalk Paint which is plenty to do one or two projects.

This particular formulation comes in several colors; black, purple, pink, slate grey, true blue and white.

Folk Art is a company well versed in making products that don't need a science degree to use.

This larger size is from INSL-X, and is 1 quart. It would be enough for something like a door, or a full sized blackboard. It is in an eggshell finish, which means slightly glossy, but mostly matte.

Whichever brand and size you choose, they may still require some preparation of the surface to bond to it properly. 

Read the instructions on the container and follow them for best results.

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