When we bought a new house, it seemed like the perfect opportunity to use chalkboard paints. Wrong! This is the first house (15 houses and counting) I've owned with bumpy, technically knockdown textured walls. Several people have since suggested I flatten the wall. But after running a handyman business for eight years, I know how much work that would take to make me happy … and it's simply not worth it.
Instead, I've put up a large glass photo frame. Most embarrassing is that it's colorless because there are too many choices. I could paint the glass. I can paint, wallpaper or cover the insert with fabric. Then I start to dream about the design – traditional quilt pattern, one of today's fun new geometrics or … Now you understand why it's still just an empty frame but one day soon.
This discussion led to questions about chalkboard paint or chalk paint, and what's the difference? As I've not used chalkboard paint or chalk paint personally, it was time to do some research and share what I learned.
Be careful when buying chalkboard or chalk paint, as they're different!
What is Chalkboard Paint?
Chalkboard paint is a wonderful invention and its' uses are endless. So what exactly is chalkboard paint? As the name suggests, it is paint that you can write on with chalk. You can write once, erase and write again unlike most other writing surfaces.
What Chalkboard Paint Products Are There?
If you'd rather buy your chalkboard paint, understand that it only comes in a limited number of colors – black, green and white. Most chalkboard paints come in smaller sizes (shown below) as projects tend to be smaller unless you're painting a wall or an entire room.
You'll also find magnetic chalkboard paint for sale but it's not practical based on articles I've read. Kristie Barnett at TheDecorologist.com explained that “After 3+ coats of magnetic paint, the area still was not magnetic enough to hold most magnets, much less a magnet holding a piece of paper.” She suggested buying a sheet of galvanized steel and painting it.
Surprisingly when I was looking for these paints, I found a lot more than paint. Here are just a few of the choices you have if you want to experiment without getting out your paint brush.
Making Your Own Chalkboard Paint
The truth is you can save quite a bit of money by using traditional flat paint. Lots of bloggers have shared their stories online, and it's pretty simple. Jenn Menteer at MyFabulessLife.com provides a very detailed description of her experience using store bought chalkboard paint as well as her own homemade paint.
Here's a quick summary of what you need to use your own chalkboard paint, so you'll see that it's pretty simple.
- Follow steps you'd take to prepare any surface for painting. That's because wall prep plays a big role in the quality of the overall job.
- Use a water-based, latex paint. Make sure you use paint that has a flat finish.
- Use powdered, non-sanded grout.
- Use a paint stirrer or paint mixer, drill attachment to mix the grout into the paint. One tip suggested mixing your paint in small quantities as it dries faster than normal paint.
- Here's the recipe to make your own chalkboard paint.
- One part grout to eight parts paint or
- Two tablespoons to one cup of paint (smaller projects) or
- One cup of group to a half-gallon of paint.
- Apply two or three coats for good coverage, and let it cure for three days before using as a chalkboard.
- Condition the chalkboard before using. Rub with chalk and wipe the chalk off with a paper towel or barely damp cloth.