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Paint Your Own Unique Chalkboards

Updated on September 9, 2014

RePurposed Chalkboards

Old Kitchen Drawer Chalkboard
Old Kitchen Drawer Chalkboard
Vintage Suitcase Chalkboard
Vintage Suitcase Chalkboard

Chalk It Up To Creativity

With the help of chalkboard paint almost anything can be transformed into a useful and unique chalkboard for the home. Or even for business or other places.

Chalkboards are great in children's bedrooms and play areas. But they are also great in the kitchen, the garage, office, craft room, etc.

They are useful in offices, restaurants, retail stores, and others. Any place signs or other forms of written communication (or drawings) is useful.

Chalkboards can be painted on the expected and unexpected surfaces.

Chalkboards can be painted onto walls, the inside or outside of cupboard doors, refrigerators, and table tops. I even met a lady who painted a whole section of her backyard fence with chalkboard paint for her kids to draw on. You can also paint toy boxes and storage bins, vintage cookie sheets or baking pans, flower pots, silver platters, or canisters. The more unusual might be to paint an old, beat up guitar or a skateboard. The list is truly endless.

Ki Nassauer, co-editor of the Flea Market Style magazine, has been known to paint chalkboards on vintage metal dustpans. Among other things, Martha Stewart has painted chalkboard paint on a canvas drop cloth to make a chalkboard tablecloth. You can also adapt the idea and make chalkboard placemats.

Chalkboard paint can be bought as either spray paint or the kind you brush on and it usually comes in either black or green. Some sources do sell chalkboard paint in other colors though.

Another exciting option is to make your own custom chalkboard paint, allowing you to have a chalkboard in any color you wish. (Be sure to check out the recipe below.)

Some of the surfaces you can use chalkboard paint on are metal, wood, plaster, glass, concrete, unglazed ceramic, and more. And using chalkboard paint is pretty much the same as using any other kind of paint. It's very easy to use.

Look at your home with new eyes and see where a chalkboard could be useful. Then be really creative and look at items in your home and see if it could be transformed into a great chalkboard. If you like to hunt yard sales and thrift stores keep your eyes and imagination open for things that could be painted to become a fun new and interesting chalkboard. Don't let your imagination stop and be playful.

Make Chalkboard Paint or Buy It?

Store bought chalkboard paint is more convenient and you can be fairly certain that the quality will remain consistent from batch to batch. You can buy from trusted paint brands that you know make good quality products. You can also get it in spray paint form, which may be easier for some people to use and better for certain kinds of projects.

Making your own chalkboard paint can be more fun for those who are more adventurous. You can mix up the exact quantities that you need. And the best advantage is that you can make your own Custom Colors! Store bought chalkboard paint usually comes in black and green, although other colors are available as well, but sometimes a little bit harder to find (amazon is a good place for unusual colors). But if you make your own you can get the exact color you desire.

Chalkboard Paint Recipe

This chalkboard paint is actually very simple to make and uses only two ingredients.

1 cup latex paint
2 tablespoons of unsanded tile grout

Mix the paint and tile grout together with a paint stirrer, making sure to break up any lumps. You're now ready to use it!

Altoids Tin Mini Chalkboard

This mini chalkboard also opens up to store pieces of chalk.
This mini chalkboard also opens up to store pieces of chalk.

Tips on Making a Chalkboard

As you will be using your creativity to find various items to paint on the following are only general guidelines.

Prepare the area to be painted. Depending on what is being painted you may need to do one or more of the following:

  • Clean the surface with soap and water.
  • Apply a coat of primer to surface of object, if needed. For the best results using a primer is a good idea.
  • Sand the surface.
  • On some projects you may want or need to use painters tape to mask of the area you want to paint, to protect the surrounding area that you do not want paint on.
  • If working on a large surface apply the paint in small sections at a time.

Chalkboard Erasers

Now that you have your chalkboard you'll need an eraser as well.  You can pick one of these up at an office supply store.  Or you can continue your creative endeavors and make your own.

The essential part of the eraser will be the fabric like material for erasing. You can pick up some suede or felt from a fabric or craft store. Or you can use an old wool sweater that has been felted.

Then choose what you will use as your base.  You can simply glue it to a piece of wood.  Or get creative and look around at various objects to see if they can be re-purposed into an eraser.  For a chalkboard in a child's room you could use a child's wooden toy block.  In the kitchen you could use an old spice tin.


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    • Debby Bruck profile image

      Debby Bruck 6 years ago

      Dear Dreams ~ Super crafty ideas! Infinite projects await those who want to make little chalkboard gifts, handy lists and kiddie drawings. Blessings, Debby

    • Kris Heeter profile image

      Kris Heeter 6 years ago from Indiana

      Loved this hub - very creative. I had no idea you could make the chalkboard paint yourself!

    • thebookmom profile image

      thebookmom 6 years ago from Nebraska

      Love this hub! So creative and fun. I can't wait to try making our own chalkboard paint and I can't wait to try making an outdoor chalkboard.

    • JimmieWriter profile image

      Jimmie Lanley 6 years ago from Memphis, TN USA

      I have a little Altoids tin on the kitchen window sill. I would love to do this project with it. Pinned to Pinterest. Wonderful ideas!

    • RichardCMckeown profile image

      RichardCMckeown 6 years ago

      Great tips here which are very useful for parents and teachers.Thanks for the great information.

    • DreamsInBloom profile image

      DreamsInBloom 7 years ago

      BigSerious, I've seen those Altoid tins as a magnet holder/box. The combination of an Altoid tin chalkboard and magnet box would be cool.

    • BigSerious profile image

      Christen Roberts Comer 7 years ago from Harrisburg, PA

      I LOVE THE ALTOID TINS!! Altoid tins truly are excellent craft sources. One year, I used them as gift boxes for handmade magnets. People were confused when they felt the heft of a palm-sized tin. I'm so going to do that...

    • Traqqer profile image

      Traqqer 7 years ago from Atlanta, GA

      Interesting...didn't know such paint existed. Will have to keep it in mind the next time I have a garage sale (i.e., signs made of chalkboards).

    • DreamsInBloom profile image

      DreamsInBloom 7 years ago

      Hi Kristen. Honestly, I'd just use whatever is at the hardware particular brand. Maybe some particular brand would be better, but not that I know of.

    • profile image

      Kristen McCourtie 7 years ago

      What brand of tile grout would you use?