Chalkboards are SO useful!
They can work as a message board in the foyer, a menu planner for the kitchen, or a spot for the kids to get in touch with their inner VanGogh. Chalk boards are practical and fun in so many places.
Nice big, framed chalk boards can be pricey though — up to $200 for a large framed version from a popular retailer (who will remain nameless but their initials are PB).
Fear not fellow DIYer! We’ll show you how to make one for a fraction of the cost.
Did you know you can mix your own chalk board paint in ANY color?! Ready-made chalk board paint is available at home improvement centers in a very limited range of colors, but we did some research and learned how to mix our own! Now you can use it to paint a chalk board or an entire wall (or room) in any color you choose.
You may want to consider chalk color when choosing your background color. Sidewalk or chalkboard chalk tends to be light in color so you will want to paint your board darker. Besides regular chalk, you could use soft pastels available from art suppliers. These are similar to chalk and are available in every color in the rainbow.
Mix your paint and tile grout thoroughly, breaking up clumps.
Mixing your chalk board paint is easy.
Start with flat-finish latex paint in any shade. Home improvement stores now sell a wide variety of colors of latex paint in sample sizes – just enough for a small project. Of course, if you choose to paint an entire wall, you will need more than just a sample size can. Un-Sanded (also called Non-Sanded) Grout is available at any home improvement center as well. Even though it’s white powder, it won’t affect your original color.
We started with this old, faded, framed picture.
We found a large piece of framed artwork that was kind of faded and tired looking, but the frame is nice and chunky. The important thing to note is that the surface of the artwork is completely smooth, because you’re going to paint right over it.
Let’s get started!
We chose orange for the frame color to add a pop of color to our finished chalkboard.
1. Remove the art from the frame and set aside. Prep your work area with drop cloths, etc.
2. Lightly sand and wipe the frame. Prime and paint in color desired. We chose a bright happy shade of orange and used spray paint.
The surface of you picture or board must be very smooth as it becomes your chalkboard.
3. Mix your chalkboard paint. Pour 1 cup of paint into a container. Add 2 tablespoons of unsanded tile grout. Mix with a paint stirrer, carefully breaking up clumps. For best results, mix 1 cup at a time.
4. Lay your chalk board surface flat and using a small roller, smooth on an even coat of the chalkboard paint and allow to dry completely.
5. Using 150-grit sandpaper, lightly sand any uneven or rough spots and re-coat with chalkboard paint and repeat until you have 3-4 coats.
6. Allow to dry completely, then condition your new chalk board by rubbing the side of a piece of chalk over the entire surface. Wipe away with a barely damp sponge.
Now you’re ready to share your message with the world!
Click here for a printable version of this tutorial!