Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Tutorial: Chalkboard Paint

Chalkboard paint is really fun.

Really, really fun.

And easy. A post with a title such as this one could theoretically be reduced down to two steps: Pick an object. Paint it.

Chalkboard paint turns any surface into a writable chalkboard. It comes in regular paint and spray versions, so whatever you can paint with those two mediums can also become a chalkboard. Kitchen cabinets, refrigerators, walls, vases [or, you know, vintage porcelain horse bookends] become places for reminders, notes and doodles.

I scored these bookends for ten bucks at a local antique mall when I was back in Ohio. Though I usually cringe at the thought of forever and irreversibly covering up an original painted surface, these little guys had a lot of wear and tear, so I was able to get over my usual hangups and give them a facelift.

To do this project, all you need is a little sandpaper, a can of chalkboard spray paint [available at most hardware stores], and a paintable object to be chalk-ified.

Give your object a little roughing up with the sandpaper, just to help the paint stick. Wipe off the dust.

Lay down some newspaper on a flat outdoor surface and give your object a light coat of paint. Within an hour, cover with a second thin coat, and within another hour, a third coat.

[You'll notice I spray painted on my kitchen table. I do not recommend or condone this craziness, but I have no access to any outdoor area that I can get dirty. I put a box behind the bookends to catch the back spray, but even so my entire dining area was coated with a fine black dust when I was finished. Spray paint outside.]

After the objects dry for 24 hours, they are ready to go. To get the surface ready for writing, rub the whole thing with chalk and erase. Then doodle away!


  1. Why rub the whole thing with chalk first, before doodling?

  2. You're no the only one that uses a box for spraying. LOL I use one as well. Though I'm able to get outside I still use it. Especially when it's windy outside. Love what you did to give life to the bookends.

  3. Thanks for sharing some wonderful tips.


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