Decorating with Chalkboard Paint
by Giorgina Devereaux
Decorating with chalkboard paint is solid proof that your algebra teacher
had more in common with Martha Stewart than you ever thought possible.
chalkboards aren't just for old classrooms anymore; decorating with chalk and
chalkboards is a genuine red hot trend in home decor.
looking to liven up your home with something different and unexpected, then
chalkboard decor is an excellent option for you.
As with any good home decorating idea, it's extremely versatile and serves many
possible different uses.
You could even
argue that chalkboard paint has more use for you now than algebra does, but
that's neither here nor there.
So if you're in
the mood to boldly decorate where few have decorated before, then read on
because this is one decorating idea you can "chalk" up to creativity.
How it works
You may be
surprised to hear that the chalkboard surface area is just paint. This means
that anything that can be painted can also be written on with chalk.
doesn't mean your garage door needs to feature the Pythagorean Theorem, but it
does mean that decorating with chalkboard paint is very flexible and can do almost anything you
want it to do.
First, go buy
yourself some chalkboard paint at any arts and crafts store, or even a home
improvement store. Any paint store would also have it, and it's surprisingly
inexpensive. If you prefer, you can even buy chalkboard paint in a can and
spray it where you want it. For the best results, though, stick to an old
fashioned paint brush.
As you pick out
your chalkboard paint, you'll notice that things have changed quite a bit since
you were in the 3rd grade.
Specifically, they come in several
different colors now. Pink, green, blue, you name it. And yes, I'm being
While you're at
it, buy some dark tinted primer, and of course pick up some chalk. Chalk also
comes in many different colors, but you already knew that.
Buy a brush too, so
that you can wipe off the chalk at any time. See, that's the beauty of
decorating with chalkboard paint;
if you don't like what you've done, just wipe it off and do it again.
Now it's time
to start your project:
1) Once you get
home and decide which surface you want to turn into a chalkboard (keep reading
for some cool ideas), thoroughly clean the surface. Make sure there are no
holes or any other small objects that might get in the way (pushpins, staples,
tape, excessive dirt, gum, hair, food, blood, insects, etc).
anything next to you that you don't want to accidentally get paint on. For
example: nearby furniture, clothes, personal belongings, cats, dogs, your
3) Unless you
want a massive headache, open the windows and ventilate the room. This kind of
paint has a very strong odor that will make your hamper smell Febreze in
comparison. If it's exceedingly cold outside, then consider doing the project
when the weather is warmer, and try to ventilate with fans.
3) Apply the
primer as directed by the instructions on the can. How long should you let it
dry? Again, read the instructions because every brand is different.
4) Apply the
first coat of chalkboard paint. And breathe through your mouth… or else.
5) Once the
first coat is dry (read the label to see how long that should be), apply a
second coat. Two coats are generally enough for this type of home project.
6) Wait 3
days. When your 3 days are up, take a new piece of chalk, turn it sideways, and
cover the entire surface area lightly with chalk. The purpose of this is to
"set" the paint and train it to perform better in the future. The time invested
in doing this now will pay off later, so make sure you don't skip this step.
done! Arrange everything back to the way it was and let's draw on the
Now that you
know about decorating with chalkboard paint in your own home, you are now free to
brainstorm ideas about how to incorporate it into your home. Room by room,
let's talk about some ideas:
Your pantry door makes a great surface area for your chalkboard, and makes a
convenient little place to use it. Here you can put friendly reminders on
what you need to get at the store, or even keep inventory of items inside
the pantry. You can also post messages to ward people away from food
("You're on a diet Peter, stay away from the Twinkies"), or conversely,
invite them to open the door and try something ("You've been good, Peter,
try feasting on some raisins").
If you dare, you can even turn your refrigerator door (or part of it) into a
chalkboard. Sure, you could always hang a real chalkboard on the door
instead, but as anyone will tell you, there's not always a lot of room on
there to write. If your fridge is very expensive and you don't feel like
turning it into a chalkboard, you can have a second, older fridge nearby and
make that one a chalkboard instead (space in the kitchen permitting). The
refrigerator is notorious for being a place to put messages, so there will
never be a lack of things to write on the board.
To help organize your life, you can convert a kitchen wall into a chalkboard
and use it as a wall calendar. You've probably seen this done in classrooms
or offices, and there's no reason you can't use it at home. This is
definitely a creative alternative to using a calendar you buy at the store
and hang on the wall.
Miscellaneous message center:
Random notes for a variety of uses can be easily communicated by writing on
a chalkboard anywhere in the kitchen. Shopping lists, personal messages,
notes about where you are when you're not home, reminders for doctor
appointments, and any other message can be posted on the chalkboard. My mom
had one of these when I was a kid, but it was small and not in a location
where it could be readily seen. With the wall or fridge as your chalkboard,
you can easily post messages for everyone in the home to see.
The Dining Room
This is not recommended for higher end tables, but if your home is more
artsy than the average home, go ahead and paint your dining table with
chalkboard paint. You've now got a writing surface where you can play games
or draw pictures. You could even draw an elaborate tablecloth or placemats,
or faux coasters. Just don't get chalk on your dinner plate.
Perhaps the greatest benefit of decorating with chalkboard paint is that is lets kids makes
a huge mess without wreaking havoc on your house. By giving them free reign
of the wall(s), you get to inspire their creativity while keeping your
sanity. Let them draw, act out, make a mess, and less likely, practice
their math and English lessons on the wall. It doesn't matter what they do,
because the whole point is that whatever they scribble, it won't be on your
If you're tentative to go all out with decorating with chalkboard paint, there's nothing
wrong with a regular ol' chalkboard that you can buy at any school supply
store. Kids can then use it for any idea mentioned above, and it gives the
room a more scholastic look.
The purpose of decorating with chalkboard paint in the bathroom is rarely
ever functional. The room where you bathe yourself and do your other
personal business is not conducive to writing on a chalkboard. For
decorative purposes, however, chalkboard paint is a perfect fit for
bathrooms. You can create a small frame and place it above items like soap,
towels, and tissues to identify items for guests or write inspiring
The backs of doors make great locations for chalkboard paint decor. Some
doors have squares and ridges, so you could just paint one, some, or all of
them and write notes, messages, or draw artistic pictures.
The inside of your medicine cabinet is another ideal place to put chalkboard
paint and write down reminders, medications, or whatever else you can come
As you can see,
there's no limit to how you can decorate with chalkboard paint in your living
space. Chalkboard paint is not just for school anymore, so bring it home
and put it to good use. As a unique, creative idea that will leave an
impression with your guests and is guaranteed to start a good conversation,
decorating with chalkboard paint can't be beat.
Garage walls are an overlooked place to decorate with chalkboard paint,
which is too bad because the uses are quite functional. You could label
shelves, drawers, tools, gardening equipment, chemicals, holiday decorations
or whatever else you choose to keep in your garage.
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