How to Make Your Own Chalkboard Paint

by anna on November 6, 2008

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Did I ever tell you about how I painted Mini’s room when I was pregnant? Oh yeah. And Mr. Right-Click and I got in a big fight about it, because he didn’t want me inhaling the fumes. But I wanted it done already. And I was going to paint it two different colors of blue, and stencil the border with animals, and–most importantly–the bottom half would be in chalkboard paint. But not just your average chalkboard paint. Oh no, it had to be specially mixed chalkboard paint. Because I didn’t want black on the walls of my newborn’s room (duh). And we have an aversion to the color green in this household that has to do with a certain basketball team from a certain city that we won’t go into detail about here, but who will be losing the NBA championship this year, to another team that has colors like purple and yellow.

Anyway, so yeah, I mixed my own chalboard paint. I learned how to do it from Martha Stewart. And now I’m going to tell you how. You need:

  • Wall paint in flat, non-gloss finish. In whatever color you like, but it’s easier to stick with darker colors, since the chalk will stand out more against them than say, white, which would be kinda lame, unless you’re only using like super brightly colored chalk.
  • Unsanded tile grout. Just one package, the smallest they have.
  • Something to mix them in.
  • Something to mix them with.
  • If you are pregnant, a mask to block the fumes from harming your unborn baby.
  • Also, if you are pregnant, time when your husband/partner/baby daddy is out of the house so you can paint without him hassling you about the brain damage you’re doing to the baby.

So, to make the chalkboard paint, you mix 1 cup of paint with 2 tablespoons of unsanded tile grout. Mix it up as well as you can, and break up clumps. You have to do it in small batches or else it gets too clumpy. Apply it to the wall with a spongy paint roller. You will have to do a bunch of coats to get it to cover just right, and allow plenty of time in between coats for drying. Once you’ve finished the 2-3 coats, sand the surface with 150 grit sandpaper to make it smooth. Test a patch with chalk and make sure it erases, but be careful, because there will be dust on the chalkboard now, do not expect it to look pristine and newly painted ever again.

We had Mini’s cousins draw on his walls before he was born, and just in the past six months or so has he really started to take an interest in their drawings. It probably won’t be long before he’s drawing his own creations on his walls. Sniff.

{ 13 comments }

chris November 6, 2008 at 5:16 am

You’re ambitious, and a much better mother than I am. I have three boys and the idea of any of them with chalkboard paint in their rooms makes me shake a little. I’m a recovering neat freak, but I’m not doing very well.

Precious, precious room. Will be fun when Right-Click contributes to the piece.

I need to go wash my hands… or something.

Casey November 6, 2008 at 5:41 am

It’s funny that you wrote about this because I’m planning on painting one of our walls with chalkboard paint this weekend. Nice timing!

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Michele November 6, 2008 at 6:11 am

Oh man! You’ve just given me all kinds of ideas none of which JR will like. Looks like it will be craft weekend at our house.

Tara November 6, 2008 at 6:26 am

Nice job! I love the stencils, too.

MommyNamedApril November 6, 2008 at 7:45 am

what a fun idea! my son looooves to color with chalk, but so far we’ve kept it to the patio and sidewalk :-)

Amy November 6, 2008 at 9:36 am

We have a square in our kitchen painted with chalkboard paint so I can write to-do lists & grocery lists on it (instead of on paper, which invariably gets lost).

You do know that you can buy chalkboard paint in a variety of colors, right? At Home Depot, they can make it lots & lots of colors. :)

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jenni November 6, 2008 at 9:46 am

holy crap you were like a nest cliche, making your own chalkboard paint and shit.

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jenni November 6, 2008 at 9:47 am

that would be “nesting cliche” ugh.

jenni´s last blog post..Random Bits #4

crazylovescompany November 6, 2008 at 10:16 am

Love the idea! Um, can you paint over it in 15 years? Or is it there for good?

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Becky November 6, 2008 at 11:51 am

Cool! So you stencilled the top? And do you think you could clean the dust off with a wet sponge? Not that I have to have the pristine look.

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anna November 6, 2008 at 1:26 pm

@clc, yep, you can paint over it right away.

@becky, you can erase the chalk just like you would with a regular eraser. And using a wet sponge would get it cleaner. But unless your walls are totally free from texture, it’s very difficult to get everything off.

JoeGirl November 6, 2008 at 6:01 pm

Wicked awesome idea—Thanks! Love the animals along the top. Very chic. Lucky bambino!

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blissfully caffeinated November 7, 2008 at 5:13 pm

Wait, did I read that correctly? You painted the whole nursery one cup of paint at a time? That is dedication. And it looks awesome. The stencil is great.

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