Monday, February 27, 2012

Custom-Color Chalkboard Paint (with recipe!)

What is it about chalkboards that are so popular right now?

When I was planning our wedding, I noticed chalkboards EVERYWHERE in the wedding blogosphere, and they're becoming more and more popular in everyday home decor. Seriously, I see new chalkboard projects on pinterest like every day.

Source: 1 2 3, 4 5 6, 7 8 9
So many cool options!

Husband and I rent, and although we've been given permission to paint the walls, we'd rather not invest too much moolah into a space that isn't going to be ours for too much longer. SO, a chalkboard wall is probably out of the question. And, if I did a bunch of black chalkboards with neutral frames and hung them on a white wall, it would be BOOOOORRRING.
This looks a little bit more "exciting" on a wall :)

The recipe for custom-colored chalkboard paint is simple:
1 cup paint
1Tbsp NON-SANDED grout.

I've read that you should use latex paint, I've also read that anything other than flat wall-paint will not work; it really doesn't matter. I've tried this with latex paint, water based paint, even satin-finish paint, and it still works every time. I personally liked the result best when using flat water-based paint, but I think that chalkboards shouldn't really be shiny. So moral of the story: use whatever you've got.
Mix the ingredients well; it will be slightly lumpy when mixed but will dry really smooth (unless your paint has been sitting out for a couple days. That's what I did for one of my projects, and trust me when I say don't do that...)

After several coats of the chalkboard paint mixture (letting them completely dry in between coats), you have to prep the surface. I don't have a picture of this part of the process, but you basically just lightly color all over the whole chalkboard surface with the side of a piece of chalk and then erase it. It will ensure that whatever you write on the board will completely erase (rather than leaving those ghost words that don't really come off).

I found a picture frame at the Thrift Store that had beautiful detailing, so I pulled the glass out and painted the chalkboard paint on that. It was beautiful, and perfectly smooth, until...

Sad broken chalkboard :( I haven't thrown it away yet. I'll eventually cut a piece of plywood to fit, but this works for now :) I also painted the backing of a broken Ikea frame and am currently using it in our living room.
Overall, I'm pretty happy with my chalkboard paint experiment. I love the pop of color the bright chalkboard brings to the room, and love how colored chalk looks on the teal background. It was a great way to repurpose a frame that would have otherwise ended up in the trash!

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Linking up here: C.R.A.F.T., The Southern Institute, Between Naps On The Porch, Skip to my Lou, Marvelously Messy and Harper's Happenings


  1. Seriously, how are you so crafty...

  2. oh goodness, i really do need to get my hands on some chalk paint. i didn't know you could do any other color besides black. perfection!
    xo TJ

    1. Try making it! Seriously, it's so easy, and you can get all the stuff at the hardware store for under 10 bucks. Premade colored chalk paint can set you back up to 25 dollars!

  3. Lovely project! I love the color you used. And yes... chalkboards are still everyhwere. I would like to incorporate chalkboards in my wedding this year. Lets see what I come up with. Found you on the beehive "share your blogs" thread. Stop by sometime.


  4. Myke and I are moving soon!! I'm totally doing this!! :)

    1. Congratulations on the move, Ali! Have you found a place yet, or are you still looking?

      Husband and I really want to chalkboard paint over an entire wall, but I SUPPOSE that will have to wait until we own a place. That would be a rude awakening for the landlord, haha

  5. Thanks for sharing your "recipe" and tips for custom colored chalkboard paint! I adore those photos that you shared from Pinterest. Don't you just love those chalkboards with the intricate writing on them? I am "pinning" this post over on my Pinterest boards.

  6. We rent too...and I have been wanting to do some chalkboard projects for a while now-I love yours-thanks for motivating me. cute blog-llok forward to following!


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