Does Chalkboard Paint Work

Does Chalkboard Paint Work?

Yes, it does work but there are certain things you need to do.  Right now, it is one of the biggest trends going.  It can create a surface that is ready for you to jot notes down, things you need from the store, doctor appointments, and more when you do not have paper and pen handy.

What is Chalkboard Paint?

Chalkboard paint is a type of paint that you can use to create surfaces for writing on using chalk.  It can be used to paint different surfaces like wood, glass, clay pots, appliances, and more.  It comes in black like a regular chalkboard but it also comes in different colors such as blue, green, clear, and more.  You can also get it customized for your needs.

One thing to remember is that the surfaces that you use chalkboard paint will not be as smooth as actual slate.  It will be a little rough ad not as deep black.  You can get chalkboard paint in a pre-mixed form or dry powder.  Pre-mixed is inexpensive and easy to work with. 

What do you have to do to Insure Chalkboard Paint Works

The main thing you need to do to make sure that chalkboard paint works are to know the steps you need to take from start to finish.  If you do not follow these steps, then most likely the chalkboard paint will not work.  

Step 1:  Clean the walls before you apply the paint, you have to clean and sand the surface until it is smooth.  Even if you cannot sand it, it still has to be smooth for the chalkboard paint to adhere to the surface.  Then you need to clean the surface using a dry cloth to get rid of any traces of sawdust from the sanding.

If there are any holes or cracks in the wall you will have to fix it with wood putty or wood filler.  Also if you have to sand anything, use fine-grit sandpaper.

Step 2:  Prime you will only need to do this if the surface is wood, metal, rough, or porous.  Add one coat of latex-based primer and let it dry for about two hours.  You can also use a multi-purpose sealer.  You will have to sand it after priming it.  Four ounces of paint will cover about 10 square feet.

Step 3:  Paint make sure that you bring the paint to room temperature.  Before pouring it into the paint tray stir it up or shake the bottle.  When you put it in the paint tray, you need to let it settle down so there are no bubbles left in it,

Make sure that you have mixed it thoroughly.  Unless you live in hot, dry conditions, you do not need to thin the paint.  The best brush to use is a synthetic one but you can also use a nap or foam roller.  After the paint is dry, you need to apply a second coat.  

In approximately 30 minutes you will notice that the paint is dry to the touch but for it to dry completely, it can take two to four hours.  It is best if you wait four hours before putting on another coat.  Most chalkboard paint is water-based late so clean up is easy; just use soap and water.

Step 4:  Condition the chalkboard paint this is a very important step that you cannot forget to do.  It has to be done before you can write on the surface.  Three days after the second coat has dried, you need to cover the entire surface with chalk and then erase.

To do this, use the edge of a chalk stick and rub it all over the surface lightly.  Use a dry clean cloth to run the chalk into the surface. Clean the chalk that is left behind after seven days but the surface will have to be conditioned one more time.  

Chalk it again, erase, wait seven days before you can clean the chalk.  Now your surface is ready to use for writing.  The reason that proper conditioning is followed is to make sure that the grains of the chalkboard become filled with chalk dust.


  • For the best results, apply at least three full coats overall.  Allow at least three days before you start to draw on it.
  • Make sure that you are using the right chalk on your chalkboard.  Do not use extra hard chalk.  You want to use soft chalk that is easy to wipe off once you write on it.  Also do not use chalk markers.  Use the wrong chalk you will get smears on your paint that will be impossible to get off.
  • To keep your chalkboard useable, make sure that you occasionally revive it with another coat or two of chalkboard paint.
  • When choosing sandpaper to use, choose sandpaper in the #180 to #220 grit range, or for a super-smooth surface, use #320 grit.
  • Do not use water to clean the surface.  This will raise the texture and you will have to do more sanding.
  • If you want to turn your chalkboard into a magnetic one to use magnets to hold pictures to the board, use a magnetic primer instead of a regular primer

Ways to use Chalkboard Paint

As an accentIf want to paint a huge space you should use chalkboard paint as an accent and not as the main attraction.  In the kitchen, for example, you could use one wall like the space behind your kitchen table for the chalkboard paint.  It could be half a wall in a child’s bedroom.  Just make sure that you can easily access it since you put painted that area to write and draw on.  

Paint more than the wallChalkboard paint can be used on appliances, furniture, to make individual chalkboards, and more.

Miscellaneous itemsGrab plates from a thrift shop or yard sales and turn them into memo pads.  You can also use a framed mirror and make it into a writing pad, wine bottles an also be covered with it.

Flower pots

Paint mugs and use as a pencil holder  

Turn a tabletop into a writeable surface


One important thing is to know is that chalkboard paint and chalk paint are two entirely different things.  Chalkboard paint is what you use if you want to write on the surface.  Chalk paint is not meant for writing and whatever it is put on, you will get an antique matte type look that gives the surface of being chalk.

Although black is what you typically think of when you think chalkboard but there are other colors.  Black would not work well on a dark wall, appliance, furniture, so there are other colors you can use like white, greens, blues, and more.

To make sure that you have a useable chalkboard when you are finished, make sure that the surface is clean and smooth, and primed.  Don’t rush the paint job but take your time.  To get an even surface where no brush strokes show, paint slowly and rhythmically.  Work consistently from the middle to the outside.  Chalkboard paint can turn any clean smooth surface into a writing slate if it is done correctly.