Instructions for Painting With Chalkboard Paint

Chalkboard sign
Chalkboard sign (Image: FooTToo/iStock/Getty Images)

Chalkboards aren't just for classrooms. You can use chalkboard paint to make a blackboard sign, an office calendar, or to create a feature wall in a child's playroom. Chalkboards have unlimited creative uses. There are two ways to apply chalkboard paint: spray can that creates a smooth surface, and paint can that requires a brush and creates a textured finish.

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Things You'll Need

  • Chalkboard paint -- spray paint or can
  • Surface of choice -- wall, wood, metal or plastic
  • Painter's tape
  • Primer
  • Sand paper
  • Drop cloth
  • Paint brush or roller (for can method)
  • Chalk
  • Soft eraser, felt, or damp rag
  • Mask and disposable gloves

Preparing the Surface

Since paint gives off fumes, work in a well-ventilated area.

Whether you're working with plastic, wood or metal, ensure the surface is clean and dry before beginning the process. Lightly sand wood or metal surfaces before applying the primer and paint.

If you're painting a specific part of the surface with the chalkboard paint, use painter's tape to mark the spot. This helps maintain clean lines and edges while you are painting.

Next, apply a primer that's best suited for the material you're working with, and let it dry. Primer helps the chalkboard paint adhere to the surface so you won't have to worry about it peeling when you use the chalkboard. You can also use a magnetic primer if you want to use magnets on your chalkboard surface.

Spray Can Method

  • Step 1: Shake the can well, hold it about 12 inches away from the surface and begin spraying the first coat. Try to keep the spray can moving consistently and don't hold it in one area for too long, which creates an uneven look. Let the first coat dry for 3 to 5 minutes.
  • Step 2: After the first coat dries, apply a second coat the same way you did the first. This time, let the chalkboard paint dry for about one hour.
  • Step 3: Apply a third coat of chalkboard paint and let it dry for 24 hours.

Additional Coats & Drying If you're not pleased with the thickness or appearance of the chalkboard paint, add additional coats. Let each of coat dry for 24 hours before applying the next.

Once you have achieved the desired look, let the chalkboard paint dry another 24 hours.

Paint Brush Method

  • Step 1: Stir the can of chalkboard paint to ensure it's mixed well.
  • Step 2: Apply a thin first coat with a paint brush or paint roller. Let the paint dry for 3 to 5 minutes.
  • Step 3: After the first coat dries, apply a second, thin layer, and let it dry for one hour.
  • Step 4: Apply a third coat of paint in a thin layer like you did with the first and second coats. Let the third coat dry for 24 hours.

Additional Coats & Drying If you're not pleased with the thickness or appearance of the brush strokes on the chalkboard paint, you may add additional coats. Let each additional coat dry for 24 hours before applying the next.

Once you have achieved the desired look, let the chalkboard dry another 72 hours.

Seasoning the Surface

Whether you used the spray can or paint brush method to apply your chalkboard paint, you have to "season" the surface before you can write or draw on it. Fortunately, seasoning is easy - all you need to do is cover the entire chalkboard surface with a thin layer of white chalk and then erase it with felt, a soft eraser or a damp cloth.

References

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