There are several ways to add interest to a plain or cluttered wall. Chalkboard paint is a creative way to add a message board to a busy room such as your kitchen or foyer. Children's bedrooms or playrooms can also be transformed with chalkboard paint applied at a lower level. There are other types of paint that are similar such as whiteboard paint which can be used in a home office and also magnetic paint which is applied under the chalkboard or whiteboard paint which allows you to use magnets to hold notes or pictures.
Most people are aware of chalkboard paints which are available at home centers, hardware stores, and even some department store chains, but there are a few twists to the “standard” chalkboard walls; magnetic paint and dry-erase whiteboard paints.
In the past, chalkboard paints only came in black and green, but there are several manufacturers that have chalkboard paints that can be mixed in custom colors to blend into your décor. Rustoleum has a tint-base with 13 colors in their line; Hudson Paint has 30 colors, while Magnamagic states that it can match any color with their chalkboard paint line. Tilano has a variety of 10 modern color choices. Many other manufacturers make chalkboard paints, but in basic colors, such as Benjamin Moore which makes only black.
1. Purchase the desired color and quantity of chalkboard paint. For small jobs, one quart is enough, for painting an entire wall you will need at least one gallon. Small jobs can also be accomplished with spray chalkboard paint which Rustoleum makes.
2. Prepare the wall as you would with any other painting project; cleaning and patching any imperfections with spackle. The smoother the surface, the better the finished chalkboard will look.
3. Use painter's masking tape to protect adjoining walls, floors and ceilings. You can create a framed look, by taping off a small rectangular area for the chalkboard. You can install trim around the painted area to make it appear like it is built into the wall.
4. Follow the manufacturer's guidelines for painting. Prepare to apply at least two coats. Let the wall dry at least 48-72 hours before using.
Chalkboard paint on the side of a kitchen cabinet.
Make your Own Chalkboard Paint
You can create chalkboard paint in any color by adding unsanded grout to latex or acrylic interior wall paint.
1. Pour 1 cup of paint into a container and add 2 tablespoons of unsanded tile grout. Mix completely until smooth.
2. Apply paint with a small roller or a sponge paintbrush to a primed or painted surface. Work in small sections, going over the same spot several times to ensure full, even coverage. Let dry.
3. Smooth area with 150-grit sandpaper, and wipe off dust. Rub chalk over the surface and wipe off with a damp sponge.
Whiteboard and Magnetic Paints
Rustoleum also makes a dry-erase paint so you can create your own whiteboard. This can be useful in utility rooms, garages, or even home offices. Magnamagic and Rustoleum also make magnetic paint which is used as a primer. The magnetic paint is a gray base coat that contains iron powder. After the magnetic paint is painted on the wall, chalkboard or whiteboard paint can be applied over it to create a unique finish for children’s bedrooms, playrooms, kitchens, or utility rooms.
Whiteboard painted wall in an office.
Chalkboard wall with magnetic paint on the door.