Okay, so you know all those cool chalkboard paint crafts you always see on Pinterest? They’re so, so cute, right? But the problem is, do you really know how to paint with chalkboard paint? Properly? Most people actually don’t, which is why I designed this quick, yet comprehensive, tutorial on how to paint with chalkboard paint.
So first things first, you want to buy your chalkboard paint. It comes in both paint cans and spray paint form. I’ve heard both forms work well, but I personally am a spray paint girl. In my opinion, it’s easier to work with and you get a smoother finish. Whatever you choose, just be sure that it’s designed for whatever kind of surface you’ll be working with. You can spray chalkboard paint on wood, metal, plastic, glass, etc. You just have to make sure the chalkboard paint is designed for that specific medium.
Next, you want to prime whatever item you’re using. I found this big wooden thing (easel? drawing board? I’m not sure) at the thrift store, and I thought it would make a great chalkboard for writing stuff on. What kind of stuff, I’m not really sure yet. Maybe the week’s menu, or a “honey do” list for my husband. The good thing about chalkboard paint is it’s really versatile so you can pretty much paint anything you want to write on in a cutesy chalky way.
So to prime the item, you’re going to want to lightly sand it with sandpaper. If you’re painting something glass, you might need to use steel wool. You don’t need to fully sand it till your hands or raw. Just rough up the surface enough that the paint is going to go on in a smooth coat.
Next, you’re going to want to paint a matte base coat of primer. Most primers come in white, black, or gray. It doesn’t really matter which color you use because it’s going to get covered up. I didn’t take a picture of the primer coat, but I used white primer (in a spray can).
Remember, when you’re using spray paint you don’t want to spray too close or too far away from the item. I usually hold the can about 6 inches away in order to get the best results.
You want to let your primer dry for at least 24 hours before you go ahead with the chalkboard paint. This just ensures that the paint is no longer tacky and will “hold” the other paint well.
Alright, so the picture police are definitely going to get on my case, because I forgot to take pictures of the next step. But I have faith in you, dear readers! I have faith that you can thoroughly imagine this in your heads: You’re going to paint on the chalkboard paint – 2 coats! And this is the tricky part. You’re either going to wait one hour between the two coats or 24 hours. I’m not exactly sure why this is, but that’s what the instructions say, and it has always worked for me!
If you’re brushing on the chalkboard paint, make sure to use long smooth strokes to ensure the smoothest, most consistent surface possible. If you’re using chalkboard spray paint, also spray in long smooth strokes, keeping the can about six inches away from the item you’re painting.
Next! This is a step that most people don’t know about. You’re going to SEASON your chalkboard. After the second coat of chalkboard paint has dried at least 24 hours, you’re going to season the chalkboard paint with chalk. This simply means that you take a piece of chalk and rub it all over the area that contains the chalkboard paint.
This looks like a really thick coat of chalk on my chalkboard, but it doesn’t have to be too thick. I just flipped the chalk on its side and give the board a good once over. The one important thing to remember when seasoning your chalkboard is this: DO NOT TOUCH THE CHALKBOARD WITH YOUR HANDS. I’m serious. The natural oils in your hands will get on the chalkboard and leave oily spots all over it. I generally use a paper towel to hold the item while I’m seasoning it in order to avoid these oily spots.
You don’t have to leave the chalk on the surface very long. Just rub it on and rub it off. “Wax on, wax off,” as Mr. Miyagi would say. When wiping off the chalk use a clean towel (not a paper towel) for best results.
When finished, your item should look a little something like this:
And it will be perfectly ready for writing, drawing, crafting, etc. I hope this tutorial was as clear and concise as possible. Please let me know if you have any questions about painting with chalkboard paint. Now go out and get crafting!