Turn your walls into blackboards with chalkboard paint.

How to Get a Blackboard Effect on a Wall

by S.R. Becker

Whether you want to write your shopping list on the kitchen wall or turn your kids' bedroom walls into erasable art canvases, chalkboard paint allows you to do it. Chalkboard paint, made by a variety of manufacturers, can be found in craft stores, hardware stores and paint stores. You can paint a wall with chalkboard paint using techniques similar to painting with any other interior paint. But it can get messy when you use black for a conventional blackboard, so take the time to prepare the surface and room properly.

Prepare the surface by wiping the wall with a damp sponge and a splash of white vinegar. Patch any nail holes with spackling compound and a putty knife and allow them to dry, then sand them down with a piece of fine-grit sandpaper.

Tape the wall with painter's tape to create straight lines at all of the edges. Run a piece of tape along the ceiling, down each side of the wall where the corners meet, and along the baseboard or floor. Apply the tape to the surfaces you won't be painting, not to the wall you will be painting.

Spread a dropcloth on the floor to catch drips.

Cover the wall with primer if you will be painting over semi-gloss paint, wood or unpainted drywall. Allow the primer to dry thoroughly with the windows open.

Mix the chalkboard paint thoroughly by stirring it with a paint stirrer for at least one minute. Pour the chalkboard paint into a paint pan.

Paint the wall with chalkboard paint by rolling it on in long, even strokes with a paint roller. Use a small roller or foam brush to get into the corners, as a bristle brush can leave streaks.

Follow the manufacturer's instructions for a second coat.

Allow the chalkboard paint to cure for three days before writing on it.

Items you will need

  • White vinegar
  • Sponge
  • Spackling compound
  • Putty knife
  • Fine-grit sandpaper
  • Painter's tape
  • Dropcloth
  • Latex primer, white
  • Large paint roller
  • Small paint roller
  • Chalkboard paint
  • Paint pan


  • Erase your blackboard wall with a damp rag instead of a chalkboard eraser.
  • Apply a coat of magnetic paint underneath the chalkboard paint to make a combination magnetic board and blackboard.
  • Chalkboard paint comes in a variety of colors, so don't feel restricted to black.

About the Author

S.R. Becker is a certified yoga teacher based in Queens, N.Y. She has a Master of Fine Arts in creative writing and has worked as a writer and editor for more than 15 years. Becker often writes for "Yoga in Astoria," a newsletter about studios throughout New York City.

Photo Credits

  • Noel Hendrickson/Photodisc/Getty Images