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How to Apply Chalkboard Paint: A Rookie Guide

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Chalkboard paint is gaining popularity due to its eccentric yet practical traits.  Who doesn’t love the idea of writing a quick note on the walls without ruining them?  Kids love it because they can go crazy drawing and doodling indoors, and adults love it because it helps them create and revise lists the easy way, or better manage household chores. It’s fun, original, and overall a cool concept! Which is why homeowners are using this paint everywhere from bedrooms to playrooms, and from offices to kitchens.

Are you a chalkboard paint rookie? Don’t worry! It’s easy to apply. The process for applying chalk paint is similar to that of regular wall paint – with a few key differences. It’s important to apply this specialized paint correctly so that it will function as a durable writing surface for years to come.

So, are you ready to get started on your custom-made chalkboard?

Here is the supply list you will need to bring to your local GNH:

  • Rust-Oleum Chalk Board Paint (in your choice of color)
  • Paint rollers/brushes
  • Painter’s tape
  • Paint tray
  • Drywall filler or wood putty
  • Putty knife
  • Sandpaper, fine
  • Damp rag
  • Drop cloth

And here’s how to properly apply chalk paint in your home:

  1. Buy Enough Paint. Make sure you know how much chalkboard paint you need before you go to your local GNH. Don’t make the mistake of underestimating how much paint your project will require. The complete surface of the chalkboard has to be painted at the same time to keep the color and tint consistent. If you run out of paint and have to purchase and apply a new batch, you will see a difference in the way the two paints appear after drying.
  2. Clean & Sand. Whether you’re painting a large or small area, you must clean the surface thoroughly before applying any paint. Use a damp rag to remove dirt and dust. It’s also very important to lightly sand the surface with a fine sandpaper, so that it’s smooth to the touch. Use a damp rag to remove dust from sanding.
  3. Fill Cracks & Holes. Next, you finish preparing the surface by filling in any cracks or small holes. This can be accomplished with drywall filler, wood putty (or another filler depending on the surface you are painting) and a putty knife.  Wait until the filler dries before sanding it down and wiping away dust.
  4. Stir GENTLY. This step is very important – so pay attention! Chalkboard paint is very susceptible to breaking down if stirred too hard. Use your paintbrush and gently move the paint around in the can. When stirred too hard, the properties that allow you to write on the finished surface can break down, so be careful!
  5. Start in the Middle. Place a drop cloth on the floor below the surface you are painting to protect it from spills and drips. When applying the chalkboard paint, you want to start in the middle of the surface you are painting, and work outward. Use a roller for large areas, and brushes for smaller areas. Maintain a consistent stroke, overlap all brush marks, and clean up any drips as they occur to ensure a smooth finish.
  6. Allow 3 Days to Dry. Regular paint usually dries within a day, but not this paint! Chalkboard paint takes about 3 days to dry. This is very important as the agents inside the paint need to harden completely before you will be able to write on it.
  7. Prepare for Chalk. The last step is to prepare your new chalkboard surface. How? With none other than chalk, of course! Once the chalkboard is fully dried, prepare the surface by rubbing chalk over the entire area. Leave the chalk on for a few seconds, and then erase it. Now your homemade chalkboard is ready to be used and enjoyed!

Chalkboard paint is a ton of fun for both kids and adults. Not only can you use it to paint your walls, but you can also apply it to glass, cabinets, clay pots, and many other surfaces. This allows you really get creative and use your imagination. Have fun!