Chalkboard paint is a type of paint that gives a matte finish suitable for writing on with chalk. A surface painted with chalkboard paint will be washable so that you can wipe off any chalk markings and start again with a clean slate. Most chalkboard paints can be used on a variety of different surfaces, and some are suitable for exterior as well as interior use.
In this article, we’ll go into detail about the best chalkboard paint for your current or next project.
Projects for ChalkBoard Paint
Painting an entire wall with chalkboard paint in a child’s bedroom or in a playroom is a great way to give them space where they can practice drawing or writing letters and numbers. A doodle wall can keep them busy for hours and will mean they always have a place to scrawl down notes.
Sectioning off a piece of wall in your kitchen and painting it in chalkboard paint will make a great spot for writing down the menu when you have dinner parties or for writing notes and reminders to family members.
Mason Jar Labels
Chalkboard paint can be used to paint the glass or the metal lids on mason jars, allowing you to be able to write labels on them, which can be wiped off and re-written when you change what is in the jar. This can keep jars looking cute and organized.
Painting placemats in chalkboard paint allows you to write names on them so people know where they should sit at a dinner party or at a larger event such as a wedding. This is a nice touch and will make people feel welcome and at ease.
You can paint an old piece of wood in chalkboard paint and upcycle it into a sign. You could use chalkboard signs for various events, such as at weddings, birthday parties, holiday events, or around the home as decor.
Refresh Old Chalkboards
Old chalkboards which have been used heavily can start to look gray and faded, with lots of chalk remnants on them. Chalkboard paint is great for freshening up an old chalkboard and giving it a new lease of life.
Chalkboard Paint Preparation
The key to achieving a chalkboard surface that looks great and functions as a proper chalkboard is in the preparation. Pay close attention to the preparation recommendations from your chosen chalkboard paint manufacturer, as many people who don’t follow these live to regret it when they find that their chalk won’t wipe off or scratches off the chalk. The necessary preparation steps are as follows.
The surface you are painting should be smooth, so if it isn’t, then you need to sand it until it is smooth to the touch, with no visible imperfections. Any lumps and bumps might be well hidden by the chalkboard paint, but when you come to write on the surface, the chalk will get caught on imperfections and cause problems.
Using a primer will help the chalkboard paint to adhere better to the surface, especially if the surface is non-porous, such as glass or metal. This will make it more durable and long-lasting.
Follow the instructions for applying your paint. Foam rollers give the best finish, though some people use a regular kitchen sponge. You can use a paint brush, but this will usually leave brush strokes.
This is probably the most important step in ensuring your chalkboard works as it should. Once cured, rub the side of a chalk stick over the entire painted surface to season it, then wipe it off with a dry cloth. If you skip this step, you will find that your chalk drawings will not wipe off easily and can even become permanent.
Top 6 Chalkboard Paint
Krylon K05223000 Chalkboard Paint Special in Black
This chalkboard paint by Krylon is a brush-on formula that is suitable for use on interior metal, wood, plaster, glass, and ceramic. It comes in a quart-sized can which is enough to cover up to 20 square feet. The finish of this chalkboard paint is smooth, with the result that looks like slate. It promises to be durable and hardwearing, with a drying time of 60 minutes.
Most users of this paint found it to work exactly as described. Users were pleased to find that the paint formula was very thick and went on easily, with some people noting that they only needed to apply one coat while others recommended two coats. Some users found that even when they brushed on the paint too thick, and it initially looked lumpy and messy, the paint self-corrected, and the result was a very even and smooth-looking surface.
Most users agreed that regular chalk worked well on the dried paint and that it could be removed easily with a wet rag or cloth. Some users were disappointed to find that the chalk didn’t wipe off with a regular dry chalk eraser and found that with heavy use, the wet cleaning cloths started to pull the paint off the wall. All buyers of this chalkboard paint agreed that it looked great after the application had dried, but a minority felt that it was not hard-wearing enough.
- Dries smooth and even
- Thick formula
- Easy to use
- It only needs one or two coats
- Looks good
- Not durable
- Only wipes clean with a wet cloth
Chalkboard Blackboard Paint in Black
This chalkboard paint by The Rainbow Liquid Chalk Specialists has a matte black finish which is smooth and non-reflective. The paint comes in a 250ml can which should cover an area measuring 32 square feet. It is suitable for exterior and interior use and can be brushed or rolled onto any surface, including metal, wood, glass, plaster, and drywall. It has a fast drying time of just 15 minutes, and once fully cured, is washable and flame resistant.
Users of this chalkboard paint were at first disappointed by the size of the can as it was much smaller than expected, but upon using the paint, they found that it went much further than they initially thought, covering up to 60 square feet. The instructions recommend two coats for good coverage; however, many users felt that three coats were required as the paint formula was quite thin. It should be noted that this paint is designed to be used with liquid chalk pens, which makes it great for converting a standard chalkboard to a liquid chalkboard.
However, some users were disappointed to find that regular sticks of chalk did not work on this paint, stating that it just slid right off. This paint is designed for both exterior and interior use, though some users who used it on outdoor projects found that it became marked after rainfall, with individual rain droplets being visible even after it had dried. Some users were very happy with this paint, explaining that it was very easy to brush on and dried very quickly. Many users were also impressed with how easily the liquid chalk pens could be wiped away.
- Easy to use
- Good coverage
- Dries quickly
- Wipes clean
- Small tin
- Thin paint formula
- Not compatible with regular chalk
- May stain when used outside
Rust-Oleum 1913830A3 Chalkboard Spray Paint, 3 Pack, Black
This chalkboard paint by Rust-Oleum comes in an aerosol bottle for easy spray application. It is purchased in a set of three and also is available in a six-pack. The can contains 11 ounces of paint, providing coverage for seven square feet. It is dry to the touch within 20 minutes and can be recoated after just an hour.
The dried chalkboard will be ready to use 24 hours after the final coat. The paint is suitable for interior projects and can be used on a range of surfaces, including metal, wood, concrete, plaster, glass, drywall, and more. It is designed to be extremely durable with an oil-based formula that is resistant to scratching. It dries smooth to create the perfect surface for writing on with chalk, which can be wiped away easily.
Users of this chalkboard paint love the smooth finish it gives, just like a real chalkboard, but note that preparation is key because imperfections will show through. Most users agree that the paint is of very high quality and confirm that chalk wipes off the paint easily with a wet wipe or cloth. Some users experienced problems with the aerosol cans, such as cans that were clogged and therefore wouldn’t spray the paint or cans which would drip rather than spray, making application very difficult.
The project you intend to use the paint for will affect how suitable the spray application is; some users found a spray bottle to be much more efficient for painting items that could be sprayed outside, whereas users who wanted to paint a wall found that the rest of the room needed to be completely covered up to avoid getting the paint on everything.
- Fast drying
- High quality
- Easy application
- Chalk wipes off well
- Smooth finish
- Spray cans may be ineffective
- Spray application not suitable for all projects
Rust-Oleum 206540 Chalkboard Brush-On, Black
This can of chalkboard paint by Rust-Oleum contains 32 fluid ounces, which can cover up to 120 square feet. It can be brushed on or applied using a roller and has a durable formula based on oil. The paint is suitable for use on a variety of surfaces, including wood, metal, concrete, masonry, and plaster. It should not be used outdoors as it is specifically designed for interior use.
The paint dries smooth and has a durable quality which makes it great for high traffic areas or heavy use. Chalk can easily be wiped off with a soft cloth or soap and water when you want to clear your chalkboard. The paint dries in 30 minutes and will be ready for further coats after four hours. From the final coat, you should wait for three days before writing or drawing on the surface with chalk.
Users of this chalkboard paint rate it very highly. It is a top-quality formula with a thick consistency that covers very well. Some users found that they only needed one coat, while others applied two or three coats to be on the safe side. Most users agree that this chalkboard paint is the best that they have used yet, though they point out that it is not entirely perfect. After wiping chalk drawings off the wall, many users found that remnants of the chalk could still be seen up close and that it was hard to get the wall completely clean. Users agree that preparation is key to achieving a good-looking and properly functioning chalkboard wall, including sanding, priming, and seasoning the surface before use.
One drawback of this paint is that it does not dry as quickly as some other chalkboard paints, but most users agree this is a small price to pay in order to create a usable chalkboard surface. In spite of the fact that this chalkboard is recommended for interior use only, some users painted outdoor surfaces with it and were extremely impressed with the results. After leaving the painted chalkboard outside for several years in all sorts of weather, some users note that the surface looks as good as when it was first painted and shows no sign of needing additional coats to freshen it up. This speaks to the durability of the paint and shows that it stands up well in various circumstances.
- High quality, thick paint
- Covers well
- Cleans easily
- Long final drying time
DIY Shop Chalkboard Paint by American Crafts
This black chalkboard paint by American Crafts comes in a 16.5-liquid-ounce tub, which can cover a surface of up to 60 square feet. It can be used on various indoor surfaces, including cork, plaster, wood, metal, glass, and paper. It can be applied with a brush or a roller and should have two coats for full coverage. This paint is designed to be used with both regular chalk sticks and liquid chalk pens, with both being easy to wipe off with a wet cloth after use.
Users of this product found it to be easy to apply and noted that it covered well. Most users agree that surfaces painted with this chalkboard paint function well as a chalkboard, while a minority of users found that drawing on the surface with chalk scratched the paint right off. This paint was found to be most effective on porous surfaces such as plasterboard and cardboard because when used on non-porous surfaces like glass or plastic, the paint sometimes peeled off.
Many users were pleased with the size of this paint tub, having found that many chalkboard paints are only sold in larger quantities, which leaves a lot of wastage if you only have a small project. Users also commented that for the amount of paint you get, this product was good value for money.
- Value for money
- Easy application
- Covers porous surfaces well
- Easy clean
- Questionable durability
FolkArt Chalkboard Paint
This tub of water-based chalkboard paint by FolkArt contains 8 fluid ounces, which is enough to cover a surface area of up to 30 square feet. This paint can be used on most surface types, including walls, glass, metal, and wood. It dries quickly and can be recoated in just an hour, with the chalkboard being ready to use 24 hours after the final coat. The handy tub has a screw top lid which makes it ideal for craft projects as it can be stored easily and brought out at a later date to be used again. The formula of this paint is smooth to give a flat chalkboard surface, and it has a rich black color.
Users of this chalkboard paint love the size of the tub, as it is ideal for small craft projects. The wide mouth of the tub also means that you can dip your paintbrush right into it or decant it into a tray to be used with a sponge or roller. Users note that the paint dries exceptionally quickly, so be careful to brush away any drips or imperfections as you go. Most users agree that the paint goes much further than expected and believe it is great value for money.
Two coats are recommended for full coverage, and you can write on the board just a day later. The vast majority of users found that chalk wipes off from this dried paint easily, though a few were not able to rub their chalk writing off. This may be down to improper use of the paint because the instructions do note that chalk will leave marks if you don’t season it before use.
- Value for money
- Easy application
- Handy crafting size
- Cleans easily
- Dries quickly
- Chalk may leave residue