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What Is Chalk Paint? Creating A Chalkboard Dream

There are dozens of different types of paint that you can paint your furniture and walls with. You hear terms like latex paint, enamel paint, and acrylic paint all of the time. But have you ever heard of chalk paint?

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This type of paint is fairly simple to understand but understanding everything that “chalk paint” can be is difficult. Because not all chalk paint is the same. There are different formulas and completely different uses. 

What Is Chalk?

We have used chalk since we were old enough to hold it on the playground but do you really know what chalk is? The fact of the matter is that real chalk is a mineral found in nature and is a variety of limestone.

This limestone is ground up into powder and compressed into sticks that can be used to draw on slate, traditionally. Today, most “chalk” isn’t even chalk at all but the name remains to describe these powdery writing sticks. 

What Is Chalk Paint?

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Image from Shades Of Green Landscape Architecture

Chalk paint in the sense we are referring to is a type of paint that can transform a surface into a chalkboard. This type of chalk paint is used to paint onto a surface and when it dries, you can use the surface like a chalkboard.

This effect can be achieved in another way. There is contact paper that is like a thin chalkboard. When adhered to a surface, the surface looks just like a traditional chalkboard. This is an easy way to get the chalkboard effect.

But it isn’t the only way. Nor is it the only effect that “chalk paint” means. There are many different types of chalk paint, but there are only two primary types that we will go over today and most likely one of the types you are looking for.

Chalk Paint Vs. Chalkboard Paint

There are two terms here and both are often called chalk paint. There is chalk-style paint and chalkboard paint. The chalk-style paint is paint which is often referred to chalked paint due to the distressed style.

This type of paint usually leaves a light and slightly distressed look to furniture. It is perfect for use in farmhouse, rustic, or shabby chic styles. The other type of chalk paint is a chalkboard paint that creates a chalkboard surface. 

Chalkboard Paint Tips

Image from Design Shop Interiors

There isn’t much you need to know about chalk paint really. But there are a few key tips that can really help you during the painting process and after you are done painting. Here is what you need to know. 

Sand And Repair

Before you begin painting the item you want to paint, make sure it is very clean and dry. Then, ensure that it is ready for paint. It will need to be sanded down well and if there any cracks, they need to be repaired.

You can use wood filler to repair most cracks. After you finish the repairs, you can begin painting. But if the wall or furniture piece is too far gone then painting is probably not a good idea. 

Don’t Use Over Carpet

Chalkboard walls can get dusty. This isn’t that harmful to other wood or metal objects but if you have carpet or are using it over a bed, then you may want to rethink your design choices on one end.

Keep It Clean

Keep your chalkboard clean. This doesn’t mean to never leave your art overnight, it just means try not to stir up too much dust. Especially if you have people with asthma living in your home who are susceptible to respiratory problems. 

You can get a chalkboard duster to use before and after you use the board. This way, even if you do use it, it stays cleaner because you dusted it before. And that eraser puff trick? Never do this!

Image from Suzanna Santostefano

Chalkboard Paint Projects To Try

There are a thousand ways you can use chalkboard paint. But finding out the best ways to use them for practicing can be difficult. After all, this isn’t just ordinary paint that you can use on anything.

This is chalk paint that needs to be used on specific items. This is easy to find out. What isn’t easy is finding inspiration. Here are a few projects to inspire you and get you started on your first chalkboard project. 

Chalkboard Framed Glass

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This gorgeous project is a great way to get started with chalkboard paint. All you need is a framed picture that has a glass pane in it. Then, you can get chalk paint that is made for this purpose and get to work.

Because it is glass, it is best to use spray paint. When you are done, you can write on the smooth surface easily and it will wipe off easily as well. Paint the frame separately any color that you want or simply stain it a wood grain. 

Chalkboard Globe

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Around the world in eighty ways! A chalkboard globe is perfect for any design style but works even better in the classroom. If you have kids this is a wonderful way to help them with their geography.

After they master every country by recreating the earth, they can move on to imaginary worlds. Let them create their own worlds with colored chalk or simply use the globe to decorate and make funky notes.

Chalkboard Solo Frame

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You don’t need glass to get a framed chalkboard with chalkboard paint. This alternative method allows you to paint on wood and frame it. Then, you can customize it any way that you like and in any shape.

Glass is very difficult to cut if you are not accustomed to doing so but you can cut work quite easily with very little practice. You just need the right wood-cutting tools that you feel comfortable using on your own.

Chalkboard Over Wood

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All you need is a slab of wood to create a chalkboard dream project. You can paint almost any wood with the right chalkboard wood paint. All you have to do is paint it and let it dry. But there is a great tip for this.

It is best to use non-porous wood. The more porous the wood is the more it will absorb and the harder it will be to wipe off the chalk when used. If the wood is too porous then get chalkboard contact paper instead. 

Best Chalk Paint To Buy

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There are quite a few different chalkboard paints on the market that you can buy. We are talking about chalkboard paint rather than chalk-based painted here. If you are looking for the best Amazon buys then here are a few options for you.

DIY Shop Chalkboard Paint by American Crafts

This may be the best chalkboard chalk paint for small projects. It comes in an easy-to-use bottle and can work wonders on almost any surface. The price is amazing, the reviews are nearly perfect, and the amount you get is sufficient. 

Some people like to pair this one with glow-in-the-dark paint so that you can have a creative outlet during the day and at night. Kids love the size of this American Crafts option which is readily available. 

Krylon, Black I00807 Chalkboard Aerosol Spray Paint

If you prefer spray paint then this is a great option. Some objects need to be spray painted, especially if there are a lot of cracks and crevices that you just can’t get to. That’s where this Krylon option comes in.

You can use this over large surfaces and it covers a lot of ground. There is hardly a better option for furniture that can take spray paint because spray paint makes things ten times quicker and easier.

Krylon K05223000 Chalkboard Paint

If what you want is canned paint in larger amounts this option by Krylon is a good one. In fact, it’s one of the few trusted canned chalkboard paint. you can find canned chalked paint but not this type of chalk paint. 

This amount will take care of most projects with very few need more than one or two cans. If you only get one chalkboard paint then this is probably your best bet as it has the most promise when it comes to what it covers.

Creating A Chalkboard Fantasy

No matter how you use chalkboard paint, it’s important to use your creativity. One of the best ways to use chalk paint this way is to create a feature wall. Paint an entire wall with chalk paint and let it be your canvas.

This is perfect for kids or family rooms but can work anywhere. Use it in the kitchen for grocery lists or in the living room for family suggestions. This can work anywhere if you have the mind to create a perfect use.

But the best use of all is to create a board for the family to let their creativity flow freely. Just remember never to wipe off someone else’s art without asking them first. Once you learn that, the sky is the limit.