Making your own chalkboard paint at home is an enjoyable DIY project that allows you to create fun and functional chalkboard surfaces affordably. With just a few simple ingredients, you can whip up a batch of chalkboard paint and turn pretty much any surface into a writable chalkboard. Let’s explore everything you need to know to make your own quality chalkboard paint!

Benefits of Making Homemade Chalkboard Paint

Crafting DIY chalkboard paint offers many advantages over buying premade chalkboard paint:

Cost Savings

Making your own chalkboard paint is much cheaper than buying commercial brands. You likely already have the ingredients on hand, like paint and unsanded grout. Homemade allows you to create any amount of chalkboard paint you need for pennies on the dollar.


You can fully customize your chalkboard paint when you make it yourself. Adjust the color, texture, finish and more to your liking. Getting the exact effects you want is easy with a DIY approach.

Quality Control

With homemade chalkboard paint, you control the ingredients and quality. You can use high-end craft paints and materials to create a superior chalkboard coating. Store-bought chalk paint can be hit or miss.

Any Color Imaginable

While premade chalkboard paint is limited to standard colors like black and green, homemade lets you create any chalkboard color you want! Make bright colored chalkboards for kids rooms or stylish designs for home decor.

Environmentally Friendly

Using homemade chalkboard paint reduces waste since you mix up small batches as needed. No throwing away partly used cans of paint. Being able to recycle and reuse containers is also more eco-friendly.

Simple Process

Once you learn the basic recipe, making DIY chalkpaint takes little time and effort. The ingredients are easy to mix up, and no advanced techniques are required. Get great results with a simple process!

With all these advantages, it’s easy to see why making your own chalkboard paint is an excellent choice for crafters, teachers, parents, and DIYers.

Supplies Needed to Make Chalkboard Paint

The good news is you likely already have most of what you need to make homemade chalkboard paint on hand! Here are the key ingredients and supplies:


  • The base paint can be any standard latex paint, either white or colored. Matte or low sheen paints work best. High-gloss paints are not recommended.
  • For best results, use quality craft paint like FolkArt or Apple Barrel acrylics. They have superior pigments for a smooth finish.
  • You can use both light and dark paint colors as your base color. Some colors may require extra coats of paint for full opacity.

Unsanded Grout

  • Look for unsanded grout, not sanded. Unsanded has a finer texture to mix with paint smoothly.
  • Grout provides the rough, chalkboard-like texture that chalk can cling to. Tile grout or masonry grout both work.
  • Make sure the grout is fully dried and sealed before using to avoid moisture issues.

Containers for Mixing

  • Use clean, empty paint cans, plastic containers, mason jars, or similar vessels for mixing your chalk paint.
  • Avoid glass containers if using metallic paints which can react with the material.

Stir Sticks/Spoons

  • Paint stir sticks, wooden spoons, whisks, or similar tools to thoroughly incorporate the grout and paint.
  • Disposable tools are preferred to avoid cleaning hassles.

With your materials gathered, you’re ready to start making your homemade chalkboard paint!

Step-By-Step Instructions

Follow these simple steps to create your own quality chalkboard paint at home:

Step 1: Prepare the Grout

  • Measure out 1/2 cup of unsanded grout per 1 quart of paint you’ll be using.
  • If your grout is still clumpy or moist, spread it out on cardboard to fully dry and cure before using.
  • Break up any large clumps in the grout so it mixes smoothly.

Step 2: Add Grout to Paint

  • Pour your latex or craft paint into a mixing container.
  • Gradually sprinkle the grout powder into the paint.
  • Use a stir stick to incorporate the grout, mixing thoroughly.

Step 3: Mix Well

  • Mix vigorously for 5-10 minutes to fully blend the grout into the paint.
  • Make sure no clumps remain and the paint is a uniform color and texture.
  • Add a bit more grout or paint as needed to get the right consistency.

Step 4: Allow to Rest

  • Let the chalkboard paint mixture rest for 15 minutes so the grout can fully saturate into the paint.
  • Then give it a final quick stir before you start painting.

Step 5: Start Painting!

  • You’re now ready to start applying your homemade chalkboard paint to any surface you like!
  • Follow normal painting practices for best results. Allow coats to dry fully between application.
  • Most surfaces require 2-3 thin coats of chalkboard paint for full coverage and a smooth finish.

And that’s it! With just a few ingredients and steps, you’ve created your own chalkboard paint. Now the fun begins – time to start painting everything in sight with your custom chalkboard creation!

Tips for Applying Homemade Chalkboard Paint

Follow these handy tips when applying DIY chalkboard paint for flawless results:

  • Make sure surfaces are clean before painting. Wipe away any dirt, grease, or old paint.
  • Lightly sand glossy surfaces to help the paint adhere better.
  • Use quality applicators like dense foam rollers and soft bristle brushes.
  • Always stir the paint well before each use to reincorporate the grout.
  • Apply thin coats and allow 2-4 hours of drying time between coats. Rushing the process can ruin the finish.
  • Add coats gradually until you get full coverage. Darker paints may require 3-5 thin coats.
  • Finishing with a final coat of clear sealer gives added protection and smoothness.

Take your time with the application process and you’ll be rewarded with a professional-looking chalkboard surface you can enjoy for years.

Creative Ways to Use Chalkboard Paint

Once you have your DIY chalkboard paint ready to go, the possibilities are endless for how to use it around your home:

  • Chalkboard walls in kids’ rooms for drawing, writing, and displaying art
  • Turn cabinet doors into handy chalkboard labels and menus
  • Create your own chalkboard signs, trays, and art pieces
  • Paint desks, tables, or headboards for functional surfaces
  • Use chalkboard paint on mirrors for a fun way to leave messages
  • Paint canvases to create artistic chalkboard art
  • Add a chalkboard tile backsplash or accent wall in the kitchen
  • Paint planters, pots, and vases to label plants
  • Designate a chalkboard organizational board or calendar
  • Paint stair risers or furniture for decor accents
  • Create chalkboard-painted lunch bags, binders, or frames

The possibilities are endless! Chalkboard paint adds functional style anywhere you use it.

Tips for Getting the Most Out of Your Chalkboard Surfaces

To get the best performance from your chalkboard painted projects:

  • Make sure to let the paint cure fully for a week before heavy use.
  • “Season” the chalkboard by rubbing the side of a piece of chalk over the entire surface before first use.
  • Use high quality chalk designed for chalkboards, not sidewalk chalk.
  • Clean boards regularly with a dry eraser or damp cloth to keep a smooth surface.
  • For stained or ghosting chalkboards, scrub with baking soda and water solution.
  • Apply a fresh coat of chalkboard paint periodically as the surface wears.
  • Sealing your chalkboard annually helps protect the paint from deterioration.

With the right care and chalk, your homemade chalkboard paint can look great for many years!

Advanced Tips for Superior Results

Want to take your homemade chalkboard paint even further? Try these expert tips:

  • Add a bit of baking soda to the paint mix for extra whitening and absorbency.
  • For colored chalkboards, mix paints with mineral pigments or universal tints for bolder, lightfast colors.
  • Increase grout ratios up to 3/4 cup per quart of paint for a high-contrast surface.
  • Top with epoxy resin for a glossy, stain-resistant finish.
  • Layer on magnetic primer before the chalkboard paint to get a magnetic chalkboard.
  • Use an ultra-fine grit additive for a perfectly smooth finish.

Don’t be afraid to experiment – you can tweak the recipe to get precisely the chalkboard look and functionality you crave!

Storage and Disposal of Leftover Chalkboard Paint

For leftover homemade chalkboard paint:

  • Transfer paint to an airtight sealed container for storage.
  • Add a bit of water on top to prevent a skin forming if storing more than 2-3 days.
  • Stir well before reusing. Add water or paint as needed to reincorporate.
  • For disposal, allow wet paint to dry fully then dispose with normal household trash.

With proper storage techniques, you can keep unused chalkboard paint for touch ups or future projects. There’s no need to waste a drop of your homemade creation!

Troubleshooting Homemade Chalkboard Paint Issues

If your finished chalkboard paint has any of these issues, here are some likely causes and fixes:

Chalk doesn’t erase cleanly:

  • The paint didn’t fully cure. Allow extra drying time.
  • The surface needs seasoning. Rub chalk all over before first use.
  • You’re using poor quality chalk. Use blackboard chalk only.

Paint is streaky or uneven:

  • Improper mixing of the grout and paint. Mix for longer periods.
  • Applying paint too thickly. Apply thin coats only.
  • Temperature or humidity caused drying issues.

Paint rubs off easily:

  • Surface was not properly prepared and cleaned before painting.
  • Coats were too thick or rushed. Allow proper drying time between thin coats.
  • You need a top coat sealer for added protection.

Paint is an uneven color:

  • The grout powder was not fully dissolved into the paint. Strain paint after mixing.
  • Multiple coats not applied to achieve full coverage.

With some trial and error, you’ll get the perfect homemade chalkboard paint for your needs. Don’t give up if your first batch has issues – this is a fun paint you can tweak and customize in any way. Chalkboards take a bit more finesse than typical paint projects but are well worth the effort!

Inspiring Design Ideas Using Chalkboard Paint

Need a bit of inspiration for your chalkboard paint projects? Here are some gorgeous ways to use chalkboard paint in home decor:

  • A chic chalkboard paint accent wall with painted vines, flowers, and curlicues
  • Turn a plain wooden buffet into a stylish bar with chalkboard doors
  • Use metallic chalkboard paints to create glittering galaxy painted walls
  • Paint recessed wall panels or geometric shapes for striking effects
  • Stencil chalkboard paint designs onto furniture like dressers, cabinets, and tables
  • Outline sections of your walls with chalkboard trim or lines
  • Create a chalkboard desktop or countertop using chalkboard contact paper
  • Use chalkboard panels on sliding barn doors as a unique focal point
  • Add chalkboard sleeves to plain vases and pots for custom labels
  • Paint a chalkboard motif wallpaper on one accent wall

The design options are endless – chalkboard paint adds style anywhere you use it!

FAQ About Homemade Chalkboard Paint

Here are answers to some of the most frequently asked questions about crafting homemade chalkboard paint:

Can you use any paint color to make chalkboard paint?

Yes, any standard latex acrylic paint can be turned into chalkboard paint with the grout powder additive. You can use white, black, or any color you wish as a base. Darker coats may take more coats for opacity.

What’s the ratio of paint to grout needed?

The standard recipe is 1/2 cup unsanded grout per 1 quart of paint. However, you can adjust more or less grout for your desired texture. Some pros use up to 3/4 cups grout per quart.

Does homemade chalkboard paint work on every surface?

It works on most surfaces including wood, drywall, metal, plastic, cement, canvas, and more. Avoid exterior siding, laminates, and oil-based paints which can cause bonding issues.

Can I apply chalkboard paint over an existing painted surface?

Yes, as long as the surface is in good condition. Lightly sand glossy surfaces first. Small cracks and chips are not an issue. Just clean thoroughly before applying the chalkboard paint.

How long does it take homemade chalkboard paint to fully cure?

Allow the paint to cure and harden for 5-7 days before intensive use. Let it fully bond to the surface before erasing vigorously. The longer it cures, the more durable it becomes.

Does chalkboard paint require any special maintenance or sealing?

Sealing your chalkboard annually will protect and extend its lifespan. Use a sealant designed for chalkboard surfaces. Clean with water and mild soap; avoid harsh chemical cleaners.


Creating your own chalkboard paint is an easy, thrifty way to turn any surface into a fun, artistic, writable chalkboard. With some simple craft paint, grout, and minimal effort, you can whip up chalkboard paint customized to your specific needs and design vision. Once you discover how delightfully simple the process is, you’ll find yourself chalkboarding everything in sight! Why buy chalkboard paint when you can DIY?

So grab an old paint can and try this fun project – your inner chalkboard artist will thank you. What will you chalkboard paint first?