Wednesday, August 15, 2012

How to Make Your Own Chalkboard Paint

Chalkboard paint is popular thanks to its blend of sentiment, whimsy and practicality. Whether it's painted on walls, furniture or appliances, chalkboard paint has certainly come a long way from the basic green or slate gray boards used in schools.

I love the use of chalkboard paint in unexpected ways — like on the back of a kitchen island or in place of a headboard — but I'm also a classic girl at heart and a fan of the simple chalkboard. The recent transformation of my son's nursery to big kid room had me painting stripes, and I couldn't resist throwing a chalkboard into the mix.
by Meg Padgett

Chalkboard paint is available in varying shades of color through manufacturers like Hudson Paint, but at $25 per quart, it can get expensive. Save your pennies and have complete control over the color by making your own in three steps.
  • Non-sanded grout
  • Latex paint in any color
  • Mixing cup or bucket
  • Brush or roller
  • Paint mixer drill attachment
1. Mix the latex paint with the non-sanded grout in a cup or bucket. A good ratio to use is 1 part grout to 8 parts paint. So, if you're mixing a small amount, mix 1 tablespoon grout with a ½-cup paint. For a larger amount — like I used — mix 1 cup of grout with a ½ gallon of paint.

Ensure that all the grout is mixed in — otherwise, the granules may be visible on the chalkboard. I have found that a paint mixer drill attachment and a 5 gallon bucket is the simplest and most efficient way to blend a larger amount of paint.

Note: Grout is typically only available in large quantities — 10 pound boxes for around $12 — so plan accordingly. I knew I would be regrouting the shower and bought the Polyblend Non-Sanded grout to match. Don't have any tiling plans in your future? You may have a friend who recently tiled an entry or bathroom, so ask to use some of theirs.

To cut the sheen in the high-gloss black "oops" paint I picked up at a discount and achieve the classic charcoal color I wanted, I mixed a ½ gallon of the black paint with 2 cups of white ceiling paint, then added the grout.
2. Paint the surface with the chalkboard paint. Prep the surface as you would for any paint job. I painted two coats for even coverage.

While I've used a classic charcoal gray, the color options are endless. Make chalkboard paint out of your leftover wall paint for a seamless and fun addition to a room or go bold with a bright, contrasting color.
3. Condition the chalkboard. Get your chalkboard ready for drawing by rubbing the board with chalk, then wiping it off with a dry towel in circular strokes. With that final step, it's ready to be put to good use.
In my son's room, I've gone big by painting an entire wall with chalkboard paint and framing it to create a place that can be used for both play and educational activities.

More: Grown-Up Ideas For Chalkboard Paint
From by Meg Padgett

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