Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Chalkboard Paint Tips

Chalkboards are a big thing in the DIY world lately, largely due to Pinterest and the fact that most paint brands now carry cans of chalkboard paint; some brands like Benjamin Moore are even tinting them every colour in their paint line!

I've made a lot of chalkboards, and a few friends have asked me why their homemade chalkboards didn't turn out like mine, or why the writing doesn't seem to erase fully. They blame it on being a homemade chalkboard but really it's just that they didn't know a few tips and tricks of working with chalkboard paint. If done correctly, a homemade chalkboard looks and works just as well as one from a store!

Here are my top tips for DIY'ing with chalkboard paint.

1. Stir carefully.

Chalkboard paint can "break" just like a delicate sauce you cook on the stovetop. There is no need for vigirous shaking or stirring, just gently stir with a paint stir stick until it looks smooth.

2. Prep your surface.

If your surface is not smooth, your chalkboard won't be either. If you are painting a chalkboard wall I recommend you give it a light sanding and wipe with a damp cloth before painting. If you are wanting to create a chalkboard, choose a surface that is perfectly smooth. I like to use thin sheets of hardboard that are finished on one side, but I have also painted on glass (perfect for making chalkboard frames because you can just paint the glass insert in a photo frame).

3. Just like regular paint, it's better to do several thin coats than one thick, gloppy coat.

I find using a dense foam roller is the best way to avoid visible lines and get the smoothest finish. Chalkboard paint is thicker than most paint, so it's very easy to over apply it. I like to do 3-4 very thin coats for a nice smooth finish, making long straight strokes with the foam roller rather than just rolling it on all willy nilly or in the "W" shape that is recommended when using regular paint.

3. Resist the urge to try it out right away.

Give your new chalkboard at least 2 days to fully cure before whipping out the chalk

4. Season your surface

The first thing you should do when your chalkboard is ready to use, is to rub a piece of chalk all over the surface. Wipe it off with a dry cloth, and you are left with a slightly dirty looking chalkboard. NOW it's ready to decorate! If you draw or write on a freshly painted chalkboard surface without seasoning it first, you will always see what you first created no matter how many times you erase it. Chalkboard paint is dimpled and textured like the pores on your face. Filling them all in evenly with chalk dust ensures that your surface will always look even and future creations will wipe off easily.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...