diy :: make your own custom colored chalkboard

| DIY projects

along with my plant frenzies, i had a little time to get crafty as well!  i ran across this article on how to paint your own chalkboard as i was organizing some of my magazines.  i had torn it out and stuck it another magazine over 3 years ago!!  i remembered how much i loved the project, and picked up the necessities on my lowes expedition.

what you need:

- flat latex paint in your desired color

- unsanded tile grout (2 tbls for each 1 cup of paint)

- a roller or brush

- 150 grit sandpaper

- painter's tape

- chalk

how to:

- for small areas, mix one cup at a time.  stir 2 tbsp of unsanded tile grout into one cup of paint, making sure any clumps dissolve.

- apply the mixture to either a roller or brush and and begin painting your surface.  make sure to coat evenly and thoroughly (mine took about 3 coats).  then, let it dry.

- once dry, sand the surface with your 150 grit sand paper to smooth it.

- to condition, run your chalk complety over the entire surface, and wipe clean.

- enjoy your new chalkboard!

here's my lonesome door before...

and here it is after!

oh the endless possibilities :: cabinet doors, pantry doors, wall spaces, children's wall, office desks and more!


  • Thank you so much for teaching this! I always wondered if you could do it in any color instead of just black or green.

  • Jenn, I wondered the same thing! Thanks for the idea, Bonnie! Sounds like you had a fabulous weekend! I worked for all of mine, but today is the day off, and I’m working on getting my workroom set up – we’ve lived here a month and it’s still disheveled so I need to get to it! :)

  • This is really fantastic. It’s on my list of goals for 2010 to paint a chalk wall for the kids and maybe I can do one for me now :)

  • I just saw this done in pretty hues on “Sarah’s House” – an HGTV show…your’s turned out as great as their’s – nice job!

  • by the way…how long did you let it dry before “conditioning”?

    • @jes: not very long (haha) maybe 2 hours? i just made sure it felt thoroughly dry to the touch, but i’m sure it could vary depending on the surface you’re painting?

      @ sarah: i think so! mine (so far) is writing and erasing just like a normal chalk board. you can clean this kind with a damp cloth. i would just make sure you give it a few really good coats. can’t wait to see it!
      p.s. i had to buy a 10lb bag of tile grout and only used 2 tbsp! call me and i’ll lend you mine. :)

  • Hi Bonnie, It’s Sarah from Franklin
    Thanks for this:)
    We’re planning on putting a chalkboard out on the street for our bakery, but I wondered if a painted/do it yourself chalkboard erases and re-writes as easily as a regular one (if you want to erase and rewrite a lot)…??

  • Thanks Bonnie! I love this idea, I think I’ll make it my weekend project :) Lovin’ the colour theme too – super cute x

  • Wow Bonnie, I never realized that they could be made in colors beyond green & black! The possibilities are endless now- adding it to my future projects list! :)

  • Hi Bonnie,
    Thank you so much for sharing this tutorial! I love it and I’ve linked this to my blog. I’m sure my readers would love it,too!

    • hi aisyah! aw, thank you! the post is beautiful, let me know what color you decide! ;)

  • Will it still work if we bought grout that wasn’t powder?

    • hi kendra! hmm, i’m not sure? i’m not familiar with the different types of grout but you could give a try. in case you go back, hardware stores usually carry the powder kind and it’s very inexpensive.

  • Just though you might wanna know, your tutorial was featured here:

  • Hello Bonnie. I’m Audrey, and I’ve been searching the internet for craft ideas. I’m starting up a booth at a local market for handmade arts and crafts, and I think you’re such an inspiration. As I’m only fifteen, I need all the tutorials I can get, and I find your blog very useful. I was just wondering what magazine you got this from. Are there any specific magazines for people like me to sign up for with all kinds of neat ideas I can use without spending a whole lot? (I don’t have a job as of yet.)
    I’m also planning on starting my own crafter’s blog, and I need ideas to try out to see if they will work. I really like a lot of the things you do so I thought I would ask where you get all this neat stuff. :)

    • hello audrey, nice to meet you! the magazine that comes straight to mind is the do it yourself magazine and of course, martha stewart. i wish you all the best! xox

  • Okay. Thank you. :)

  • Just so you know… mixed grout does work.. I’m sure the powder would’ve been a wee bit easier to mix ;) haha Thanks so much for this tutorial! My apartment wall is the CUTEST color of teal! We get sooo many compliments on it. :)

    • oh, thanks kendra! sounds so cute!

  • Im thinking of doing this on my kitchen wall…does it really work? And how many coats did you do?

    Thank you,

    • hi angie! yes, it really works! i used about 3 coats. let them dry in between then cure it by rubbing a piece of chalk all over it and wiping off. have fun!

  • Thank you Bonnie. Ive seen so many pins and blogs about this and thought it was a great idea, I cant wait to try it. :) Have a great day!

  • Does this work on glass? I tried the Valspar that they say can be used as chalkboard paint, but it peeled right off the glass.

    • hi michelle! i’ve had another reader experiment with this and say that it did work well on glass! you can catch up on this colored chalkboard paint post and visit her site to see them as well. i think that if you let it fully cure and use it on something that only gets light wear and tear, you should be fine. let us know how it turns out! xox

  • Do you know if there’s a way to make it magnetic too?

  • Thanks so much!! I know what I’m going to be doing this weekend!! :)

  • Thank you for sharing such fabulous DIY secrets. You are something of a hero to me right now!

  • Do you know how long it will keep when stored in an airtight container?

    • hey charlotte! i’m sorry, i don’t. though i would assume a good while, as long as your stir it before use.

  • Thanks ~_~

  • Has anyone used this recipe on a table top? Wondering if it is gritty with the grout, or smooth once mixed.

    • hey jennifer! i haven’t used it on a table top but assume it would work pretty well. it will be slightly gritty because that’s what gives it the chalkboard effect and allows the chalk to ‘stick’ to it, however it won’t be lumpy. i would suggest painting something small first and seeing how you like it. you can always (and should) go over it with a light sanding which should help. would love to see pics!

  • this may be a silly question but does the tile grout need to be white? We are actually getting ready to tile our kitchen floor and I am thinking about reserving some of the grout for use on chalkboard in my granddaughters room. The only thing is the grout will be of a certain color and the paint I use will probably be a more vibrant color. Im not even certain the grout we get is unsanded. but just wondering. Thanks..oh and this is an awesome idea

  • Hi there we have just visited the CT Decorex and seen coloured chalk boards on a stand there and was wondering where to get the paint and hey presto here you are telling us how to make our very own STUNNING.
    Can one use normal paint that you would paint the walls with (or is that what your mean by latex?)and could you use water based enamel ???
    THANK YOU so much for sharing this divine idea !

    • linda, how perfect! yes, you can use regular ‘ol wall paint (laytex is the most common). i’m not sure about the water based enamel, but you could mix a little and try a test spot? have fun!

  • Just the other day, my granddaughter was playing school at my house. I thought I will have to buy her a chalkboard! Now I can make her one. Hubby has all the necessary stuff in his workshop.

  • Will satin finish paint work instead of flat? I bought some samples for my bedroom and now have the extra paint I didn’t choose and wanted to use it on something!

    • hey nicole! hmm, i’m not really sure! i would assume that i might work, but would recommend trying a small amount first. i know it sure would be nice to be able to use up your old paint! if you try it out, please let us know the results!

  • Hi just curieus, AMANDA how did you go with the magnetic paint under the 3 coats of chalkpaint? Wich one did you use and did it work? Want to do it on the kitchen wall so no time for mistakes. And Thanks Bonnie for sharing your recipe for the chalkpaint and maybe you did it yourself really want to know if it works Thanks PEtra

  • I love this. Perfect way to customize to your space. When we remodeled our kitchem. A small condo kitchen and it had a door leading to the grage. I really wanted a Tuscany vineyard seen patined on the door. Well between the cost and not being able to find someone with my vision, we painted it with chalk & maganetic paint. But I had only black to choose from. Now I am re-thinking colors. I just have to consider color chalk. Blessings
    Barbara Ann PS we also did the door to our wine closet!!

  • Hey! I tried this today, I mixed it for what seemed forever, and when I painted it on, it was SOOOOOO LUMPY! I thought I did a good job mixing it? Any tips?? Should I just keep painting the layers and then sand it until smooth??

    • hey allison! hmm, i’m not sure what to tell you! mine was not lumpy, but i did sand between each coat. maybe just make sure your powder is smooth (maybe sift it?) and stir it really well. :)

  • What’s the difference between chalk paint and chalkboard paint ? I see you used grout and in chalk paint plaster is used . I’m confused .

    • hi ronnie! you can either use store bought chalkboard paint OR make your own (which is what i’ve done here). adding grout to a regular latex paint will turn it into chalkboard paint, allowing you to customize the color to whatever you would like. does that help?

Post a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *