Top Factors to Consider When Choosing Chalkboard Paint
With so many chalkboard paints on the market, it’s essential to narrow down the features that matter most to you.
Are you looking for an easy spray paint version for a furniture or craft project, or do you prefer to roll the paint on? What about ingredients?
Here’s what to consider.
Like all other paints, some chalkboard paints are loaded with chemicals while others are low VOC and more environmentally friendly.
If you’re painting outdoors in a well-ventilated area, this might not matter. But if you’ll be painting a large wall in a kid’s room, look for something with a “low VOC” or “eco-friendly” label.
You can find chalkboard paint in spray paint form or in larger cans that allow you to roll on the paint.
The paint-on versions are better if you’re working with a flat surface like a tabletop or wall. But, if you’re working with a piece like a lamp or a figurine, spray paint might get you better coverage.
And even if you do go with a paint-on version, you’ll also want to check if you need specific brushes and rollers for the application.
With some chalkboard paint, you’ll need to wait 24 hours between coats. Others have a faster drying time, only taking one hour between layers.
If you’re trying to whip through a project in a day or two, fast-drying paint is the way to go.
How to Use Chalkboard Paint
Chalkboard paint is relatively easy to apply. If you opt for the kind that comes in a standard paint can, you can roll or brush it on the surface you’re painting.
Here’s how to use chalkboard paint on a wall.
Wipe Down the Wall and Apply a Coat of Primer
Start by wiping down the wall with a lint-free cloth, ensuring it’s free of dust and dirt. Afterward, apply a coat of primer.
(Tip: You can use a magnetic primer if you want your chalkboard paint to work as a magnetic wall. However, in my experience, you’ll need to apply two coats of this primer for magnets to stick.)
Paint on a Thin Coat of Chalkboard Paint
After your primer is fully dry (about four hours after application), you’ll be ready to apply your first coat of chalkboard paint.
You can paint the trim with a brush and then cover the rest of the wall using a high-density foam roller to eliminate brush strokes. Make sure the coat of paint you apply is very thin.
Allow it to dry thoroughly. (Refer to your paint can for specific dry times, which can take anywhere from 1-24 hours.)
Apply a Second Coat
After your first coat is dry, apply a second coat.
Allow the paint to dry thoroughly.
Once dry, assess the coverage. If you’ve got full coverage, you’re good to go. If not, you’ll need to apply a third coat of paint.
Season the Chalkboard Wall
About 24 hours after your last coat of paint is fully dry, season the surface.
To do this, take a piece of chalk and use the side to rub it over the entire wall. Then, take a lint-free cloth and wipe down all the chalk, rubbing it in.
Once you do this, your chalkboard will be ready to write on.
Best Chalkboard Paint Reviews
1. Krylon Chalkboard Paint Special Brush On (Top Overall – Best Chalkboard Wall Paint)
Krylon chalkboard paint is one of the most highly-rated options and provides excellent coverage. If you’re looking to cover a wall, you can use only one to two coats of this paint – it’s very thick.
This paint is brush-on, and you can use a nylon or polyester brush or roller to apply it. It has a quick dry time of only 60 minutes and is completely workable in 24 hours.
Superior coverage cuts down on the number of coats needed
If you’re painting a surface that isn’t flat, like a lamp or figurine, chalkboard spray paint is the way to go. And the Rust-Oleum specialty chalkboard spray paint is one of the most highly-rated options.
This paint works on multiple surfaces, including wood, drywall, metal, plastic, concrete, plaster, glass, etc. It’s dry to the touch in 20 minutes, so you don’t have to wait hours between coats.
You can find this paint in three colors: green, black, or transparent.
20-minute dry time
It sticks to almost any surface
Fully workable after 24 hours
Ideal for outdoor painting (Don’t spray paint in your house)
4. American Crafts Chalkboard Paint (Top Choice for Crafters)
If you’re working on smaller craft projects, a larger-sized can of paint isn’t practical. Luckily, you can find smaller containers in a twist-top bottle from American Crafts.
This blackboard paint has high ratings with almost 3,000 Amazon reviews and 4.5 out of 5 stars. It provides excellent coverage, so it covers large surface areas even though it comes in a smaller 16.2-ounce container.
It comes in a resealable container, perfect for crafters
Sticks to many different surfaces
It comes in smaller containers, so not ideal for large walls
What’s the difference between chalk paint and chalkboard paint?
Chalkboard paint will help you create a chalkboard surface that you can write on. On the other hand, chalk paint is simply the name of a decorative paint that dries with a chalky, matte finish.
Chalk paint is great for painting furniture, but you cannot write on it.
Do you need to prime for chalkboard paint?
Here’s the truth: you don’t always have to prime before using chalkboard paint. You can get away without priming if you use thick paint with high coverage like Krylon.
However, if you want to play it safe, prime first. You should also refer to the brand you’re using for specific application instructions.
Can you paint directly over chalkboard paint?
If you grow tired of your chalkboard paint, give it a good cleaning and apply an oil-based primer. Once your primer is dry, you can use any paint over it.
Chalkboard paint is an easy and inexpensive DIY project to transform a room or piece of furniture. In most cases, it’s a breeze to apply, and you can paint it in the same way you would any other type of paint.
If you’re looking for the best wall coverage, both Krylon and Rust-Oleum are worth trying. However, if you’re working on a piece with many nooks and crannies, use chalkboard spray paint for the best coverage.