How to paint a chalkboard wall

My fiance and I have four grandchildren between us, so when we bought a home together last year we wanted it to be a place where they'd want to come and have loads of fun so I decided to turn a big blank wall in the living into a chalkboard.  I looked around the web a bit for advice and saw so many great ideas for chalkboard paint: refrigerators, dressers, even wine bottles can be painted and decorated with chalk!  I saw this paint mentioned several times in the how-to's: 

We bought three quarts and ended up using about two and a half.

Step one: Tape-and tape well.  This is really thick black paint and I didn't want any on my baseboards.  I taped a disposable tarp to the floorboards to protect them.  My floors are polished cement and easy to clean, so I didn't worry too much about that, but if you have carpeting you'll want to make sure it's very well protected.  

Step two: The fun part.  I love painting, and almost anything DIY, so I was anxious to start getting the paint on the wall.  It took four good coats to get perfect coverage and I let the paint dry at least four hours between coats.  I'd read to wait a full day, but I didn't have the patience or time (plus I live in Phoenix where things dry really quickly). 

Coat 2.  You can see how streaky it is at this stage.

Voila!  Four coats later I was ready to take the tape off and clean up!  It turned out great, with no streaks and the black wall was and prettier than I expected.

I wasn't sure about putting my desk back in front of the chalkboard wall, but it's easy to move to the side when the kids are here.  I put the chalk and the eraser in the bust, seen in the picture below. 

The most important thing - add a little whimsy.  If you're willing to have a chalk board in the middle of your living room, you get to have some fun with it.  I use it to post the menu when I'm having people over for dinner, to leave little notes for my fiance.  I jot down what I need at the store, and then just take a picture of my grocery list with my cell phone.

I hope you enjoy this project as much as I did.  It's been a huge success with the grandchildren who love coming to JoJo and Papa's house where they can create for hours on end. 

Allison



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