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Attempting Aloha: How to Make Your Own Chalkboard Paint - DIY

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

How to Make Your Own Chalkboard Paint - DIY

                                       

Aloha!

Today I'm going to teach you how to make your very own chalkboard paint. FROM SCRATCH! Yep, I first learned the secret ingredient from the craft queen herself via her Martha Stewart Living Magazine.  In their version, they used a flat paint like you would purchase in the paint section at a hardware store, but I really just wanted a smaller quantity to do a few Honeysuckle accents around my house and for Valentine's gifts, so I thought I'd do some experimenting on my own with regular old acrylic craft paints and different proportions. 

Here's what you will need:
Dry Non-Sanded Grout (purchased this huge tin at our local City Mill hardware store for $1.50...this will probably last me forever)
Acrylic craft paints - White, Black, and Bright Magenta (Apple Barrel line by Plaid, found at Wal-mart)
NOTE: Our craft stores here on the island are somewhat lacking, so I wasn't able to find anything perfectly matching Honeysuckle. I will give you my "formula" with those combined colors.
Measuring spoons and cups
Mixing cup or bowl
Paint brush or stick to stir



Step 1) Measure 1.5 teaspoons of the non-sanded grout and put in your mixing cup (this is very dusty, so please do this in a well-ventilated area).



Step 2) Pour in 1/4 C. of the  Pepto Bismol   Bright Magenta craft paint.



Step 3) Add 1.5 teaspoons of white acrylic craft paint.



At that point, I really liked the color, but I was going for perfection, and I had the Pantone website up and was trying my very best to match what I saw on the screen. I could tell I needed to mute it slightly with some black.

Step 4)  Add 1/8 teaspoon black acrylic craft paint.



Step 5) Stir for a couple minutes with a cheap paintbrush or stick.


(I'm not really left-handed, but I stink at taking pics with my left hand! ha)

This next pic is to show you that the consistency WILL BE SLIGHTLY LUMPY still. The grout is very fine, so when you brush it on, it spreads right out and isn't noticable at all.


Step 6) Apply it with a sponge brush.


(Hey, look! I took a pic with my left hand!)

You will need between 1 and 3 coats depending on your medium. For my wooden calendar, I used 3 coats on top of a piece of 1/8" MDF (I primed with Zinsser water-based primer).

As with any chalkboard paint, you will need to prep the surface once it is completely dry by rubbing a piece of chalk across the entire board (easiest if you turn the chalk on its side). Then erase completely, and it's ready to go!




I also used it on some cardboard cereal boxes and made chalkboard Chinese take-out boxes. I've been planning to do this for my daughter to take to school as gifts and was excited to have some Honeysuckle to use!

This time I only did one layer, and I did not prime it. I just cut the box and painted directly on the inside with the chalkboard paint. Then I used the Chinese take-out box pattern I designed and cut it out.




So with that one bowl of Honeysuckle, I covered a 28"x18" board x 3 coats, and a 12"x15" cardboard box x 3! Total cost for this chalkboard paint project is about $.35.  I can handle that.  :)

This opens up SO many new chalkboard color possibilities! I'd love to hear what you're chalking up!

Aloha,
Charlie

Update: I was asked how long I let each coat dry since the spray paint chalkboard stuff says to let it dry one day between coats. Truth-be-told, I'm super impatient, and I was in a rush! I painted each layer, then used my blow dryer to dry it until it was really dry to sight and touch. Seriously dries really fast! Just like any old acrylic paint project! Yet another advantage to DIY'ing!  Sweet. ;)

65 Comments:

At February 16, 2011 at 11:26 AM , Blogger Margaret said...

whats the ratio of paint to Dry Non-Sanded Grout if your only using one color?

 
At February 16, 2011 at 11:46 AM , Blogger Attempting Aloha said...

Aloha, Margaret! It's just the 1/4 C. paint to 1.5 teaspoons dry non-sanded grout. I just added the extra bits of paint in to change my color, and they weren't enough of a change to affect the "chalkability", so I didn't bother adding more grout. :)

Aloha and hope that helps!

charlie

 
At February 16, 2011 at 11:51 AM , Blogger Mrs Bishop said...

LOVE this idea!

 
At February 16, 2011 at 12:11 PM , Blogger Carly said...

I saw you on Tatertots, or was it CSI!? This is just too creative for me but I love the idea!

 
At February 16, 2011 at 1:36 PM , Blogger Jessica said...

So cute! I love the possibilities!! Thanks so much for sharing.

 
At February 16, 2011 at 1:39 PM , Blogger Liz @ SageandCocoa.blogspot.com said...

That is awesome! I love checking your blog!

 
At February 16, 2011 at 2:37 PM , Blogger Eve said...

I LOVE chalkboard paint. What a great idea!

 
At February 16, 2011 at 6:05 PM , Blogger A Vintage Vine said...

Love it! You made that color perfectly!

 
At February 16, 2011 at 6:29 PM , Blogger Brook Holden said...

I have been waiting for someone to come up with how to make chalkboard paint on the cheap. Thank You!!!

 
At February 16, 2011 at 10:39 PM , Blogger Melanie said...

I recently stumbled across your blog and live on Oahu also. You mentioned the crummy craft stores here, which I totally agree! I am glad I am not the only one that feels this way.

 
At February 16, 2011 at 11:53 PM , Blogger My Little Pumpkin said...

new follower! pls follow back :)
www.mylittlepumpkin808.blogspot.com

We live in Ewa Beach! wow! small world!

 
At February 17, 2011 at 8:59 AM , Blogger Barbara @ Live, Laugh, Love, Recycle said...

It's projects like this that make me wish I had kids just so that I could use them as an excuse to make cute valentine boxes. Is that wrong? I work with ALL men, and I think that the chalkboard paint and ingenious Chinese boxes would be lost on them. Also, I think I may have fixed my email problem, so I am giving it a test drive. :-)

 
At February 18, 2011 at 6:46 AM , Blogger Tiff said...

Thanks for the recipe!! I love that we can now make chalkboards in our own colors. YIPPEE!

 
At February 18, 2011 at 11:12 AM , Blogger Maridith @ Strictly Homemade said...

I love this!! I get tired of using just black chalkboard paint an green reminds me too much of school. Thanks again!!

 
At February 18, 2011 at 11:45 AM , Blogger Liz @ SageandCocoa.blogspot.com said...

I love reading your blog and think you have a great vision. I want to present you with the Sylish Blogger Award. I hope you will accept- because you deserve it!

Check it out!
http://sageandcocoa.blogspot.com/2011/02/blog-awards.html

 
At February 19, 2011 at 12:11 AM , Blogger Kat from California said...

Thanks for sharing the secret.

 
At February 20, 2011 at 1:08 PM , Blogger Jamie said...

What a great idea. Thank you for sharing. I'm your newest follower. I'm having my first link party tomorrow (Monday). It would be great if you could stop by and post your project. http://diyhshp.blogspot.com/

 
At February 20, 2011 at 3:10 PM , Blogger Wife and Mother. said...

So cool. I love how you can customize the color, and it's so much cheaper than the pre-made chalkboard paint in their pre-made colors. Genius!

 
At February 21, 2011 at 7:06 PM , Blogger Heaven's Walk - said...

Hi Charlie! What a wonderfully crafty tutorial! Love the idea of using different colors! Thank you so much for sharing, girlie! I'm definitely going to try this one. Happy NTT to you!

xoxo laurie

 
At February 21, 2011 at 9:49 PM , Blogger pogonip said...

Thanks for the tute! I've gotta try this--I've been wanting to make a menu blackboard, only not black, lol!

 
At February 22, 2011 at 10:06 AM , Blogger Ani said...

That's pretty amazing. I always have craft paint around. :) I'll definitely be bookmarking this for future reference. Thanks!

 
At February 22, 2011 at 11:13 AM , Blogger Parenting in blue jeans said...

Such a good idea! I would love to post this recipe to my readers! How do you feel about that if I link back to you for credit? It would be on this blog...

http://kidsonthegrand.com/2011/02/20/easy-decor-for-kids-rooms/

 
At February 22, 2011 at 12:28 PM , Blogger Mama Peck said...

Great information!! Wouldn't you know I just spent WAY too much on a small bottle of red chalkboard paint at JoAnns a couple of weeks ago. Rats. Well, never again! Thanks so much for sharing this one.

 
At February 22, 2011 at 12:43 PM , Blogger Sarah said...

awesome idea!!

 
At February 22, 2011 at 7:10 PM , Blogger TheCraftInMe said...

Wow, this is so good to know! Thanks for sharing the "recipie".

 
At February 22, 2011 at 7:52 PM , Blogger Catch A Falling Star said...

That is fabulous!I always wished I had a Turquoise chalkboard...now I can!

 
At February 24, 2011 at 2:26 PM , Blogger VINTAGE said...

You can take also normal acrylic paint - matt varnish. Thank you for sharing your tip!

Tine

 
At February 24, 2011 at 4:53 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yahoooo! Finally, I have the info I've been wanting. Love the pink!

 
At February 25, 2011 at 8:12 PM , Blogger Mimi said...

I used cereal boxes to make chalkboard tags also. They are great I really think using satin latex paint with the non sand grout makes a better texture for a chalkboard - but that's for my bigger projects!

http://messymimi.blogspot.com/2011/01/i-cant-help-it-i-love-my-chalkboard.html

 
At February 26, 2011 at 3:41 PM , Blogger mariondee-designs said...

Thanks so much for this post. I read about it at 'Inspired by you' and popped over to see your post. It was just a few days ago I was thinking why does chalkboard paint have to be black! So I was really excited to read this! take care, Maryann

 
At February 27, 2011 at 12:26 PM , Blogger Tiffany said...

I saw you on tip junkie's site, and this is SUCH a good idea! I'm gunna try it too!

Tiffany
http://itsacowgirlthing.blogspot.com/

 
At February 27, 2011 at 2:03 PM , Blogger House of 5 said...

Love this! Wanted to let you know I featured you on my Sunday Stroll!!

 
At February 28, 2011 at 11:44 AM , Blogger Niki said...

Thanks for the tutorial!! Love the gifts you made!!

 
At April 6, 2011 at 12:53 AM , Blogger kelli said...

Aloha Charlie! LOVE this idea, thank you so much for sharing. I hope you don't mind, I posted a link to this on my blog. Hopefully they have these items on Kauai, I can't wait to try it!

http://lilmisskaiya.blogspot.com/2011/04/chalkboard-paint.html

 
At April 24, 2011 at 7:24 PM , Blogger ~Iffy~ said...

Hello!! I am stopping by from the Chalk Talk Party and I love this idea-I saw it before but can't remember where. Great blog! Can you use this with latex paint? Thanks
~Iffy~
www.stayathomenation.blogspot.com

 
At April 24, 2011 at 9:25 PM , Blogger lauren@warmandfuzzy said...

HI stopping by from the Chalk Talk Party. I LOVE this idea!! I would love to do an aqua chalkboard in my eli's room and I have just found a way. Mind if I link this up to my blog?

lauren
www.warmfuzzypurpleandgold.blogspot.com

 
At April 26, 2011 at 8:15 PM , Blogger Danielle said...

I love this!! What a great idea. I just wanted to let you know I am your newest follower and I will be featuring this on Friday. It is such a great tip. Stop by and grab a feature button:>

 
At April 28, 2011 at 9:24 PM , Blogger Danielle said...

I just wanted to let you know that I am featuring this on my blog today. Stop by and grab a button:>

 
At May 17, 2011 at 5:58 PM , Blogger Kim said...

Awesomeness!! Thank you and I love the color you came up with!

 
At June 10, 2011 at 10:12 AM , Blogger cursivearts said...

There is part of me that wants to use this to paint one wall of my studio the same color as the others but with chalk paint, so I can just sketch on the entire wall.

 
At August 27, 2011 at 1:13 PM , Blogger iowegian said...

What a super fun and easy way to make my own custom colored chalkboards! I've been wanting to paint the backside of my son's door with chalkboard paint but the $$ was too much for me. Found this yesterday and painted it today! Thank you!

 
At September 27, 2011 at 8:56 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I used this today! I'm so glad you posted this!

http://swanfeet.wordpress.com/2011/09/27/the-chalkboard-tray/

 
At October 9, 2011 at 3:53 PM , Blogger Ayshia S. said...

Is this dishwasher safe? I would love to use this on a few wine glasses for my next ladies night!!

 
At October 30, 2011 at 11:57 PM , Blogger Melodia said...

So glad to find this post. Will try it on a few smaller pieces when our place is finished in Kapolei. Aloha!

 
At November 8, 2011 at 3:00 AM , Anonymous Claire said...

I must be doing something wrong... I used non glossy acryclic paint, grout (in Belgium it does not say sanded or not)but it looks powdery like your stuff) and painted two coats. Cured with white chalk. Try to wipe it off with a damp cloth. The white dust from the chalk jsut sticks to the paint... Arrrgh! What did I do wrong? The wall is purple. Thanks for any advice.

 
At November 8, 2011 at 9:52 AM , Anonymous Claire said...

Hi Charlie,

Thanks for your reply. There is no option to leave an email with the profile... :-( It's blog@8archer.com . Will try again with a new coat of paint, and no wet cloth... just a dry one.

 
At December 30, 2011 at 11:33 AM , Blogger Chandra Chinnis said...

Great Idea!!!!!! I have been wanting to do a chalkboard in a different color. Thanks

 
At January 25, 2012 at 4:13 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Pepto Bismol...very funny!

 
At February 9, 2012 at 12:27 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I love this idea but one question: does the grout have to be white?? And I've read other people use latex paint...is there a big difference?

 
At February 13, 2012 at 12:57 PM , Blogger Jamie said...

Hello, I love your pink chalkboard...LOVE IT! I especially appreciate you sharing the paint "recipe"- I am inspired to make some and will be doing so very soon :0) I hope it's okay, I've featured your pretty pink chalkboard calender in a chalkboard paint round-up along with some other clever chalkboard paint projects. You can see it here:

http://jamiebrock.hubpages.com/hub/Clever-Crafts-Using-Chalkboard-Paint

Thank you so much for sharing!

 
At February 16, 2012 at 11:55 AM , Anonymous Ellie@Fit for the Soul said...

omgshhh this is awwesssommmmeeeeeeeee!!!!!!!!!!! Thank you for sharing! :D I am wanting to do this the cheaper way for my wwedding~rather than buying a bunch of chalkboards. I have a martha stewart kinnnda bright greenish and lavender color. Also, you're saying that this words on anyyyyyyy surface? So it's okay if I use one of those unfinished cheap woods from Michaels/craft stores, right? :)

 
At February 17, 2012 at 4:36 PM , Blogger Rachel said...

Oh wow, this idea is FABULOUS!!! Thanks so much for sharing!

(I am an island girl living in Illinois, so I have to tell you I love your blog title :)

 
At February 25, 2012 at 5:19 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Can this mixture of chalk paint be used on furniture?

 
At April 13, 2012 at 6:53 AM , Blogger Blessed x3 said...

Can you just make white chalkboard paint? I need to draw & paint it. Thanks.

 
At April 13, 2012 at 6:54 AM , Blogger Blessed x3 said...

I forgot to add a penguin. My son needed me. Thanks.

 
At April 13, 2012 at 7:22 AM , Blogger Attempting Aloha said...

Yep, should work in any color!

Aloha,
Charlie

 
At April 14, 2012 at 4:39 PM , Blogger Blessed x3 said...

Thanks. I brought everything I need to draw then paint the penguin with chalkboard paint. I will post it on my blog when I am done. It will be awhile. I have a birthday party to plan & get through first.

 
At July 26, 2012 at 8:46 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I used indoor/outdoor latex paint and did a BIG piece of scrap plywood, nailed it to our patio door and now the kids have a chalk board outside in addition to using the sidewalk for their artwork. So easy and fun. Thanks for posting this!

 
At August 17, 2012 at 6:10 PM , Blogger Hay Hay said...

Can these be used on porcelain, or do I have to add anything?

Let me know if you can!

 
At March 14, 2013 at 5:45 AM , Blogger Patrice Kelley said...

Can you do this on the refrigerator? Thank you for your recipe! Cannot wait to try it!! =)

 
At March 14, 2013 at 5:47 AM , Blogger Patrice Kelley said...

Can you do this on the refrigerator? Thank you for your recipe! Cannot wait to try it!! =)

 
At March 14, 2013 at 5:47 AM , Blogger Patrice Kelley said...

Can you do this on the refrigerator? Thank you for your recipe! Cannot wait to try it!! =)

 
At March 16, 2013 at 10:20 AM , Blogger Charlie Attemptingaloha said...

I'm not sure, Patrice...it seems like it might scratch off if it wasn't primed really well. But if it's an old fridge, it couldn't hurt to test it in an inconspicuous area!

 
At June 15, 2013 at 3:18 PM , Blogger katiebelle said...

Thanks for the tutorial!!! I just painted over an old ugly rooster pic I had and I'm waiting for the first coat of paint to dry as we speak. Can't wait until it's done. Now my fiancé and I can write love notes and grocery lists on it in the kitchen. Thanks again!

 
At September 30, 2014 at 1:02 PM , Blogger Kadia Rose said...

That's quite thick. Thanks!

 

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I LOVE your comments! They're the reason I blog. If you've used one of my tutorials or found them helpful, I'd also love to see pics! You can post them on my FB page or send an email: attemptingaloha @ gmail . com

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