Make Your Own Blackboard Paint in any Colour

June 06, 2017

This "teacher-esque" home décor project will keep your family up-to-date, creative and fun.

The centuries-old blackboard is making a resurgence into the modern home. With the increasing availability of specialty paint, the blackboard has become a versatile home décor tool, transforming empty walls that have proven difficult to decorate. 

The kitchen is one of the most popular spots to paint a blackboard. For the aspiring chef or dinner hostess, blackboards make functional menus. They’re also great places to jot down the ever-evolving grocery list. If you don’t have wall space in your kitchen, the end of a cabinet or the fridge are alternative spaces to paint. Transforming a traditional backsplash into a blackboard is also a unique option. 
In the front entrance, a blackboard makes a convenient message centre, and a home-office wall can always benefit from a calendar. Children will love having an expansive blackboard to create a mural in a bedroom or a playroom. Add one to the craft or laundry area, two possible locations where a blackboard can be functional and decorative.

Break Away From Black

Photo courtesy of Rust-Oleum
Companies such as Benjamin Moore and Rust-Oleum offer blackboard paint in a spectrum of colours, while Krylon has a spray paint in basic black and vintage green. An off-white blackboard, styled with colourful sidewalk chalk, will set you apart from the crowd while blending seamlessly with your décor. Experiment with the subtle and varied tones of grey to give your blackboard a softer appearance, or forget subtle and get wild with a bold blue or tangerine hue. 
If the right shade or tone remains elusive, mixing up custom blackboard paint is a surprisingly simple process. 

Make your own paint

  • You will need 2 Tbsp. unsanded tile grout per 1 cup matte latex paint. 
  • Mix the paint and grout in one-to-two cup increments.
  • Use a grout mixer to combine the paint and grout. (Paint mixer attachments are available for drills, which will make the task easier.)
  • Properly prime your wall and then roll on your homemade blackboard paint Once the paint has cured, it will need to be lightly sanded with 150-grit sandpaper and wiped clean.
Regardless of the paint you choose to use, season your new blackboard surface before you start practising any fancy typography. Take the broad side of a piece of white chalk and rub down the entire area, then rub it clean with a dry cloth. Don’t neglect seasoning the surface or a ghost of your first design will permanently remain. 

Mastering Chalk

Deciding what to draw or write on a new blackboard is only half the battle. As a décor centrepiece, the content should look attractive, and mastering the chalk may take a bit of practise. Here are a few tips that will help transform even the most novice chalk artist. 

  • Lightly sketch out the design a few times 
  • Use a level and a ruler to keep things straight and symmetrical
  • A wet Q-tip is the perfect tool for cleaning up lines 
  • To generate a paint-like effect, keep the chalk wet 
  • Sharpen the chalk 
  • Give chalk markers a try 


Alternative Surfaces

Photo courtesy of Rust-Oleum
If you’re a commitment-phobe, painting a wall may seem daunting. Think about using blackboard paint in your home décor accents instead. 
  • A painted playroom table can become an instant checkerboard, game of tic-tac-toe or artist’s easel 
  • Create an erasable pantry system by painting labels on jars 
  • Coat a serving tray for easy identification of appetizers 
  • Customizable placemats make a unique adornment to the dinner table 
  • Update a filing cabinet by turning it into a blackboard surface 


Just have fun and remember – you can always erase and start fresh.