Before I give the details, I have to state my position on chalkboards in the kitchen. I think chalkboards (and dry erase boards) are a super handy way of jotting down notes in the kitchen. We had a dry erase board in our last apartment and loved it. The thing I DON'T like is that every house tour and magazine spread seems to have a big, black, chalkboard wall in the kitchen. It's time to add some color!
That's why I was thrilled to find this super easy chalkboard paint recipe from Martha Stewart. It takes about two minutes to mix and costs less than $4. Because it's so easy, I didn't take any pictures...I think you're all smart enough to figure it out!
TIME: 2 minutes
COST: less than $5
- 2 tbs non-sanded grout (per cup of paint)
- 150 grit sandpaper (UPDATED 10/17/11)
MIX your grout and paint, making sure there aren't any lumps. My paint got a little thicker with the grout added. Once mixed, roll/brush on like normal. Do a couple of coats so that it's evenly covered. Let dry.
Once it's dry, (I let mine dry about 45min) rub a piece of chalk across the whole board to condition it. Erase with a damp (NOT WET) sponge and you're all set!
The un-sanded grout ($4.50 at Home Depot, Lowes, etc) comes in a pretty big box. You only need a few tablespoons of it depending on the size of your project so you'll definitely have tons left over to share with a friend or for future projects.
The paint doesn't store well so make sure you only make as much as you need. For the green chalkboard (20"x24), I used a full cup of paint and had a lot left over that I threw away. For the orange board (same size) I reduced the mix and used 1/4 cup of paint and 1/2 tbs of grout. I just barely had enough so next time I might try 1/2 cup of paint and 1tbs grout. Remember, you can always mix more if you need it so it's better to start off with a little so you're not just throwing paint away. The green paint I used was actually glossy, gloppy paint from years ago. I thinned it with water but it was still pretty thick. In the end, it came out with a more chalkboard-like feel than the orange eggshell paint. Both erase well so I don't think it matters what kind of paint you use.
UPDATE 10/17/11 - WAIT!!!! I forgot to mention, you need to lightly sand the board with 150 grit sandpaper when it's dry. Afterwards, condition the board by rubbing a piece of WHITE chalk sideways across the whole board. Erase.
After having our board for two months I've learned that you should NOT use dark chalk on light colored boards. I tried using red, green, and blue chalk on the yellow board and it left a faint stain. It's only noticeable if you get close to the board, but if you used the dark chalk continually you'd definitely end up with a ruined board. Stick with lighter colors on lighter boards. We use yellow, orange, and white on the yellow board without a problem. The other two boards are fine with colors and erase well. Every now and then, clean the board with a damp, NOT wet, cloth.
PICTURE UPDATE 10/17/11 - The yellow board is fine as long as we use white and yellow chalk. The other two boards erase fine with all colors.
NOW, have fun :)