barb blairbefore & after basics

before and after basics: chalk it up

by Barb

Chalkboard paint is just plain fun in a can. I mean, who wouldn’t want a whole wall to write sassy notes on, a chest of drawers that can change on a whim or a little table that says “lovely” on top? My hand is raised, folks! I love the options that chalkboard paint offers, and it is now available in a variety of fantastic colors at Hudson Paint. Chalkboard paint is not just for kids, but it does release the inner child in all of us! Today on Before & After Basics, we are going to draw outside the lines for a bit. — Barb

CLICK HERE for the full how-to after the jump!


  • chalkboard paint
  • sponge roller
  • paintbrush
  • rags
  • paint tray
  • drop cloth
  • painter’s tape


1. Make sure that the surface you are painting, whether it be walls or a piece of furniture, is clean and free of all dirt and dust. Smooth surfaces work best so if there are any bumps and bruises, be sure to sand and smooth them before starting.

2. Tape off any areas where you do not want chalkboard paint.

3. Apply chalkboard paint. For all of the chalkboard pieces that I have done, I cut in the outer line with a brush and roll the large surfaces with a foam roller. The foam roller gives the smoothest finish out there, and you will want to overlap your brushed area for the smoothest finish.

4. Allow the first coat to dry for 4 to 24 hours. Drying times vary according to the product, so read all labels carefully. Depending on your project, one coat may be plenty, but most of the time you will need at least two coats.

5. After the second coat has been applied, and you are happy with the coverage, allow the piece to cure and dry for 3 days before writing on it with chalk. Some manufacturers suggest “priming” your piece by covering the entire surface with chalk and then erasing it before it is ready for use. I personally have never done that, but wanted to put it out there :)

Now you are ready to get witty with it, and doodle away!

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  • As someone who moves often and doesn’t really have the option of painting a wall with chalkboard paint, I am loving the idea of a tabletop! Looks cute.

  • Unlike Danielle, I am soooo tired of painting everything with chalkboard paint. I will be delighted when this fad has passed.

  • i’m in the process of painting the side of a tall kitchen cabinet with chalkboard paint so my son can entertain himself while in the kitchen with me. I’m adding magnetic paint underneath the chalkboard for more versatility unfortunately, i’m on the 3rd coat and still isn’t strong enough! glad to hear 2 coats should do it for when i finally get to the chalkboard paint.

  • Love this! But I have a question about the piece in the background… I think those are anthropologie knobs and I was wondering what you do about cutting down the screw. I’ve used anthro knobs a lot, but don’t know how to cut them shorter… thx!! :)

  • I love this idea! I’ve wanted to play with chalkboard paint, but don’t have a wall I would want to put it on. A small table top is a wonderful idea!

  • Do you think it would be possible to paint metal with this? I’ve thought about making my horrible old refrigerator into a huge chalk board, but am not sure if it would work out alright.

  • We used Hudson paint to turn our ugly closet doors into prettiness for a home office, and it was great! Super easy and went on beautifully. We primed the doors first and even with the slightly uneven surface it turned out lovely.

  • I have been wanting to paint something…*anything* with chalkboard paint! I need to get to it already. On a side note, I’m loving the black top & white table base against that sweet turquoise! :>

  • ooh, love the chalk board paint, but also really love the blue dresser in the background with the cute knobs–are they from Anthropologie?

    • Leslie, I order all of my knobs from trade sources in bulk, but I do believe Anthro has these knobs too!

      Lisette, A lot of the knobs that I use have the long screws as well, and there is an easy fix. Just take some bolt cutters and trim off the excess bolt and smooth the rough edges with a metal file. Just make sure you either measure first or cut them off after they are installed to make sure that you get he right length!

      Sarah, unfortunately I have heard that about the magnetic paint. I don’t think it matters how many coats…it just doesn’t seem to get strong enough. The chalkboard paint on the other hand will be super great!

      Thank you all so much for the sweet comments about the table, and for all of your extra ideas as well! It is good to be among so many creative souls! xo

  • Chalk Board paint is genius. I love the idea of leaving little love notes on doors, tables, walls . . . and for someone who has trouble remembering my grocery list, I am tempted to break out the paint and give the front of my fridge a new inspired look!

  • what a great idea!! I would never have thought to put chalkboard paint on a table! this would be so cute for leaving notes for a loved one, with food of course!

  • what do you do when someone sets a glass on chalkboard paint and you have a ring stain set into the porous paint????

  • I love the look of my chalkboard wall but for ease of use would actually like to replace it with a floor to ceiling whiteboard. Would love to hear if anyone knows of a resource, tips on installation, etc.

  • Love it! Thanks for your great tips.
    Jeanine, Home Depot sells whiteboard paint. It is a little pricey, but works great. My daughter painted a wall in my grandson’s room with it!

  • Before chalkboard paint became widely available, I used plain old flat exterior house paint. It takes 2 coats.

    My experience is that it’s cheaper and holds up better than the specialty paint.

    Totally fun either way!

  • Thanks for the great tut!

    I was painting the back of an old vintage frame I had laying around when the wine kicked in and I decided to paint the top side of my coffee table. I’m giving it three weeks before it’s completely adorned with genitalia, but damn it if it doesn’t make my old boring ikea furniture look totally neat!

    • LJ…oh dear! sounds like good times!

      Damaris, what a great idea! I’ve seen the chalkboard wall stickers before and totally loved them!

      Jeanine, I was just talking about painting a whiteboard wall with my daughter and her friend. Roseanna is right, home Depot sells it and I hear it works great! Good Luck!

      Linda, I have done this before on old salvaged doors…and I think the black paint works well too. I find that they both hold up really well.

      Laporte Dave, oh no! I think once porous chalkboard paint has been “ringed” {made up word!} you may just have to give it a quick coat refresher.

  • Painted my Stainless Steel Fridge with the Chalkboard paint over the weekend. Saw it on Good Luck Charlie.. It looks so awesome. At first I was getting all sorts of comments on my facebook, such as who ruins theres stainless stell fridge with chalk paint, and “YOUR NUTS” lol Well I went ahead with my instincts and it looks fantastic.. I’ve gotten 28 comments in 5 minutes how awesome it looks and I’m so glad that I did it.

  • I just painted a wall with the chalk board paint, and Im so anxious for my little one to use it. So, if what will happen if I dont wait the recommended 3 days before writing on it?