Our Top Chalkboard Paint Ideas

Go ahead, write on the walls — and the table and the cabinets and the ceiling. Flip through our favorite ways to use chalkboard paint at home.
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May 08, 2015
By: Liz Gray

Photo By: Courtesy of Society Social

Photo By: Anissa Darnell, Julie Holloway

Photo By: Photo by Dana Damewood

Photo By: Design by Lauren Liess; photo by Helen Norman

Photo By: WallCandy Arts

Photo By: Benjamin Moore

Photo By: Marian Parsons

Photo By: Marian Parsons

Photo By: Marian Parsons

Photo By: Benjamin Moore

Photo By: Courtesy of IdeaPaint

Photo By: Marian Parsons

Photo By: Photo courtesy of Kelli Wilson

Photo By: The Nester

Photo By: Design by Maureen Tilibio; Silhouette image courtesy of Susie Harrington of Petite Prints

Photo By: Marian Parsons

Photo By: Design by Lauren Liess; Photo by Helen Norman

Photo By: Janell Beals

Photo By: Benjamin Moore

Photo By: Julie Ryan, Less Than Perfect Life of Bliss

Black Is the New Black

Forget white walls — bright accessories make a bigger impact when arranged against a black chalkboard wall. Bonus: The wall art (and its shelf life) is totally up to you!

Just Add Art

When creating a gallery wall, leave room to create your own artwork. Blogger Janel Beals painted her walls with chalkboard paint, then included empty black frames to house of-the-moment notes and quotes.

Chalk on the Ceiling

When creating a chalkboard surface, don't forget the fifth wall. Get inspired while you sleep with a bold, hand-drawn graphic, like this Pegasus seen on Home by Novogratz.

Custom Quotations

Fill the void behind your sofa with an artful display of a favorite quote. Designers Anissa Darnell and Julie Holloway of Milk and Honey Home painted panels of wood with chalkboard paint, then framed them with rustic wood and stenciled on a meaningful saying.

Create Found-Object Art

When the design team at Birdhouse Interior Design opted not to use an original door in this 1910 farmhouse remodel, they repurposed it as an art piece in the bathroom. It's coated in chalkboard paint and scrawled with a whimsical Dr. Seuss quote.

Cool Kitchen Art Space

Here's a new way to display kids' artwork on the fridge: Let them draw on it! Designer Lauren Liess transformed her almond-colored fridge into a functional chalkboard perfect for her son's latest artwork or family grocery lists. Want to paint your own refrigerator? Clean thoroughly, then lightly sand before cracking open the chalkboard paint.

Temporary Memo Board

Create a refrigerator chalkboard, without the commitment, with an eye-catching (and removable) decal.

Art Within Reach

Another option to keep little hands occupied while Mom and Dad cook dinner: chalkboard cabinets. Designer Danielle Colding painted the bottom row of cabinets with chalkboard paint; they're just the right height for this family's two-year-old son.

Dinnertime Doodles

Kids gravitate to forbidden drawing surfaces, like tables and walls. Take away the limits with a chalkboard-painted tabletop.

Chalkboard Backsplash

To help ground a wall filled with nothing but heavy mahogany cabinetry, designer Shaleah Soliven of The Gold Jellybean decided to use chalkboard paint to make the wall both bold and functional. "We use the backsplash to write notes, and the space above the upper cabinets has become our designated calendar area," Shaleah says. "Any grease splatters can simply be wiped away with just a wet rag."

Chalkboard Kitchen Canisters

Glass canisters are practical, inexpensive and readily available, but can be a bit boring. Transform them with chalkboard paint and an easy-to-apply stenciled detail.

Painting Tip

Before you write on your newly painted chalkboard surface, season it to keep writing from being "burned" into the surface. Rub a piece of chalk over the entire surface, then clean the board with a damp cloth and dry thoroughly. Now it's ready to use.

Family Message Center

School days bring hectic fall schedules. Remember soccer practice and piano lessons with a handmade chalkboard for family messages. Use classic black chalk paint, or have it tinted to your favorite hue.

Dressed-Up DIY Chalkboard

Elegant meets humble when a sophisticated gilt frame surrounds an inexpensive DIY chalkboard. Place it in the dining room with a thoughtful greeting for dinner guests, or use it to announce the evening's festivities.

Chalkboard Wine Charms

Wine charms can be a great way to label party guests' glasses if you could just find them! Sabrina Soto has a better way: Paint the base of wineglasses with chalkboard paint, then set out chalk so each partygoer can monogram their stemware.

Typography on the Cheap

Chalkboard paint isn't just for kids. Designer Anastasia Faiella used panels of it in this dining room as a budget-friendly way to incorporate typography. She selected quotes from fine artists and scrawled them in her best cursive.

Continuous Calendar

Dedicate a spot in your home office to a chalkboard calendar. Use chalk pens to draw the calendar shell, then add key dates and appointments each month.

Black Whiteboard

This may look like chalkboard paint, but it's actually a black dry-erase paint. Use markers to come up with your next big idea, then wipe with a damp cloth when you're ready to start fresh.

Chalkboard Storage Container

Transform an ordinary tea tin into a stylish storage container using chalkboard paint. Marian Parsons of Mustard Seed Interiors created this all-purpose storage jar by applying one coat of primer and two coats of chalkboard paint to the surface. "Fill the tin with office supplies, kitchen dry goods or bathroom toiletries," Marian says. Just erase and rename when you change the contents.

Take On Toy Clutter

Don't let toys take over your home — organize them with galvanized buckets outfitted with chalkboard labels like blogger Kelli Wilson did here.

A New Fireplace on the Cheap

When blogger Nester Smith wanted to dress up her traditional gas fireplace, she added chalkboard decals and drew chalk "bricks" to create a modern, whimsical style.

Chalkboard Headboard

Turn a plain piece of wood into a whimsical DIY headboard with chalkboard paint and a handmade stencil, like this one designer Maureen Toribio created. She used dustless chalk to keep pillows and blankets pristine. Silhouette image courtesy of Susie Harrington of Petite Prints

Over-the-Bed Idea Board

For a simpler take on the chalkboard headboard, paint a chalkboard square above the bed, or mount a DIY chalkboard to jot down your best early-morning ideas.

Chalkboard Planters

Inexpensive terra-cotta pots get a playful makeover with chalkboard paint; fill with everything from blooming bulbs to chunky succulents. Or use for budding seedlings — a chalk-scrawled note will help you remember which seeds you sowed.

It's a Jungle in Here

A vintage wallpaper lion walks along a chalkboard lawn in designer Lauren Liess's home — another fun place for her kids to draw and write.

Create a Colorful Chalkboard Dresser

Give a boring old dresser playful, child-friendly style with colorful chalkboard paint. Start by labeling drawers for easy organizing, then let your kids' imaginations do the rest.

Chalkboard Lamps

Create a convenient spot to leave messages for your little one by covering an outdated lamp base with chalkboard paint.

Movable Art

Short on space? Create a movable chalkboard with blackboard fabric that rolls up when not in use. Rub the fabric with chalk before using to "prime" the surface.

Bright Idea

Adding a ring of chalkboard paint and a few words of wisdom to a ho-hum light fixture creates a personal touch in your child's room. The text can be updated as his or her tastes change.

Faux Chalkboards

These bookcovers might look like a chalkboard, but blogger Julie Ryan of Less Than Perfect Life of Bliss faked the look with black cardstock and a white chalk pen. The covers unify the stack of books and provide space for a favorite quote.

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