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5 Tips For Painting a Chalkboard Wall

5 Quick Tips For Painting a Chalkboard Wall

Yesterday, I showed you the before and after of my awkward kitchen wall, which I transformed with blackboard paint. It was the first time I'd used this type of paint, and I absolutely love the transformation it's made in the kitchen. Along the way, I picked up a few tips that I thought might benefit other chalkboard wall painters.

Whether you're a chalkboard painting pro or a newbie like myself, check out my tips for some advice on getting the most out of the experience.


  • Decide how you're going to deal with outlets, as well as plate covers. I initially followed my usual plan when painting:  I removed my outlet covers and set them aside so they wouldn't get paint on them. I soon realized that white plate covers were going to look glaringly odd against a jet black wall, so I ended up giving them a few coats of paint before sticking them on. I also painted over the outlets. Yep, that's right. I know I'm going to have to do some scraping later when I change the color, but for now it blends in perfectly and creates a cohesive surface. The outlet is actually in this photo — and you can't see it at all.
  • A little doesn't go a long way. One small can of Rust-Oleum Chalkboard Paint barely covered an 8-by-5-foot wall in our house. To get a smooth and even surface, you're going to have to apply a lot of paint. I put on two thick coats, and then did lots of touch up work. If you're doing a large surface, definitely calculate generously when it comes to your paint supply.
  • Use a good brush. I used the Green Toad paintbrush, which did a great job. Since the contrast between ceiling and wall will be so great with a chalkboard wall, invest in an edging tool and a high quality paintbrush. It will make a huge difference.
  • Be prepared for a stinky space. Since I always use low- or no-VOC paint, I'd forgotten how much I hated the smell of paint in general. And chalkboard paint smells. A lot. If I'd taken more time to research my paint, I'd probably have gone with Hudson Paint instead, which is low-odor As it is, I can still detect a faint paint smell emanating from the wall, and I painted it nearly two weeks ago.
  • Plan other activities for the day. Why? Because this project doesn't take that long. I spent four hours from start to finish on this wall, with time off in between for the first coat to dry. So don't worry:  you can still have a gorgeous chalkboard wall and enjoy your weekend.


Join The Conversation
Ovid19 Ovid19 4 years
Elka, did the smell ever go away? I painted my wall with Rustoleum Chalkboard paint about 3 weeks ago and the smell is still pretty strong? Any tips? Many thanks!
JoAnn3064802 JoAnn3064802 4 years
I live in an apartment and would like to put chalkboard paint as a back splash, how difficult is it to cover when I move out?
Elka-Karl Elka-Karl 6 years
That sounds very cool! Definitely post a picture on the community page of your project. I'd love to see it.
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