Paint a Chalkboard

I found the chalkboard paint much easier to use than I thought it would be.  I have read that it comes in various formulations, spray on and paint on and I even read about one that you bake after applying.  I used a paint on that you use much like regular acrylic paints and it washes up with soap and water.   One note, it dries quickly, so you have to work pretty fast.

I used:

  • small clipboard I had laying around
  • chalkboard paint
  • paintbrush (I used a 3/4 inch with a pretty firm bristle)
  • stick on stencils
  • acrylic paint in forest green and metallic copper
  • Liquitex Gloss Super Heavy Gel
  • zip tie


My husband came up with the idea of using a zip tie to hold the clip open while I painted the “board” part.  He’s so smart!  I have to say, it didn’t occur to me but once he mentioned it I had one of those DUH moments.  So simple and elegant a solution.  That’s why I have to keep him around, he’s the other half of my brain.  It worked like a charm.

Cover your work area.  I like to use plastic grocery bags (which I use for everything since they’re free).  I did this project on the seat of one of my bar chairs as it’s just the right height for me to work and a good size for a small project like this.  Yes, it would be nice to have a nice big craft room with a nice big work table, but since I don’t, you never know where I will be doing a project.  🙂

My clipboard was made of that pressed board stuff (I’m not exactly sure what it is).  I don’t know if the chalkboard paint will adhere well to plastic, so I cannot recommend that as a surface to try.  I didn’t prime mine first, so it took two good coats and I added a third for good measure.  The clipboard really sucked up the first coat.  I also painted each coat a different direction. I have no idea if that made any difference, but it seemed like a good idea to me.  I could really see my brush strokes while I was working, however when it was dry they were much less noticeable, so I don’t think it’s a big issue, especially since this is a gift for a child.  I somehow doubt he’s going to be calling me complaining.

You have to let the paint dry 1 hour between applications per directions on the jar.  Then let it cure 24 hours after the last application.  It will be dry to the touch though, after an hour, so you can finish the rest of it an hour after your last coat of chalkboard paint.

By the way, I didn’t tape off the metal part of the clipboard.  I thought about it, but it was so small, it was difficult to do.  I just tried to be careful, but I did get a little bit on the edges.  However, the paint just scraped right off after everything was dry.

I painted the back of the clipboard with 2 coats of forest green acrylic paint.  When it was dry, I stenciled his name on the back using some little plastic stencils I bought at the craft store on sale last Christmas.  Those have been so useful!  I used a metallic copper color paint that really popped on the green.  The only problem was that I got a little of the copper on the green, as my hand is not that steady.  But after I took off the stencils I went over the green paint again and covered the mistake.  You can’t see it at all.  All’s well that ends well.  🙂

After the last coats dried I put 2 coats of the Liquitex Gloss Super Heavy Gel on, allowing it to dry between coats.  I thin this down quite a bit, putting a little dab in a bowl and then a glass of water and mixing them.  If it looks gobby on the project I add a little water to my brush and thin it out.  I have been using this on things instead of Mod Podge because it doesn’t seem to get tacky.  So far I’ve really liked it.  It dries clear.  I still use Mod Podge for things too, but for something like this that might get wet and is going to get a lot of banging around with a little boy, I thought this might be better.

The last thing to do is to rub chalk all over the board to condition it.  Wipe it clean.

I have to admit, it looks like a chalkboard, and it writes like a chalkboard.  I’m very excited by the idea of making more things with chalkboard paint!  I hope some of you will share some of the things you make with this cool stuff.  🙂




  1. Wendy says:

    It looks great and I bet he loves it! I use the water-based chalkboard paint too and you’re right – it always dries fast.

    • Susie says:

      I was a little unprepared for how quickly it dries, but then again, it makes for a very quick project! Now I’m thinking of all sorts of things I can do with it. 🙂

  2. Mrs A. says:

    looks good. like the colour combinations. must give this a try too. Hugs Mrs A.

  3. LDSVenus says:

    Cool idea, I have wondered about that chalkboard paint, nice to see someone use it that I know :P.

    • Susie says:

      Yes, it’s so easy to use. I’m going to do another project with it, for his sister. He liked it.

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