How to Use Chalkboard Paint on Furniture

Chalkboard paint allows you to turn ordinary surfaces into useful writing slates. Chalkboard-painted surfaces are great for kids because they can draw and doodle endlessly on these surfaces. Adults can leverage chalkboard-painted surfaces to create lists and notes. 

If you’re thinking about using chalkboard paint for your next furniture painting project, look no further. In this post, you’ll discover how to properly apply chalkboard paint on furniture.

Can you use chalkboard paint on furniture?

Although chalkboard paint is often used on walls, you may also apply chalkboard paint on furniture. 

Painting with chalkboard paint on furniture has a variety of useful applications. 

You may, for example, make a blackboard surface on a tabletop to write notes, menus, or play games on (like tic tac toe). It is especially handy in children’s rooms since it allows them to express their creativity without fear of long-term damage: the chalk writing can be quickly wiped away. Aside from tables, it’s great for other relatively large pieces of furniture like dressers, and cabinets. 

Chalkboard paint is also used in a variety of areas other than furniture. It is used in bathrooms in restaurants and public buildings to deter permanent graffiti. Chalkboard paint may also be utilized in commercial kitchens and corporate areas for fast public notes or reminders. Additionally, preschools often use chalkboard paint on certain walls to give children an outlet for their creativity. 

Commercial chalkboard paint is available at hardware stores, and specialist paint shops. Because chalkboard paint is a specialty paint designed for producing blackboard surfaces, it tends to be slightly more expensive than normal paint.

Related: How to Make Chalk Paint for Furniture: 3 Recipes

Why use chalkboard paint?

Chalkboard paint is popular among DIY enthusiasts and homeowners for a few reasons. Let’s look at some of the motives for people’s use of chalkboard paint:

Art and Creativity

Blackboard paint provides you the opportunity to customize and express your creativity on anything, including walls, furniture, and even little decorative items. On the painted surface, you may doodle, draw pictures, or create any other artwork to your liking.

Interactive Communication

Chalkboard paint encourages collaborative conversation in homes, companies, and classrooms. You may use it to leave messages or make notes for yourself or others. It may be a pleasant method to support kids’ creativity and education in family situations.

Functional Organization

Surfaces covered with chalkboard paint are useful for planning and scheduling. You can create calendars, chore charts, and meal plans that can easily be tweaked and changed with an eraser. Chalkboard paint can be an aesthetically appealing substitute for conventional whiteboards or sticky notes.

Style and Aesthetics

Using chalkboard paint to repurpose and upcycle furniture or other items is a terrific idea. You may breathe new life into old or worn-out furniture with a fresh coat of stylish blackboard paint. Some people just like chalkboard paint for the look of it and don’t even have any interest in writing or drawing on it. 

How to paint furniture with chalkboard paint

Step 1: Gather the tools and supplies.

Below are the tools and supplies you might need for your chalkboard painting project:

  • Paint roller or paint brush
  • Paint tray
  • Chalkboard paint (available here on Amazon)
  • Primer
  • Dish soap or Simple Green
  • Rag
  • Rubber gloves
  • Respirator
  • Sandpaper
  • Chalk sticks 

Step 2: Clean and sand the furniture

Pour a few cups of water into a small pail and add a spritz of dish soap or Simple Green. Mix the solution and soak a rag in it. Squeeze out the excess water from the rag so that it’s moist but not dripping. Wipe down your furniture to remove grease, grime, and dirt that has been built up over the years. 

Next, lightly sand your furniture with medium grit sandpaper. 

Sanding your furniture before priming and painting is important for a few reasons. It helps to diminish any imperfections and it roughens up the surface so that primer can strongly adhere to it. 

It’s essential to clean up all remnants of sawdust after sanding. To clean the surface, resoak your rag, strain it out and wipe down your furniture a second time to collect all the wood dust. 

Step 3: Prime the furniture

Stir your primer a bit and then apply an even coat on your furniture with a brush or roller. 

Applying primer is key before applying chalkboard paint. It helps to sufficiently cover porous surfaces and minor imperfections like scratches or small gouges. This helps to ensure a completely smooth and even finished surface. It also makes the top layer of paint much more durable.  

As far as primer options go, most multi-surface primers are appropriate for painting most furniture. They are versatile, affordable, and widely available. Zinsser 123 Bulls Eye primer, for instance, is a great choice. 

Be cautious with dark wood furniture such as mahogany, cedar, or oak. Woods such as these are high in tannins, which are essentially chemicals found in tree sap. Tannins can bleed through your paint unless properly treated with the right primer first. For woods like these, you should use a quality stain-blocking primer. Shellac-based primer is particularly effective. 

Step 4. Mix the chalkboard paint

Crack your can of chalkboard paint open and slowly stir your chalkboard pint with a paint stirrer (a wooden stick). The ingredients in chalkboard paint can separate over time so it’s important to thoroughly mix them together before application.

Step 5: Apply the chalkboard paint

When applying chalkboard paint (or any other paint really), painting thin coats is key to avoiding an uneven finish. A little paint can go a long way. 

Do not forget to maintain a constant stroke throughout the painting process to provide a smooth finish. Apply the paint in long, even strokes, following the grain of the wood or the contours of the furniture, whether you’re using a roller or a brush.

Rust-Oleum and Krylon chalkboard paints are great choices. 

Step 6: Allow the chalkboard paint to dry

Note that the brand of chalk paint you use and the weather conditions can influence the dry time. However, chalkboard paint typically dries in about an hour or less. That said, in about an hour, apply the second coat. 

Once you’ve painted your piece wait for the paint to fully cure. Many brands recommend around 3 days for the paint to cure. Avoid drawing on it until then. 

Step 7: Condition the chalkboard surface

By conditioning the surface, you may improve its writability and erasability and get it ready for frequent usage.

Hold an empty chalk stick at an angle so that the chalk’s edge makes contact with the surface. Utilizing the chalk stick’s edge, lightly massage the whole chalkboard’s surface. By the end of the process, the entire surface should be coated with chalk dust. 

Rub the chalk dust into the surface with a soft, clean cloth. This process helps to evenly disperse the chalk particles, covering up any tiny holes or paint flaws. You may create a uniform and smooth surface for writing and sketching by rubbing the chalk into the surface.



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