How to Make Your Own DIY Chalkboard Paint

Chalkboard paint can be expensive. Here’s how to make your own at home and save a bundle!

By Snow White


Chalkboard paint is all the rage right now, and super trendy for your home! You can buy chalkboard paint at nearly any home improvement or paint store, but it can be costly. If you’re more of a Do-It-Yourself kind of person, or you just need a small amount of chalkboard paint and don’t want to drop the money on a whole gallon, making your own chalkboard paint is ideal. It’s really easy to make, and you probably have all (or most) of the ingredients and tools already at home. There are a few DIY recipes for chalkboard paint, however, this one is the cheapest, easiest, and uses the most readily available materials.




You can use chalkboard paint on nearly any surface, and it’s becoming very popular for home décor. It looks great as an entire wall for your office, or a small section in your kitchen, laundry room, or mud room to leave notes for the family. If you’re going for something smaller, use chalkboard paint as a label on a jar or on your potted plants to mark what you’re growing. Try it out on your kid’s dresser for some fun in their bedroom, or on top of a desk for a unique work space.


What You Need

This “recipe” is super easy and only requires a few ingredients, most of which you already have. The key ingredient, and what sets this recipe apart from others, is Plaster of Paris. You can find this pretty cheap at most home improvement or craft stores. You will also need acrylic paint, in any color! We are using black, but if you want a purple, blue, green, or whatever color chalkboard, just grab it in acrylic paint (matte finish works best). The last ingredient you need to make your chalkboard paint is just water. Be sure to also pick up a foam brush and chalk to complete your project. As well, make sure you have something you want to paint on and a container you can throw away (like a plastic cup or bowl) to mix your paint in.




How to Make Your Paint

Making this chalkboard paint is super easy! In your container mix two tablespoons of Plaster of Paris with one tablespoon of water. Mix this up well and then add in three tablespoons of your acrylic paint. Be sure to mix out any clumps before painting. If you need to make more just double or triple the recipe. Before you get started, make sure you have enough for about three coats.





Once you’ve made your chalkboard paint, be sure to use it immediately. Apply three coats of paint to your object using a foam brush. Be sure that the paint is completely dry between each coat. Once the last coat is dried, temper the surface by rubbing chalk all over what you’ve just painted, and then remove it with a soft towel or paper towel. Once you’ve tempered the surface you’re all done, you’ve just created a chalkboard!




Things to Note

This recipe makes only a small amount of chalkboard paint, perfect for painting small surfaces. If you’re looking at painting a whole wall or large piece of furniture, make sure to increase the recipe (though make a small batch first to test). Be sure to use your paint immediately after mixing as it will not last long or hold well in the container. Three coats of paint is best, but if you plan to use it often as a chalkboard (constantly erasing and rewriting), a few more coats may be best for durability. Finally, don’t use a topcoat or mod podge after painting the chalkboard paint as you won’t be able to write on it or use your chalkboard surface properly.




Chalkboard paint is so popular and trendy right now, and the possibilities with it are endless! This recipe is great because it’s super easy, affordable, and accessible. As well, there are loads of other things you can do with plaster of paris for the home or to DIY. Before you get started, check out this article for 6 Things You Should Know Before Decorating With Chalkboard Paint, or if you’re just looking to DIY some home décor, try this article: DIY ‘Everything Happens for a Reason’ Sign. Once you finish with your chalkboard paint, leave us a comment below and tell us how it went or what you made!


Images used with permission, courtesy of Snow White

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