Chalkboard Paint

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Photos and Story by Amanda Causey Baity

These days it seems like everything has a chalkboard on it. It’s hard to not get sucked into the fad, which can give
you unlimited space for ever-changing creativity just by painting a wall in the house or the front of your fridge with
chalkboard paint. This versatile product can let you turn just about anything into a functional chalkboard.PWLiving August 2015 aIMG_0013

Here is a special project that I did with chalkboard paint when I was pregnant with my youngest child. I am an avid thrift store shopper and one of my favorite places in Prince William to search for bargains is B-thrifty in Woodbridge. On a day where all items were 50 percent off, I got two wooden boxes for $7.50. Using a cute fabric that was on clearance at a local fabric store, I created a padded top that doubled as a seat cushion.

Next, using homemade orange chalkboard paint (custom matched to the fabric), I painted the boxes with two coats and allowed them to dry for 24 hours.

Store-bought chalkboard paint can be expensive, and it usually comes in just two colors: black or green. Not that black and green aren’t awesome, but what if you want a pink chalkboard, or possibly a bright orange one? No worries…you can make it yourself in any color you like.

Just follow these simple instructions:

  • Gather 1 cup of latex paint in the color of your choice and 1 tablespoon of unsanded grout.
  • Mix extremely well…and that’s it! Your very own custom chalkboard paint.
  • To store, put in an airtight container. Eventually the plaster will harden at the bottom, so it’s best to make smaller batches.

Once you have mastered the (easy) recipe, the options are endless. Turn your child’s bedroom into a canvas, create a
family message board by the front door or paint mini-chalkboards on the kids’ cups so they keep track of and use the
same one throughout the day.

Two plain wood boxes from the thrift store were later transformed into toy chests that doubled as chalkboards, using homemade chalk paint.

Two plain wood boxes from the thrift store were later transformed into toy chests that doubled as chalkboards, using homemade chalk paint.

Depending on the project and your child’s age, they can help you brainstorm new chalkboard surfaces and even help with the painting. Just make sure they are wearing craft-friendly clothes and that they are painting in a well-ventilated and protected area, using an old sheet or drop cloth to protect floors.

We’d love to see your own chalkboard paint creations. Just tag them #PWLiving and we’ll share our favorites on Prince William Living’s social media pages.

Amanda Causey Baity, Prince William Living’s marketing director and photo editor, also blogs about thrifty family activities on her blog She can be reached at


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