How to Make Homemade DIY Chalkboard Paint

Chalkboards are a fun, classic and useful way to decorate your home. Its easy and inexpensive to make your own homemade DIY chalkboard paint in any color you want.

There’s just something about a vintage chalkboard that makes me happy. Maybe its because it brings me back to my school days. Such fun memories of getting out of class to go pound erasers for the teacher! My childhood school was a towering, castle-like building with old style chalkboards lining the walls. It was so fun any time we got to go up and write on those boards! Maybe that’s what kids love about chalkboards. Feeling like they’re the teacher, or in charge for a change!

Chalkboards just have that classic look I love. Remember on the first Fixer Upper shows how Joanna Gaines put chalkboards here and there in the houses she and Chip renovated? They added a charming touch that’s easy to customize for the seasons or use for something practical like writing a shopping list on! My kids play “school” all the time so I thought a chalkboard would be a really great thing to have in our playroom.

I started searching for a chalkboard on Facebook Marketplace a few years ago. I was really picky, wanting a specific green and size. Chalkboards would pop up here and there but they were either the wrong color or snatched up right away.

So last year I decided to make one instead!

a homemade chalkboard with a shiplap backdrop

What Do You Need to Make Homemade DIY Chalkboard Paint?

I had heard of people making their own chalkboard walls and just assumed they were buying that pricey paint I had seen in the store. But turns out you can make your own with some very inexpensive and easy to find ingredients!

acrylic paint and white non sanded grout

Almost as exciting as being able to make your own paint, is the fact that you can use any flat surface to turn into you actual chalkboard. A mirror, a frame, leftover wood you have laying around, a wall, a door…The options are endless!

I love using things up that aren’t serving my family, so I grabbed a leftover piece of MDF we had in the basement and rolled on my homemade chalkboard paint. turns out I had a lot of extra paint after making one, so I grabbed a second piece and turned it into a second chalkboard in 5 minutes! I’ve also used the back of an Ikea dresser that we didn’t need.

a clean paint roller, a board with newspaper underneath and a bowl of green paint

How Do You Make Homemade DIY Chalkboard Paint?

First, you’ll want to choose a large surface to work on. Maybe cover it with newspaper.

a bottle of green acrylic paint being squeezed into a bowl

Next find a container to mix your paint in. Because acrylic paint is so easy to wash off of whatever it gets on, I used a regular cereal bowl. You’re going to need less paint than you might think, so just start with small amounts of your ingredients! (I didn’t do this and as a result, ended up making two chalkboards like I said earlier!)

a bowl of green paint

Next step is to mix your paint color til its exactly what you’re wanting. This could be either very fun or very frustrating! I found it pretty difficult to get the vintage green I was going for. I pulled out all of my acrylic paints: some greys, blues, greens and even black. and just started mixing. in order to get it exactly right, I pulled up a picture of a vintage green chalkboard to reference while mixing, because after you’ve been mixing colors for a bit you can forget what it was you were wanting in the first place!

a bowl of green paint and non sanded grout

Once you have that color just right you’re going to add your non-sanded grout. For Every 1 cup of acrylic paint you use, you will need 2 Tablespoons of non-sanded grout powder. Mix the grout powder into the paint a little at a time, stirring as you add it, until all of the clumps of grout are gone.

How to Make Your Homemade Chalkboard

Make sure the flat surface you are making into your homemade chalkboard is smooth and clean. You can apply the DIY chalkboard paint using a brush or a roller. I used a roller since I was making a big chalkboard.

twin boys rolling green paint onto a board

Pour a small amount of your DIY chalkboard paint on to the surface. Brush or roll it to cover the entire surface that will become your homemade chalkboard. You might notice some bubbles or leftover clumps of grout after you have applied the paint. Make sure to wipe these off as soon as possible before the paint has dried.

twin boys rolling green paint onto a DIY chalkboard

After this first coat has completely dried, you may want to add a second coat to cover any smears or missed spots.

How to Season a Chalkboard

Let your homemade chalkboard cure a full day after you have finished painting it. Once this time is up, rub the entire surface with white chalkboard chalk to season it. Turn a piece of white chalk on its side and gently and softly rub the surface of the paint. This step makes your homemade chalkboard extra nice and smooth, so that its easier to erase after each use.

a hand seasoning a homemade chalkboard with chalk and wiping it off with a rag

Take a clean dry rag and wipe all of the extra chalk off again. Now the chalkboard is ready to use!

homemade chalkboard has shopping written in chalk across the top, is set on a piano

Ideas of What You Can Do With a Chalkboard:

  • Write inspirational quotes and helpful reminders for your family.
  • Draw or write something for the season: a wreath for Christmas, the words “Oh Holy Night”, flowers for Spring, a firework for the 4th of July, “Happy Birthday”. Pinterest is full of ideas for chalkboard art!
  • Make “First Day of School” signs, photo props, “Pregnancy Monthly Updates”, milestone pictures and more. Jessica Garvin has some really cute chalkboard prop ideas on her blog!
  • Use your homemade chalkboard as a to do list or chore chart.
  • Shopping list
  • Homeschool board
  • Or even blank just to add a simple colorful touch to a room.

More DIY Ideas:

I’d love to see what you do with your chalkboard! Let me know in the comments if you have ever made DIY chalkboard paint or what you would use a homemade chalkboard for!

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  1. Looks like such such a fun project! I would love to make one of these for my meal planning board.

  2. This is fabulous! I have a chalkboard that needs repainting, so I might try this. The “seasoning” by rubbing it all over with chalk was new to me as well. Thank you for sharing!

  3. Beautiful project. Love the vintage look of creating one using the green paint. I actually tired finding a vintage on at the store and had a hard time. Thank you for sharing how you can make your own!

  4. Chalkboard paint has so many uses, both practical and playful, but it comes at a price and selection can be limited. Get all the fun for less by making your own.

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