How to Make Your Own Chalkboard Paint

Chalkboards are great for writing down to-do lists or making a grocery list, and now you can add a custom chalkboard just about anywhere with your own chalkboard paint! Chalkboard paint adds function and personality to your space, whether it’s on a kid’s craft table or on your kitchen wall. While you can buy pre-mixed chalkboard paint, these formulas are expensive and limited in color options. A more economical solution is to mix your own chalkboard paint. This fun and easy project also allows you to customize it with any color you like. Follow these steps to mix a batch of your own chalkboard paint to enjoy!


1. Flat Finish Latex Paint

In order to create the right texture finish for your chalkboard, the base of the mixture must be flat finish latex paint. You can use any shade of paint or even mix your own color.

2. Unsanded Tile Grout

There are two main types of grout–sanded and unsanded. Sanded grout contains small particles of sand to increase grout stability and prevent cracking over time. While this type of grout provides strength and stability, you need to use unsanded grout to make chalkboard paint. Unsanded grout does not contain these tiny sand particles, ensuring that the paint mixture for your chalkboard will be smooth.

3. Paint Mixing Bucket

Using a deeper container ensures that your ingredients mix together well. While mixing your chalkboard paint, avoid using a paint tray as your mixing container. These trays are usually not deep enough to create a good mix, and their sloped surface spreads ingredients out rather than mixing them together.

4. Paint Stirrer

If you’re working with relatively small amounts of paint, you can probably mix your ingredients using a simple wooden paint stirrer. For larger portions, you may want to use an electric drill with a paint mixer attachment.

5. Paint Tray

The paint tray is a metal, slanted tray that helps spread out your paint before applying it to a wall or surface. It is designed so you run a paint roller through the mixture and up the slant, making sure paint is evenly distributed on the surface of the roller. If you’re going to be painting your chalkboard paint over a large area, a paint tray makes it easier to get a smooth, even finish.

6. Paint Roller or Sponge Paintbrush

Depending on what you will be painting with chalkboard paint and how you want it to look, you may apply it with a paint roller or use a sponge-tipped paintbrush. A paint roller is ideal for covering larger areas while a sponge paintbrush can be used for smaller details.

7. 150-Grit Sandpaper

To create an authentic and aesthetic chalkboard finish, you need to lightly sand the dried paint. This will remove any unevenness or disruptions to the smooth surface texture.

8. Chalk

By the end of this project, you will be able to start writing with chalk on your painted surface, so be ready with your favorite chalk stick!


1. Mix Latex Paint and Unsanded Grout

Chalkboard paint gives you the artistic freedom to make your chalkboard as large or small as you want. You can mix any quantity of paint you need for your project. Start by combining the latex paint with unsanded grout in a mixing bucket. No matter what size portion of chalkboard paint you decide to mix, the ratio you need for chalkboard paint is 1 part grout to every 8 parts paint. For example, if you’re using one cup of paint, you need 1/8th of a cup, or 2 tablespoons, of unsanded grout to make chalkboard paint.

Mix the latex paint and unsanded grout thoroughly in a container for at least five minutes, until the mixture is completely smooth. Once you’ve mixed a portion of chalkboard paint, it naturally begins to harden, so it is important to apply it relatively soon after mixing.

2. Pour the Chalkboard Paint Mixture into the Paint Tray

If you plan to cover a large area with your chalkboard paint, you may opt to use a paint tray and roller. Pour your smooth paint mixture into the slanted metal tray.

If you plan to cover only a small area with chalkboard paint, you may not need a paint tray and roller. You can dip your sponge-tipped paintbrush into the mixing container.

3. Paint Your Chalkboard

It’s time to paint with your custom mixture. Whether you’re using a paint roller to cover a large area, or painting details with a sponge-tipped paintbrush, apply a first coat of chalkboard paint to your surface and let it dry for several hours. Once the first coat of chalkboard paint is dry to the touch, apply a second coat.

Once the second coat of chalkboard paint is dry, you can use 150-grit sandpaper to lightly sand down the chalkboard surface. This will remove any bumps on the surface of your chalkboard to create an even smoother finish. You can condition the surface by taking chalk and running it over the entire surface, then wiping it away gently using a damp sponge. Now your custom chalkboard is ready to use!

You can find everything you need to upgrade your home at Grayco Hardware & Home Center. Find my Grayco.