Chalkboard paint isn't just for the classroom anymore. It now comes in a variety of colors instead of plain black. You can use it to create an accent wall in a child's room, a place to take notes in an office, or you can add it to the back of a door for a quickie bulletin board. The trick to a great-looking wall or accent with chalkboard paint is all in the application. These tips can help.
Tip #1: Start With a Clean Surface
Oils from your skin, dirt and dust, or the thin film of grease that builds up on kitchen walls can prevent the paint from adhering properly. Dust the area you are planning to paint with a microfiber dusting cloth. Then, wash the area thoroughly with a cleaner that contains a degreasing agent. Allow it to dry completely before painting.
Tip #2: Prepare Your Surface
Chalkboard paint will adhere better to a slightly roughened surface. This is especially true if the old finish on the wall is glossy. Lightly sand the area with a fine grit sandpaper, and then wipe off the sanding dust with a slightly damp rag. Next, apply a coat of primer. Use a dark primer for a dark shade of chalkboard paint or a light primer for a light color of paint. Once the primer dries, sand it lightly.
Tip #3: Apply the Paint
A short nap roller works well with chalkboard paint because it gives you the smoothest finish. Apply one coat of the paint, rolling it onto the surface vertically. Allow this to dry, and then apply a second coat by rolling it on horizontally. This will help prevent streaks. You can use a small paintbrush to get into any tricky areas.
Tip #4: Cure and Condition the Paint
Make sure the paint cures, or dries, completely. Three days is a safe choice, although the paint bottle should provide an exact specification. You can also ask the craft paint supplier for their recommendation for the specific brand. Once cured, condition the surface by chalking over it completely. To do this, hold a piece of chalk flat against the surface and roll the chalk all over it. Next, erase the chalk. Now, repeat the process but roll the chalk perpendicular to the first application. Once this is erased, the chalkboard is ready to use. You can clean it with a damp sponge when needed.