How To Make Chalkboard Paint

Whenever someone comes in to the shop asking to purchase a chalkboard, I'm always a little shocked that no one knows how easy it is to make one! If you have a piece of wood or other chalkboard-worthy surface and some paint, you're already halfway there.


  • Paint in any color (I have used so many different types of paint and have had zero problems with any of them--acrylic, latex, leftover 5 year old house paint, you name it!)
  • Unsanded grout (Pick up at any hardware store. For about $9 you can get a box that will last you a lifetime!)
  • Piece of wood or other surface you want to add chalkboard paint to (wall, furniture, etc.) 
  • Large measuring cup and measuring spoon
  • Spoon or stir stick
  • Paint brush
  • Chalk
  • Rag


(1) Gather your materials.

(2) Sand down your chalkboard surface if necessary.

(3) Grab your big mixing cup and for every 1/2 cup of paint, add in 1 tablespoon of unsanded grout. In my experience, this doesn't have to be exact to work. I usually just eyeball it.

(4) Mix thoroughly.

(5)Tape off your surface if necessary so you don't get chalkboard paint where you don't want it.

(6) Apply to surface. I usually do 2 medium coats of paint, letting each coat dry thoroughly before the next coat.

(7) Prime your chalkboard by running your chalk lengthwise over the surface. 

(8) Rub in the chalk with a dry cloth.

(9) You're done! Go to town on your new chalkboard!


  • Only make what you will use for each particular project as this paint will not keep. 
  • When choosing your paint color, keep in mind that most chalk colors show up best on dark surfaces. 
  • Know any other DIY savvy friends? Go in on a box of unsanded grout and split it up. Seriously, you could do every wall in an entire house and still not run out with the amount that comes in one box. Plus, it makes it more cost efficient for everyone. You a DIY lone ranger looking to do just a couple projects? Stop by the shop: I'm more than willing to share! 
  • Once you see how easy this is, you'll want to paint EVERYTHING with chalkboard paint. (Trust me!) Restrain yourself if you can. 
  • Have fun and hashtag your DIY chalkboards #thenestdiy on Instagram for a chance to be featured!

All photos by Jocelyn Noel