Making Chalkboard Paint

Toddler drawing on a chalkboard

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Chalkboard paint is popular because it's both practical and sentimental. You can paint it on walls or furniture, and it's evolved from the basic green, black and gray boards used in school.

If you enjoy making different crafts using chalkboard paint, how about making some colors other than black? Sure, you can buy chalkboard paint in many different colors (though it's pretty pricey!), but half the fun is doing it yourself!

Many recipes call for a mixture of latex paint, unsanded grout, and water—not items that most people have on hand, except for water! Here's a simple recipe you can use for a chalkboard storage box project.

This craft takes about 60 minutes (plus additional drying time) and can be done with kids ages five and up.


  • Plaster of Paris
  • Acrylic paint
  • Water
  • Measuring spoon or cup
  • Bowl
  • Stir stick or spoon


After doing some experimentation, the combination we found that worked the best seemed to be three parts paint, two parts Plaster of Paris, and one part water.

Start by measuring your Plaster of Paris into a bowl (we used two tablespoons). Then add one tablespoon of water. Mix this until you get out all of the lumps. Once the mixture was smooth, add three tablespoons of gray acrylic paint. Again, mix it well.

Now you're ready to paint. Test your paint on something just to see if you're comfortable with the consistency. If it feels too thick, just add a little water or even paint.

Paint as many layers as you need on your item until you have an opaque finish, or until your satisfied. Cover your paint tightly while you are waiting for the item to dry. Use your chalkboard paint as quickly as you can before it hardens. Then let it dry overnight before writing on it.

When using store-bought chalkboard paint, the instructions suggest you condition it by rubbing the side of the chalk over it and then wiping it off. We recommend doing the same with your homemade paint.