How to Decorate Furniture With Chalkboard Paint

Sally Painter
Children Decorate Furniture With Chalkboard Paint

You can actually paint furniture with chalkboard paint, not to be confused with chalk paint. This growing trend is a fun and whimsical way to add a conversational piece to a living room or decorate a kids' playroom.

Paint the Perfect Piece

A large piece makes the best display for this type of finish. Chalkboard painting expert and owner of SweepOfSand, Diane, discusses how she uses this type of paint, stating, "I absolutely love them and have added chalkboards to cabinet doors, signs, furniture, and of course I made a big wall for the kids."

Pieces to Consider

Some furniture pieces you may want to consider include:

  • Dresser: You can refurbish an age-worn dresser with a color-tinted chalkboard paint. Go for something dramatic like a teal color or a bright red.
  • Kids' art table: With a kids' table, transform the surface to a drawing surface.
  • Coffee table: Don't get rid of that beat-up coffee table. Give it a new life with a coat of emerald green paint or another color.
  • Hall tree: Most hall trees bear the scars of service to the family. Paint your hall trees a pale blue to go with a coastal-themed mud room.
  • Armoire: An old armoire gets a second life when painted a cranberry color.

Choose the Right Supplies

Brushes can leave streaks in the finish, so they aren't ideal for chalkboard paint according to Diane. "Definitely use a roller rather than a brush if possible, " she advises. "I like foam rollers." She explains if you use a brush, make sure it's foam for a smoother finish.

Project Supplies

You'll need the following supplies:

  • Chalkboard Paint: You can use the traditional black paint or tintable one. Valspar offers over 250 color choices.
  • Chalk: Select your favorite chalk colors and sizes.
  • Primer: Any latex paint primer works.
  • Paint roller: Most people prefer to use a small paint roller for the larger painting sections.
  • Paintbrushes: One or two corner/angled brushes can help you tackle corners.
  • Painter's drop cloth or tarp: Place the cloth on the floor/ground and set the furniture in the center.
  • Plain rags or tack cloths: A tack cloth has a tacky texture that collects dirt and dust. Furniture polish sprayed on a plain rag will also work.
  • Sand paper or sanding pad: Old painted furniture needs coarser paper while you'll need extra-fine sand paper to use between paint coats.
  • Paint tray and paint lid with spout: A paint lid with a spout makes pouring paint into a tray easier.

How to Chalkboard Paint Furniture

If possible, take the project and supplies outside for best ventilation. If working inside, open the widows and turn on a fan (don't allow air to blow directly on project workspace).

Prepare and Prime Furniture

Preparing and priming furniture is a process you cannot skip if you want a piece that stands up over time. The instructions for priming and preparing furniture are the same, regardless of the type of furniture or paint.

Start Painting

Chalk Drawing On Table

Use more than one coat of paint. "It's really important to use multiple coats and allow the recommended drying time between coats. If you recoat too soon, you could end up with lumpy surface and have to start over!" explains Diane.

  1. Roll one coat of paint over the primer.
  2. Allow paint coat to dry (around three hours).
  3. Using the extra-fine sand paper, gently scuff the paint, wipe clean, and apply a second coat of paint.
  4. The paint manufacturers typically advise three days to cure the paint.

Season Painted Furniture

After three days, you are ready to season the surface to receive chalk.

  1. Hold a chalk stick length side and move across the painted surface.
  2. Once the furniture is covered, use a plain cloth to erase the chalk from the furniture.
  3. The surface is now ready to be used.

Decorate Finished Furniture With Chalk

Kids will love drawing on their new art surface and expressing their creativity. Be creative and find other ways you can use this paint. Diane shares some other ways, stating, "The sky is the limit with chalkboards! I've also made chalkboards from beautiful vintage frames."

  • Dresser or armoire: You can use white or colored chalk to draw designs on the drawers or doors, such as vines and flowers with a few butterflies.
  • Messaging: You may prefer messaging, such as, "It's a beautiful day," "Love," "Happiness," or simply assign dresser drawers by writing, "T-shirts" or "Pajamas."
  • Coffee table: Have fun with holiday or birthday greetings to your family or welcome messages to guests.
  • Hall tree: Encourage your family to hang up their coats and hats with a fun message or decorative drawing.
  • Texture effect: Many crafters like to use chalk to highlight grooves and ornaments/carvings of the furniture.

Decor Styling With Your Painted Furniture

You can use chalkboard paint for furniture to give a truly unique addition to your home or office décor. There are no limits for this creative way to repurpose or recreate furniture.

How to Decorate Furniture With Chalkboard Paint