How-to Prep + Season a New Chalkboard Wall

April 29, 2014

In the midst of giving the master a refresh, making over my boys bedroom, and getting new carpet…  all on the second floor, the upstairs hallway got a transformation too.

It’s a small space that leads to the 3 bedrooms + the hall bath, but there was just enough wall area to add something new + fun…  A Chalkboard Wall {which makes 3 in the house…  you can never have enough wall to write on – the other 2 chalkboard walls are in the basement and at our family central command center}.

Since this our 3rd writable wall for chalk, I’ve learned a few tips + tricks along the way, and am sharing the ultimate + best way to PREP & SEASON a new chalkboard wall.

How-To PREP + 'SEASON' a Chalkboard Wall before using it.  It's the ultimate + best way to get the most out of a new creative palette!

The Prep

To start off, I chose to give the upstairs hallway a fresh new coat of paint.  The color ‘before’ was the same as the foyer before it got striped.  It was way too beige for my current taste, so I chose a lighter + brighter feel.

How-To PREP + 'SEASON' a Chalkboard Wall before using it.  It's the ultimate + best way to get the most out of a new creative palette!Benjamin Moore Plaster of Paris

Once the walls were done, which took no time at all since the space is small,  the area for my chalkboard wall was ready to start.  I didn’t bother painting the space where the chalkboard wall was going because that would have just been a waste of time + paint, so I left that the old color.

How-To PREP + 'SEASON' a Chalkboard Wall before using it.  It's the ultimate + best way to get the most out of a new creative palette!

> Tip #1: Sand to Create the Best Chalkboard Wall Surface

You Must Sand the wall!  Typical chalkboard is super smooth – no bumps, no lumps. So the wall needs to be as smooth as possible so the chalk will adhere well & so it will erase well.

Using my favorite go-to tool, my orbital sander, I gave the entire wall a really good sanding.  This wall is a typical sheetrock wall with NO extra textural details, but it was amazing how “bumpy” it was.  You can see from the picture below after only a few minutes of sanding, how many “bumps” were smoothed out using the sander.  Once the surface was fairly smooth, it was done.  It wasn’t 100% bump-free, but it was much better than before.

Overall, this step took about 8-10 minutes and I do recommend a hand sander versus sanding by hand.  Your arm will ache if you go that route.

How-To PREP + 'SEASON' a Chalkboard Wall before using it.  It's the ultimate + best way to get the most out of a new creative palette!

How-To PREP + 'SEASON' a Chalkboard Wall before using it.  It's the ultimate + best way to get the most out of a new creative palette!

Once the sanding was complete, it was time to paint.  Before that though, I chose to add a border edge around my new chalkboard surface, similar to what I did for our Central Command Center.  I felt adding this edge would give the wall a cleaner, more finished/polished look.

Using 1″ wide painters tape, I added a 2″ border on all 4 sides…

How-To PREP + 'SEASON' a Chalkboard Wall before using it.  It's the ultimate + best way to get the most out of a new creative palette!For a more thorough tutorial on creating a border, check out my post on How-To Create a Framed Chalkboard Wall

Once the border was done, it was time to get my paint-on!

> Tip #2: Use a Roller for a Smooth Finish

Using a roller instead of a brush will get a much smoother finish.  It’s also key to apply multiple light coats of chalk paint instead of 1-2 thicker coats.

Roll on the paint and smooth it out as much as possible by painting in all different directions.  You want to be sure to avoid any streaks or lumps on the wall.

Overall, unlike typical wall paint which takes 2 coats, I did 4-5 light coats.  It dries quickly, so there wasn’t too much downtime between coats.

How-To PREP + 'SEASON' a Chalkboard Wall before using it.  It's the ultimate + best way to get the most out of a new creative palette!

When the last coat was applied, I immediately removed the painters tape.  By removing it when the paint is still wet will allow it to peel off the wall easier rather than when it’s dry.

Time to ‘Season’

The chalk paint is typically dry a few days after your last coat, but be sure to read the product instructions on the exact drying time before moving forward.  Once you’re good to go, it’s time to ‘season’ the newly created chalkboard wall.  I had previously never done this step and it really makes a BIG DIFFERENCE for how the chalkboard wall wears & erases.

Basically there is one easy + fast step…

1. Using the side of a piece of chalk, roll it on the entire surface of the chalkboard wall.

2. Then erase it away.

So simple, but So important!

How-To PREP + 'SEASON' a Chalkboard Wall before using it.  It's the ultimate + best way to get the most out of a new creative palette!

And here is the result…

How-To PREP + 'SEASON' a Chalkboard Wall before using it.  It's the ultimate + best way to get the most out of a new creative palette!

A perfectly prepped + seasoned chalkboard board wall!

It’s ready to use…

How-To PREP + 'SEASON' a Chalkboard Wall before using it.  It's the ultimate + best way to get the most out of a new creative palette!

You + Your Kids will love it!

This new hallway, even though small, feels so much fresher & 100% usable.  I love using every square inch of our pad, don’t you?!

How-To PREP + 'SEASON' a Chalkboard Wall before using it.  It's the ultimate + best way to get the most out of a new creative palette!


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Comments

  1. Thanks so much for the tip on sanding the wall first. I didn’t do that for my craft room wall and now I can see that it would have made it so much better!
    Great tutorial and tips!
    Leslie

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