DIY Chalkboard/Blackboard Paint

Plaster powder
Acrylic paint
Paint brush
Bowl or container (with a lid to keep the mixture fresh for further coats if desired)

I have been interested in making my own blackboard paint for a while now. The only problem is a lot of the DIY recipes on the internet require un-sanded grout which I cannot find anywhere locally. With a bit more research I was relieved to find I was not alone and even more excited to see a post suggesting Plaster of Paris as a substitute (see the link below for the original post)

First I had to decide on what I wanted to paint. That part was easy. I had an old photo frame I had no use for and I figured the white frame would contrast nicely with a blackboard centre.

Everything I needed I found in the art section of a cheap variety shop. I couldn’t find Plaster of Paris but I did find another brand of plaster powder so I bought that instead. The plaster was $3.50 for 1kg, the black acrylic paint was $2.50 and the chalk was $2.00 for a pack of 48 white pieces. For this project I wanted to go for the classic black and white look but as you can see by the original post from familycrafts you can try any paint colour you like and use whatever kind of chalk your heart desires.

To mix the ingredients I chose an old square plastic container that had a lid. The directions on familycrafts suggests 2 tablespoons of plaster powder, 1 tablespoon of water and 3 tablespoons of paint. I found I needed 2 tablespoons of water to be able to work the powder into a smooth paste and work out the lumps. I also only used around two tablespoons of paint.

I then painted the mixture straight onto the frame backing rather than mess around with cutting up a thin piece of cardboard to fit inside the frame (who can be bothered with that?) I painted in vertical strokes using a medium sized paint brush that I had in my art supplies. As you can see by my photos this gives it a slight rustic texture rather than baby smooth. If you want a smoother surface a roller might work better? Or perhaps a larger brush? As this is my first go at blackboard paint I haven’t experimented with technique.

I went for 3 coats of paint in total before I conditioned it with chalk and tested it out. It wasn’t bad but I felt that the chalk took some effort to completely wipe away. On the plus side I dampened a cloth to gently (and carefully) remove the chalk and was pleased to see that it did not rub off the paint. Overall I am happy with the result and will definitely use this mixture for more blackboard/chalkboard art projects.

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