How to Paint a Chalkboard Wall

  • Time: 1 day (including lots of dry time)
  • Cost: $30
  • Help Needed?: Nope

When we moved into our duplex a few years, once of the first projects I undertook was creating a dedicated home gym out of one of our rooms. And, one of my absolute favorite projects in my home gym is painting the chalkboard wall, and it’s such an easy project to add character to a space! A lot of people add them to their kitchen or a playroom. For me, painting a chalkboard wall with inspirational messages and barre class countdowns was just what I needed to complete my gym space.


Painting a chalkboard wall in your space is an easy beginner DIY project. It does, however, require a few extra steps and supplies compared to painting a normal wall, so let’s dive into what you need followed by step-by-step instructions on how to paint your own chalkboard wall!

PS: I don’t have any pictures of the project–I completed it before I started A Girl’s Guide to Home DIY–so you just get pictures of the finished project. Sorry!

Disclosure: The links in this post are affiliate links, meaning, at no cost to you, I earn a small commission if you click the link and purchase the item. The links are products I’ve used and loved in the past (or something very similar). 


wedding inspiration on the chalkboard wall
Wedding inspiration on my chalkboard wall

The most important part of this project is to start out with the right supplies. Here’s a list of what you’ll need:

Step 1: Prep Your Space

Like with any painting project, make sure you prep your space before you start. Make sure you dust the wall you’ll be painting, and even clean it with soap and water if it seems really dirty. Apply your painters tape around the edges to get a clean finish. And, get all your supplies ready to begin.

Step 2: Prime Your Wall

chalkboard wall close up

Priming the wall is important to allow for a clean surface for the chalkboard paint to adhere.

I use Kilz Premium primer for all my projects–cabinets, walls, ceilings. It provides amazing coverage and protection from stains, mildew, and mold.

You want to use a very fine roller and foam brushes because you want a chalkboard wall to be as smooth as possible. Imagine trying to write with chalk over a bumpy surface–not so fun! Once you’ve primed the wall complete, allow it to dry per the instructions on the primer.

Step 3: Apply Chalkboard Paint to Your Wall

Now you’re ready to apply your chalkboard paint to your wall. Using your foam roller and foam brushes, apply your chalkboard paint in a thin even coat. Let it dry, and apply a second coat of chalkboard paint to your wall. That’s it–done with painting!

Step 4: Prime Your Chalkboard Wall

chalkboard wall detail
Love my barre countdown to completing my 100 classes at home!

Once your paint is dry, you have one more step before your new chalkboard wall is ready to use. You must prime your chalkboard wall before use.

But, Lauren, I already used the primer to prime the wall

I’m not talking about priming the wall with primer. I’m talking about priming the chalkboard. In order to avoid staining, or ghosting, of your chalkboard wall (where what you write on the chalkboard wall leaves a permanent imprint), you need to prime your chalkboard wall with regular chalk.

To prime your chalkboard wall, take plain white chalk and holding it on its side, rub the chalk over the ENTIRE wall. Then, simply erase it with an eraser. And voila! You’ve primed your chalkboard wall and are ready for decorating!

Step 5: Decorate You Chalkboard Wall

I used a mix of chalk markers and regular chalk to make my inspiration chalkboard wall. Chalk markers will give you a brighter color, but it can stain your chalkboard. Regular chalk shouldn’t stain your chalkboard wall, but the colors won’t be as bright.

chalkboard wall detail
Here you can see I tried to update my chalkboard wall after a year of having my wedding countdown. And, despite cleaning it with water and distilled vinegar, the chalk markers still stained the board. No regrets in my choice–just wanted to be open about the possibilities.

Since I wasn’t planning on changing some of my inspirational things all that often, I was willing to risk having to repaint some of it in exchange for the brighter colors. So, as you see, I used a mix of both.

Tip: If you do experience some staining of your chalkboard wall, you can use a mixture of distilled vinegar and water to rub on the wall and try to remove the stain. You can mix a 1/4-1/2 cup of distilled vinegar with a large bucket of warm water. If this doesn’t work, or you really want a crisp black chalkboard wall, it’s also pretty easy to apply 1 more coat of your chalkboard paint; prime the chalkboard wall again; and you have a beautiful black chalkboard wall, ready for use!

What Do You Think?

chalkboard wall detail

This chalkboard wall in my home gym was exactly what I wanted to help motivate me during my workouts! And, if you want to see my whole home gym makeover, make sure you check out my post here!

chalkboard wll detail

Do you have a place you think would benefit from painting a chalkboard wall? What about your kitchen, play room, kids’ room, or entry way?

picture of home gym
Not the clearest picture but gives you an idea of the overall look!

I'd love your feedback or to answer any questions!

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