Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Chalkboard Maintenance 101

Chalkboard Maintenance 101: Tips to Maintain and Care for Your Chalkboard!

Several people have asked me how I prepare, paint and maintain my chalkboards, so I decided to put it all in one post for quick reference. I will also share a few other tidbits with you.

1. Before I paint my chalkboards, I make sure to pick a nice hard surface. Softer or more porous surfaces will work, but they are much harder to erase and will have more of a smudged look. {If you are wanting a more aged look for your board, go with a more porous or softer surface... I prefer the harder boards} I always sand my board until the surface is nice and smooth.

2. Make sure you get rid of ALL dust from sanding! If not, you will end up with nubbies and globs in your paint. {OK, so nubbies is technically not a word...}

3. When I first paint my chalkboards I make sure to apply two good coats of chalkboard paint, drying in between the coats. It is important to apply the coats evenly with no drips. I use the actual paint, not the spray paint. I feel like it has a better finish, but it is totally a personal preference thing. 

4. I put a fresh coat of chalkboard paint on my chalkboards every 6 months or so. They start to get a little dingy and scratched, and a little hard to draw on after a while. I guess the proper way to do it would be to take the back out of the frame and then paint it. But, I have found that if I just paint up within an inch of the frame and blend the edges really well, then I don't really need to. So, I don't.

Chalkboard Maintenance 101: Tips to Maintain and Care for Your Chalkboard!

5. Let your chalkboard paint dry!! On my can of paint it says to wait 24 hours before using the chalkboard, but I always wait at least 48 hours. I have noticed a huge difference in the durability and longevity of the finish when I wait. 

6. One of the most important things to do when caring for a chalkboard is to prime it! To Prime your chalkboard, lay a piece of chalk on its side and cover your entire board liberally with chalk. Rub it in with a dry rag and then erase. Chalkboards are porous, so if you don't prime it you are at risk for your first drawing to be there permanently. If you prime the whole thing, all the little pores will get filled with the primer chalk and your future drawings will go on nicely, and erase easily.

Chalkboard Maintenance 101: Tips to Maintain and Care for Your Chalkboard!

7. My favorite type of chalk to use on my board is Crayola. I have used others and I really can tell a difference. 

8. The picture below is what my counter actually looked like when I finished my last chalkboard drawing. I like to use lots of bits and pieces to get the look that I am going for. Tip: If you notice a certain piece of chalk is scratching the surface of your chalkboard, rub it on a piece of paper to even it out... much like if you were scribbling with a pen. 

Chalkboard Maintenance 101: Tips to Maintain and Care for Your Chalkboard!

9. To clean my chalkboard, I usually use a damp rag. I have read on certain containers of chalkboard paint that you aren't supposed to do this, but it works really well for me. It is also important to use a soft cloth so as to not scratch your surface.

10. To see my Chalkboard drawing tutorial, click {here}. 

11. Other random tips:
~ If you would like your chalk art to be a dark, thick white, dip your 
chalk in water {or wet your chalkboard surface} first.
~ It doesn't have to be perfect!! Whether you are refinishing your chalkboard surface 
or creating a fabulous drawing, it doesn't have to perfect! Say it to yourself 
over and over and you will be much happier! I promise. Part of the charm of
 chalk art is its imperfections.
~When creating your chalkboard art, place your chalkboard on a surface that is at 
eye level or below. If it is up above your head, it is much harder to draw and 
make things even.  
~have fun with it! It is JUST chalk!

Chalkboard Maintenance 101: Tips to Maintain and Care for Your Chalkboard!

I hope you found this helpful and I hope it answers some of your questions! 
Chalkboard Maintenance 101: Tips to Maintain and Care for Your Chalkboard!

If you would like to see my chalkboard drawings and free templates, click {here}.
I love, love, love doodling on my chalkboards!

linking up at Savvy Southern Style 


Something Nice and Pretty said...

Thanks Kristen, this answered a lot of questions I had about chalkboard paint. I too use the one in the can instead of the spraypaint!
Have a great day!

Laurel Stephens said...

Great post, Kristen. I noticed my chalkboard is a bit harder to draw on lately, and now I know it must be ready for another coat of paint. Thanks! (We both have chalkboards on our minds today, by the way.) You are a great reference for all things chalky. Have a great day!

20 North Ora said...

Great post and lots of good ideas Kristen!


NanaDiana said...

Great tips, Kristen! I didn't know about seasoning when I did my first chalkboard and so I had the words permanently etched on it. I had to repaint so it looked good. Thanks for all the tips- xo Diana

Kristin @ Simply Klassic Home said...

Great tips, Kristen! No will you just come and paint one for me???

decoratewithalittlebit.com said...

Great Tips! and I checked out your tutorial for chalkboard art, thank you for sharing both! Little Bit from www.DecorateWithaLittleBit.com

Suzanne@Meridian Road said...

Thanks for the tips! When I read the one about wetting the chalk, it took me back to 2nd grade~my teacher used to do that when we practiced penmanship.

beezuskiddo.com said...

I'm not even into chalkboard art, and found this to be a really well written and informative tutorial post. Nice work :)

Melissa Owczarzak said...

Yes! Great post. Priming a chalkboard is a must!! And Crayola is the best, I've tried others and I can always tell a difference!!

Dana said...

This is fabulous! Thanks for the tips!

Mrs. Smalley said...

Do you think the brand matters for priming the board?

Adele Brown said...

This blog was so helpful! Thank you!


(un)Deniably Domestic said...

Kristen - Thank you for the great tutorial. I used it on a chalkboard purchased at a flea market and I think it worked great! Come check it out. Thank you, ~Kelly

unDeniably Domestic

Lacey said...

I have two chalkboard walls in my house and the last time I cleaned them off I noticed that some of my writing wasn't coming off. I did a search and found ways to clean it using vinegar, soap and warm water, even coke! Which works great but not to remove the permanent parts! The weird thing is I primed both surfaces when we first painted them and never had any problems with chalk coming off. Now all of a sudden it won't come off! Is my only option to repaint? THANKS!

Kristen Whitby said...

Hi Lacey!
I had a friend who had this problem recently and she used a Mr Clean Magic Eraser and it came off! You may want to give that a try. If that doesn't work, it sounds like you have tried everything else :(. You will probably have to repaint or at least touch up.
Good luck!!

crafty grandma said...

I bought the grands some mason jars to drink out of thinking they won't get them mixed up since they have their names on them in chalk...problem is that it comes off before they finish....I WANT it to be permanent since it is drinking glass! Any ideas?? also when I wash them I give them a wash inside but am more careful with the chalk board part...how do you wash these things???

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