How to Create a Floor to Ceiling Chalkboard on a Wall
Post updated: 01/08/2021
In my early days of blogging I wrote a post entitled, How to Draw Like an Artist on a Chalkboard. It is where I shared all the chalkboard drawing tips I learned over the years, like dipping the chalk in water before using. In my previous house I had a large chalkboard in the kitchen and later moved it to the dining room where I enjoyed changing what was on it for the season, like drawing a turkey on the chalkboard for Thanksgiving and a 3-D Bunny on the board for Easter.
After we moved to the lake house and I painted the kitchen cabinets, I hung a small chalkboard on a wall to continue drawing on it for the seasons, when entertaining and for celebrations. It was fine, but small for the ideas I wanted to create.
About 2 weeks ago when I was walking into the kitchen from the living room, I saw the wall (the one with the DIY Christmas Card Organizer on it) that separates the two rooms in an entirely different light. I didn’t even hesitate, I went directly to the garage and grabbed a can of black chalkboard paint I had leftover from a previous project and painted the wall to make it one giant chalkboard.
The photo above is from a previous Christmas. I am showing it since I didn’t get a “before” shot of the wall before I painted it.
Here is the “AFTER”.
How to Paint a Floor to Ceiling Chalkboard Wall
The reason I didn’t hesitate to paint it was I knew that painting a chalkboard on the entire wall would add what I felt was missing in the room… something fun and out of the ordinary. I was feeling the need to add some character to the space as well as give myself a larger canvas to create.
It is still a work in progress, but that is the best part, it will always be changing.
After the paint was dry and I seasoned the chalkboard to prevent “ghosting”, I placed the chalk holder jars and the OPEN/CLOSED sign back on the wall to add dimension.
I could not be happier with not only having a large canvas to draw on again, but I also love how the black wall looks. It adds visual interest where there was once none. It also visually separates the open concept between the kitchen and living room while taking up zero space.
Step By Step: How to Paint a Floor to Ceiling Chalkboard Wall
When choosing a wall to paint a chalkboard on, check to make sure the wall surface is smooth. If the wall was previously painted, look closely for any dried paint drips, paint roller edges or orange peel stippling that happens when paint is rolled on a wall with a thick nap roller. These will show up on the chalkboard painted surface.
If you find any imperfections, smooth the wall surface with 100 grit sandpaper before painting with chalkboard paint. If there are any holes, fill these with Spackle and then smooth.
If the wall has not been previously painted, you should apply a primer first. Any brand name of primer is find. I like KILZ primers. If the paint store sells it or will mix it for you you can get grey primer. It is better to use when painting a wall a dark color. Roll on one or two light coats and let dry. Make sure the primed surface is smooth, then proceed.
- Rustoleum Chalkboard Paint in Black
- Chalk – white for seasoning. If you want to use color, after seasoning, I found Crayola Drawing Chalk has the best colors. It says the chalk is for paper, but it works fine on painted chalkboard walls.
- Painter’s tape
- Paint roller, tray and paint brush
- Use painter’s tape to tape off wall. Roll on 2 coats of black chalkboard paint, letting the first coat dry before applying the second.
How to Season or Prime a Chalkboard Wall
1. Once paint is completely dry, you need to “SEASON” or “PRIME” the chalkboard. Doing this lessens “ghosting” of the first drawing and future drawings that will permanently show up after you clean the chalkboard. It will happen, so don’t skip this step.
2. It is easy to season the chalkboard. Simply hold a piece of chalk on its side and rub it all over the chalkboard until the surface is completely covered in white.
3. Rub the just rubbed over chalk into the surface with a soft dry cloth and then lightly dampen a piece of felt or a Handi-Wipe and rub over wall. The chalk will not all come off, but you don’t want it to.
Let the board look chalky for a few weeks, as you can see I did on mine. Over time and the more you draw and erase, the board surface will take on a softer overall black/grey color.
If Ghosting Happens on Your Chalkboard
Reader TIP: Joan, a blog reader wrote to tell me that she had ghosting on her chalkboard wall, but didn’t have to repaint it. Here is what she did: She used Dawn Dish Detergent full strength and a Mr Clean Magic Eraser and gently rubbed until she got all of it out. After it was dry, she proceeded to “season” the chalkboard wall again as usual.
How to Paint Over a Chalkboard WallWhen I want to change the chalkboard wall back to a normal painted wall, it is not hard to do. To paint over the chalkboard paint, use180-grit sandpaper to lightly sand the surface, then wash the area with a small amount of dish detergent and water to throughly clean the surface. Rinse well. Once the surface is dry, apply a latex primer. You will need at least 2 light coats. Let dry and then apply the new color of paint on the wall.
Chalkboard Drawing Tips & Tricks
To learn all my chalkboard drawing tips and tricks and where to find inspiration art and free printables, head over to my post: How to Draw Like an Artist on a Chalkboard
Do you have any area in your house that you added something fun, out of the ordinary or unexpected?