If you’re like me, you’ve seen plenty of DIY tutorials out there to make your own chalkboard paint in any color you want. Those tutorial’s material list goes something like this: paint color of your choosing and then start listing things like grout… and that’s exactly when I stop reading. Who has grout on hand? And how does one buy grout? And even if I bought grout, I’m guessing it comes in some HUGE bag and all I need is a couple cups worth. The other day I was at home and had a project in mind but wanted to use a different color chalkboard paint than the standard black I had on hand. I know you need a grout type product, something that adds a chalky, toothy type texture to the acrylic paint and so I started hunting around the house. Then it hit me. I have that gritty product already, and it’s in my studio… GESSO! Gesso is a substance often used as a base for all types of painting and even other types of artwork. Its wikipedia page says it is actually a paint combined with chalk. I tried mixing it with a green acrylic paint and it worked perfectly, adding just the right amount of course texture to grab onto the chalk when applied later.
Here’s what you do: simply mix it 50-50, or up to 75% acrylic and 25% gesso mixture. Acrylic paint is naturally kind of glossy when dry, but you want your final product to be matte. Because gesso is white, it is going to lighten up your acrylic paint substantially, keep this in mind when choosing your paint color. You’ll want to pick an acrylic paint that is that much darker than what you want your final product to look like. I used a very dark green to get the desired chalkboard green I was going for.
Apply your new chalkboard paint to your project surface. You may want to apply a second coat depending on how evenly your first application was.
After it is dry you will want to treat your new board with chalk. Scribble, or scrape your chalk all over the board and rub it around evenly. Now your chalkboard is ready!
A fun and easy project to use your new chalkboard paint on would be making a customizable ring, as seen at the top of this post. Other than the paint you just created, all the materials can be found at your local craft store for under $5: New chalkboard paint, little round discs, inexpensive adjustable ring blanks, super glue or gluegun glue, paint brush and chalk.
You can buy these round wood blanks at most craft stores in the wood isles. You can also find other shapes that would work as well, like stars or hearts, or if you are super crafty you might choose to cut out your own shape using a small saw. Using super glue or a hot glue gun attach the adjustable ring blank to the back of the ring. Once it is dry and solidly attached you can paint the top of your ring with the chalkboard paint.
And if you like the project, but aren’t interested in making one for yourself, I have created a small handful of rings and little treasure boxes with chalkboard paints (my own and the black is store bought). Leave a comment on this post and enter a chance to win one of the pieces of your choosing. Let me know which one you’d like if you won or just say hello. Like me on facebook for an extra chance, don’t forget to come back here and leave an additional comment and let me know that you did. I will select one lucky winner on April 1st.