• I want to make a chalkboard wall in the house.
  • I want it to be black or dark, not light colored
  • I want the best chalkboard surface
  • I want it to feel very solid/immovable when installed

What do you recommend?

So far I've found



It needs to follow these instructions

It's an authentic chalkboard coating on a piece of metal so it's also magnetic. Specialty product. Not paint.

However for my use, magnetic is not a requirement.. but it is nice.

  • I thought chalk boards had gone out of use because of health concerns related to chalk dust. I think I've seen black boards which use markers similar to white boards. And the black "specials" boards used in some restaurants seem like a different functionality as well. Does it have to be chalk? – Scivitri Jan 4 '12 at 23:18
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    Perhaps the author of those instructions can shed some light on the product to which they refer? – shufler Jan 9 '12 at 23:48
  • "Best" is subjective, and undefined in the question. Not a very answerable question without the telepathic ability to determine what constitutes "best". – The Evil Greebo Jan 10 '12 at 13:36
  • Telepathy not needed, just track with the edited requirement in bold "It's an authentic chalkboard coating on a piece of metal so it's also magnetic. Specialty product. Not paint." – Kirk Strobeck Jan 10 '12 at 17:31
  • Now define 'authentic'. It's still vague as to what specific criteria you want. That said, based on your comment of 'metal' I'd say you want a porcelain coated chalkboard (porcelain enameled steel)...which were common after the use of slate dwindled. – DA01 Jan 11 '12 at 3:17

What about chalkboard paint? Would that be a good solution? Something like Rust-Oleum Brush on Chalkboard?

enter image description here

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  • Paint is not the answer I'm looking for, please read the question.. – Kirk Strobeck Jan 10 '12 at 17:29
  • @KirkStrobeck - You do realize that he answered long before you put up the stipulation that it can't be paint, right? That said, why won't paint work? It fits all of your other criteria perfectly. – Shauna Jan 13 '12 at 20:38

Well, "best kind" is somewhat of a fuzzy question, but, based on your criteria, I'd go with slate.

Granted, that's a very heavy option, and possibly expensive, so perhaps it's not the 'best' for your situation.

On a more practical level, I'd go with Aaron's suggestion. I've used exactly that product on steel (with a primer). The steel made it magnetic so it doubled as a magenetic board, and the paint...surprisingly, has help up amazingly well. Still very black, easy to wash, and bites the chalk quite well when using it.

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    The paint option is viable. I have posted an additional answer with actual board in place as an example. I've written on the board and the chalk adheres to it quite nicely. – Jon Raynor Jan 5 '12 at 4:34
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    Additionally, they sell magnetic primer, so if you don't want to mess with cutting sheet metal, you could put on a few coats of magnetic primer, then paint over it with the chalkboard paint. – Shauna Jan 5 '12 at 20:36
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    While I loved the chalkboard paint, I found the magnetic paint to be useless. After 5 coats, there still wasn't enough to hold your average fridge magnet. – DA01 Jan 5 '12 at 23:22
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    I was lucky enough (quite a few years back) to have removed a number of slate blackboards from a university building that was being renovated. They were at least 100 years old, and were as good as new. So if you want "the best" without regard to cost, slate is the way to go. – chris Jan 10 '12 at 16:46
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    I agree with previous post. A big ole slab of Slate would be awesome. Check your local mason supply. I'd bet it's heavier than Chris Christy. Make sure the wall can handle the load. – Trout Jan 11 '12 at 2:57

To follow up Aarons/DA01 answer, a wall in your house can be very suitable for a chalk board.

We renovated our basement recently and did a chalkboard wall in the kids room. We used the same paint as described by Aaron. It came out great and the kids use it and like it.

We bought some bucket organizers hung it on the wall next to it to hold the chalk. A simple frame adds a border.

You have to let the paint sit for a few days before using. We bought an eraser and that works OK, a damp cloth makes it nice and clean again.

To set up, paint the wall color first. Box out the chalk area with level and pencil. Tape border with painters tape. Paint chalk area. Remove tape, add border with trim of choice.

Here's a picture of the finished product (with chalk on board):


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So this link contains the process used to create chalkboards.


as you can see it is steel with a coating(of a porcelain compound) applied to it. A variation though of this compound albeit not as thick is in that roll on paint that does not need a furnace to cure. so to get one the size of a whole wall authentic you would have to purchase multiple boards and try to patch them together, custom order a huge one or try to create one on your own but I imagine you don't have access to a large furnace. Cost wise you will want to go with steel and paint. (I am not yet able to make comments otherwise I would not have made this an answer)

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Have you considered using dry erase markers directly on a glass surface? I know this does not satisfy the dark colored requirement, but with dry erase markers you can write on any glass surface. You can use a big sliding door, or if you're up for building something (this is a DIY site after all!), you could get a piece of glass cut and mount it on a wall, in a movable frame, etc. In a frame would be cheapest because you would not require a finished edge.

I suppose you could even make it dark by painting behind the surface and using flourecent markers.

Glass mounted on wall
(source: nitrosell.com)

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  • Sorry, this is not chalk.. – Kirk Strobeck Jan 10 '12 at 17:32

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