You may have noticed that many artists, crafters and designers love the delightfully low-tech chalkboard. Practical, photogenic and fun, these tools manage to somehow be modern and completely retro, simultaneously.
To-do lists, inspiration, sketches, notes, bucket lists – it’s all right in front of you!
The first time we used chalkboard paint was in 2005 in the back room at Lush – the soap shop has a minimalist, organic aesthetic to begin with, and all the signage looks like white chalk on black boards. We bought a small can at a local shop and painted the cabinets in the staff room, so we could share messages, staff notes and rota requests. It was perfect.
There are many ways of going about this project – you can apply a few coats of magnetic paint under the chalkboard paint, to increase the functionality of the wall. This also dramatically expands your options for decorating, especially when you add magnetic clips to the mix. However, it is vital to follow directions and finish the wall treatment as directed.
In our home, we hired a local artist to paint a mural in our kitchen, for menu planning and grocery list-making. Oklahoma City painter Jennifer Barron worked with us to create sketches from our descriptions of what we wanted – a Mexican look, with handpainted tiles and punched tin. And a peacock, and a basket of blueberries, and some beets. Pretty specific, but it works for our family. She even painted our specific favorite flowers on the tiles.
The first year of this mural’s presence in our kitchen, it remained unused, for fear of creating a dusty mess. But a couple weeks ago Erin Cooper told us about chalk pens – clouds parting, angels singing, hallelujah! These things are genius, especially for homes where you’re not particularly interested in hearing that screeching squeak of traditional chalk writing, or cleaning up piles of chalk dust from the floor.
It looks like the text will stay bright for as long as we want it to, and will wipe off cleanly with water. They’ll also be great for our main board, which is painted on a wall with a bit of texture.
The example photos found in this post are all from homes and studios in Oklahoma City.
When you discover the variety of colors of chalkboard paint available, it might become irresistible and you, too, will dream of painting a door or wall in your home.
Have you used chalkboard paint in your home or studio? Please comment and let us know how it works for you.