Chalkboard paint provides a clever design touch to your kitchen, family room or the kids' rooms. But children often outgrow that decor as they reach their teenage years, which means that it's time to cover the chalkboard with a more attractive color of paint. Unfortunately, you can't simply apply an ordinary paint over your chalkboard surface. If you want your new finish to last, you'll need to first perform some simple surface prep.
Things You'll Need
120- to 150-grit sandpaper
Water-based all-purpose primer
Synthetic fiber paintbrush or roller
Interior acrylic latex paint
Step 1: Clean Off the Chalk
Wipe the chalkboard surface with a clean, damp cloth to remove any chalk dust, then let the surface dry off.
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Step 2: Sand the Surface
Sand the chalkboard with medium-grit sandpaper -- 120- to 150-grit -- until the entire surface feels roughed-up rather than smooth to the touch. It is not necessary to sand off the chalkboard finish.
Step 3: Collect the Dust
Wipe the sanded area with a tack cloth to remove any sanding residue.
Step 4: It's Time to Prime
Apply an all-purpose water-based primer to the surface using a synthetic filament brush, then allow it two hours to dry.
You could select an alkyd primer instead of a water-based primer, but an alkyd would provide no performance advantages for this project. Alkyd primers produce substantially more odor than water-based primers, making them less desirable for indoor use.
Step 5: Top-Notch Topcoats
Finish off your former chalkboard with two coats of a quality acrylic latex paint, applied by brush or roller. Premium paints use higher-grade pigments for better hide, which helps provide better coverage over the old chalkboard paint.
Mike Matthews is editor of Green Building Product News, a national publication that covers sustainable innovations in building and remodeling, and he has spoken at national conferences on green building. He has also served as founding editor of "Paint Dealer" magazine.