How to Restore a Chalkboard

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Things You'll Need

  • Chalkboard cleaner, WD-40 or chalkboard cloth

  • Chalkboard paint

  • Replacement slate

  • Chalk


Dust your erasers regularly to keep your chalkboard clean.


If you use water on your chalkboard, dry it immediately, and chalk over the area to prevent build-up.

Chalkboards have a place in classrooms, meeting spaces and homes. Unfortunately, over time, you may find that your chalkboards are damaged and stop taking chalk well. This can make them hard to use and difficult to clean. You can easily and inexpensively restore a chalkboard. There are several methods of chalkboard restoration, ranging from just a deep cleaning to a full resurfacing. These options will work for both older chalkboards and modern ones.

Step 1

Prep the chalkboard surface to restore it. Color over the entire chalkboard with chalk. Erase with a standard felt eraser. Repeat this process several times. New and old chalkboards can be improved with this step. Exposure to water can cause oily buildup on your chalkboard, making it unusable. This method can correct that problem.

Step 2

Clean your chalkboard. Water can lead to surface build-up, so consider using a solvent-based product. Several companies produce chalkboard cleaners in either cloth or aerosol form. You can also use WD-40 or apply lemon oil to a clean cloth to clean your chalkboard. After cleaning, prep the board with chalk as suggested in Step 1.

Step 3

Consider repainting the surface of your chalkboard. Chalkboard paint is widely available and easy to use. Clean the surface thoroughly, and be sure to paint smoothly. Follow the manufacturer's drying and care instructions.

Step 4

Replace the slate in your chalkboard. While newer chalkboards are not actually slate, vintage ones may be. If you have one of these, keeping the frame and replacing the slate may be an option.


Michelle Powell-Smith

With a master's degree in art history from the University of Missouri-Columbia, Michelle Powell-Smith has been writing professionally for more than a decade. An avid knitter and mother of four, she has written extensively on a wide variety of subjects, including education, test preparation, parenting, crafts and fashion.