Make Chalkboard Paint–Chalkboard Rocks


I recently saw these Chalkboard Rocks from Pottery Barn that you can write on with chalk and thought…”I can make those!” So I did! I had been wanting to paint something with chalk board paint (which has been all the rage on the craft blogs the past several months) to try out a homemade chalk paint recipe I found while browsing Martha Stewart’s site a while back.  So I set out to make chalkboard paint.


Home Made Chalkboard Paint

If you haven’t noticed, Chalkboard Paint is pretty expensive. This recipe is super easy and only requires two ingredients…paint (of any color or type) and some Non-Sanded Tile Grout. I found mine at Home Depot for $4 and some change (can’t remember exactly). But you can find the grout at any home improvement store.

You will need the following:


Then you will need to simply mix 1 cup of paint and 2 Tablespoons of grout. That’s it! Just make sure to stir it really well so that there are no lumps. You can use any paint. Paint for plastics or acrylic paint or house paint. You can also use any color of paint. How fun is that? There are so many possibilities and price is now no longer a factor! You could paint a whole room in chalk board paint! Your kids would think you were da bomb!


I really love the look of these black chalk board rocks. The room I have them in currently has a lot of black accents and so they fit in perfectly with the decor. Now I can keep them year round and just change what I write on them with chalk!


What would you like to use your chalk board paint for? Oh and if any of my nearby friends need some non-sanded grout…come and get some…I have a bit to spare :)! I do have a tile project I have been wanting to get to though, that is if I can get the hub’s approval!

Looking for some ways to use your new Chalk Board Paint? Check out some of our other Idea Room Projects…

Chalk Board Mugs

Chalkboard T-Shirts

Chalkboard Purse/Book

Chalkboard Notebook and Party Cups



  1. Dana says

    That is really great! Have you tried it on something flat and maybe a bit larger? I am curious to know if it erases completely and if the finish is very smooth or not. Love it & love your site! Thanks for sharing.

    • Sonja Norman says

      I have just painted our large fridge with chalk board paint and it looks great. Now I am waiting for it to dry.
      I did not do the entire fridge, just 1 of the large sides.
      Now nothing should be forgotten, when I write it on the large side of the fridge.

      • Kara says

        I am curious how your fridge turned out? I want to paint mine. Did the homemade paint look good on the fridge?

      • miriam says

        did you paint your fridge with this chalkboard paint recipe? I am curious because I want to paint mine but don’t want to spend 100.00 for a gallon of paint! THanks.

        • Shelly says

          we got a quart of chalkboard paint in our daughter’s fav color of pink. It cost 9.00, we were able to do a 9×16 foot section with three coats. So one qt of it should do a fridg.

    • Taylor says

      What you do is you get an old vintage photo frame with the glass still in it.
      Then you take out the glass and paint it with chalkboard paint.
      While you’re waiting for that to dry you paint the frame with a white or even cream coloured paint.
      When that is dry you put the chalkboard painted glass back in the frame and you have your very own CHALKBOARD/NOTICE BOARD :)

  2. Heidi says

    Oh my gosh… you just made my day! I didn't know you could MAKE chalkboard paint! That is great news! I've been wanting to do that exact same project!

  3. Liza says

    I had my Hubby paint me up a handful last month…I think once I priced it at PB…we saved around 24 bucks or so by making them ourselves :) Can't wait to set them out at my party…they make good "place card"s too :)

  4. The Whimsical Princess says

    Fun! I didn't know you could make chalkboard paint, I will have to give it a try when mine runs out. I was going to make those same rocks I figure they are rocks how hard can it be? I have some smooth black ones I was going to try.

  5. Lu says

    Ooh, love it. I have also been envying all the chalkboard paint ideas but so very not willing to pay the hefty price tag for the paint! Thanks for sharing the recipe.

  6. Aimee says

    that is so awesome! Thank you so much for the fantastic idea. You're right…the possibilities are endless. It would be fun to do rocks for all the holidays with different colors of paint!

  7. Mommy Dearest says

    Great tip!!

    I actually made a border out of chalkboard paint in my kitchen, this would have saved me a bundle!

  8. Chris says

    Genius. Truly. I'd never come across making your own chalk board paint before. Will be bookmarking!

  9. jules says

    This is a fabulous idea. I love that paint..but like you- I think it is really expensive.

    I am going to paint my kid's bathroom walls.

  10. Heather says

    Love, love, love that. Especially the different color factor. Thanks so much for posting!


  11. T says

    when I painted my girls' room (7 years ago) I had to incorporate chalkboard green into the color scheme just because finding different colors was so pricy! Now… I may have to re-paint… non-sanded grout here I come!

  12. Kristen Duke Photography says

    so fun! Love the idea of making your own paint…I want to make a chalk board to put quotes on my stairwell….thanks for the idea!

  13. Sophia Luksana says

    That's very creative! I have a chalkboard in my kitchen, and it's getting very old. I'm going to give it a try. I love reading your blog. I also love rosebud lamp shade. It's very beautiful with those little white rosebuds. Thanks so much for the tutorials. I've done craft projects and posted on Thought you might be interested in checking out. Feel free to promote cool projects from your blog!

  14. The Fifield Kail Family! says

    I Love this idea it's very cute. Were ever did you find the candle holder? Thanks Jessie

  15. Catherine says

    I would love to try this on a table surface – – is the finish smooth like a chalkboard or is it scratchy from the grout?

    Thanks for sharing – – I'm excited to give it a whirl

  16. Jakki L. says

    I made the chalkboard purse you showed how to make on Mod Podge blog. I used acrylic paint and the same non-sanded grout that you showed in the above picture. The paint is tending to chip off (like a lottery ticket). Did I do something wrong or does this tend to happen? Thank you for any suggestions!

    • Gwendolyyn says

      I may be able to help! I worked at HD for a couple years in the paint department and taught many classes on paint application. With painting any surface you want to use a good primer for a long lasting hold. If possible it helps to rough the surface up a bit with fine sand paper before priming. Good luck! ✯

  17. dee brake says

    WOW.. i will soooo try this, i wanted to do a “display area in my little girls room with a chalkboard and a cork board and had been keepin my eye out for a good quality chalk board at yard sales. the paint is a bit $$$ and those “little tikes” ones dont wipe off nicely and leave a lot of chalk dust around because of their rough texture. but how cool. i might try a bit on some diff materials. see what works best. :) FOR SURE gonna do some rocks for my hurricane candle holder :)

  18. says

    I too have just recently jumped on the chalkboard paint wagon. I bought a can of the spray kind, and used it to paint a clipboard for to-do lists. However, I am not really liking the chalk that I am using! It does not have the consistency that I think chalk should have. What kind of chalk do you all like best?

  19. Amy Amodio says

    Thank you so much for posting, I was just about to go buy some expensive chalkboard paint!!!

  20. Lara says

    What a great idea – thanks for sharing! My son has been begging for red walls in his bedroom (no way!), but now I’m going to paint a nice, big red square on his denim-blue wall. It’ll look like a cool accent and it’s functional. I’ll probably put some molding around it (like a frame) so he doesn’t “accidentally” color on his non-chalkboard walls.

    • Mikepete says

      I painted the backsplash and over the stove in my kitchen with magnetic paint-paint with iron bits in it. Then I went over it with chalkboard paint!! I have a magnetic chalkboard now!!!

  21. Nissa says

    This is such a cool idea. I’m going to make chalk board painted thank you cards for my buisness! soo cool!!

  22. Olivia Noel says

    Oh thanks for sharing this! I’ve been wanting to paint a wall in my room with chalkboard paint but it was so expensive!

  23. Anne says

    I just recently turned an old mirror into a chalkboard. It was super easy! I bought spray primer and spray chalk board paint. Together it cost me about 12$ at Home Depot. Just clean the mirror and spray paint the mirror with the primer, let dry, and repeat. Then use the chalk board spray paint, the same way you did with the primer, one coat, let dry, and repeat. Once dried rub the chalk (long ways) all over the board and erase. And there you have your new chalk board. I’ve painted two more chalk boards since then and theres still a lot of paint left in the can.

    • says

      What a fun idea Anne. I would have never thought of doing that. Thanks also for the instructions. Would be a fun gift for someone this year!

  24. lea says

    LOVE IT,
    Do you mind if I ask, what is the font you use for your headings as seen on “Make chalk rocks and homemade chalk board paint”?? I really like it and must know!

  25. Barbara says

    So happy to find this! Going to go to store and get the stuff and make some. Can it be put in an air tight jar and kept? Love it! Thanks for this tutorial..

  26. Jennifer says

    I tried this recipe over the weekend, and after just a little while the paint turned to a jello-ish consistancy. Turned out to be a waste of money and a mess!! Will be heading to the store today to buy the real paint…

  27. says

    This is amazing knowledge. Thanks so much for sharing.. I can’t wait to make my son a chalk table or wall.. or SOMETHING. lol!!!

  28. jo says

    you are so great! i’m needing just about one “recipe” of this for a project. i thought i was gonna have to pay retail. not now, with your help! thank you!

  29. Danielle says

    I just made this mixture for my fiancé’s Christmas gift (a BIG drawing board turned into a chalkboard so he can write out all of his Hebrew studies without wasting paper). It’s great! But one question… it doesn’t seem to clean easily. Do you have a special way of cleaning it when it’s dry? Wiping it down with water and vinegar works, but I know my fiancé will want to wipe it off and write again quickly. Any ideas?

    • says

      Hmmm….did you rub the edge of a piece of chalk over the entire thing to set it initially? Maybe it is the chalk? Not sure! Mine seemed to have no trouble.

  30. heather says

    i used this recipe (well half of it) and it went on great and even did well when i wrote on it. however, soon as i went to erase the chalk (with a damp cloth) it took off all the paint with it..any ideas?!?!?!

  31. jenny says

    Not sure if this was mentioned – I didn’t read all the comments – but your local Freecycle or Hazordus Waste (where you bring extra paint to recycle or dispose of) may have the grout mix for free!! Or maybe check with a tile installer if they have any left over from a job??

    Thanks for the Tut! I can’t wait to try it! (and we happen to already have the grout mix!)

  32. Becky says

    Just saw chalkboard paint on the bottom edges of wine glasses… then just write your name…
    Would not try that if you had not posted the “recipe” for the paint!! Thanks!

  33. says

    I just found this idea on Pinterest & had to pop over to check it out. This sounds like an awesome idea. Thanks so much for sharing.

  34. heather says

    I have a daughter getting ready to go to college.. and we are looking for awesome new ideas for organizations and such… i am gonna give this a try… how fun it would be to do a chalkboard in different colored sections for different subjects and such

  35. Katie EA says

    I have a question, I’m having problems erasing the chalk off of my boards, I know normal chalk boards still have some marks and residue but my boards have the words still clear as day, I used a piece of felt to erase is that the problem?

  36. Tiffany G. says

    I am going to use this recipe to chalkboard paint my fridge. My husband will love it just as much as the little girl I babysit… :)

    • marcela says

      if you have the white kind of fridge then you can use simple white-board marker on any part of the fridge. that kind of fridge is basically one big whiteboard :) try it:) you will be amazed:) this does not work on metal fridges of the steel grey variety though.

  37. kim johnson says

    I love this! I am a big fan of thift store. Going to get some big frame and make a chalk board for friends as girfts! Love it!

  38. says

    Wow! Thank you so much for sharing this with the Weekly Kids’ Co-op. I had been looking at doing this in my kids room but it was so expensive. While I was reading the post I had all kinds of ideas going on. Absolutely fantastic.))

    • says

      So glad you found it too. Hope you are able to make a lot of fun stuff! Thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment.

  39. says

    We just built my two sons a fort out of all the scrap wood we had around the house, I was going to make one wall into a chalk board so they could mabye write “the pass word” of the day or whatever. Thanks for the information will let them pick a color they like

  40. Rachel says


    Your post has actually inspired me to host a chalkboard painting party where I am supplying the secret incredient (non-sanded tile grout). I am a little nervous since about 15 people are coming to take part and I read the Martha Stewart directions you referenced – her’s state to you use flat latex paint…

    1. Have you or anyone else tried this with another kind of paint other than latex? How did it go?
    2. Does the grout harden the paint? If so, does it happen quickly?
    3. Does the grout change the colour of the paint significantly?

    Thanks for the inspiration!

  41. Karla says

    It is always easier to ask for for forgiveness than permission.~ advice given to me by a wise lady about doing home projects that may require approval ;)

  42. Ashley says

    I’ve used this recipe for a display at work (home improvement store). The trick is to paint a few coats letting each coat dry in between (mix your grout and paint in a jar so you can seal it up between coats) and use a foam roller. I used 5 coats (since it was a display in a busy store I needed it to last) and be sure to SAND BETWEEN COATS with fine sandpaper. Then let it cure for about 7 days if you can wait that long (I couldn’t) and then use school chalk not sidewalk chalk. The first week or so of cleaning was slightly messy-I couldn’t seem to get the chalk to totally erase but after a few washings (water and a sponge cleaned thoroughly between swipes) the surface became much smoother and erased totally. The multiple coats of paint makes sure that you do not scrub through to the surface after lots of washing. Hope this helps!

  43. amy says

    i used the chalkbord paint in different colors throught the house in circles. the kids love it and they learn from it. My hubby and I put Bible verses on the circles. then we give the kids a week to memorize a verse and they get a prize! they love it!!! we love it because it encourages our kids to learn the Bible we have about 50 circles located through the house. we also made a chalkboard wall on the kids playroom wall. they have fun for hours….

  44. Shannon says

    Has anyone incorporated this into the magnetic paint? If so, please post ideas…this would be AWESOME!

  45. Lorna says

    *disappointed* I can’t even read the article because advertisements are in the way. boooo!

  46. says

    hi, i tried this but painted a thick cardboard (like the back of a picture frame). it works ok, but doesn’t come off easily. i did two coats.

    i also painted a glass jar, but it just scrapes off.

    any tips? thanks!!

  47. Amanda says

    Thanks so much for posting! I am a high school agriculture teacher and plan to use this to create some small chalkboards using some wood then I can alternate colors. I also have some license plate frames we decided not to use on our vehicle from the university my husband I attended (they were going to scratch up our personalized plates) so I think I will paint some wood and use the plate frames to frame the board and then use them as support for our university in our home! Thank you so much for posting!

  48. says

    I make this on a smaller table for my kids and it turned out great. However, if there is any type of glossy finish you’ll need to sand it off first. Make sure you use a superfine sandpaper on your final sanding to get a smooth surface. You can also paint labels with this and about a million other things. I will say this much, though. It dries fast so work quick and if you’re not planning on painting alot you can cut the recipe in half.

  49. pam says

    chalkboard paint the kitchen cabinets/walls….super cool for those fav recipes, notes,reminders

  50. Michelle says

    I had real problems with this recipe :( The first time I tried it, I followed the recipe exactly from above (2 tbs grout (same grout as above) 1 cup of black latex paint (rustoleum brand)). Mixed it all in a small painter’s try, and the entire thing was a solid mess! I tried again (1 cup paint, and 1 half tbs grout) and could not get the grout to dissolve after stirring and stirring for 30 min. When I tried to use this 2nd mixture as paint, the grout particles were all over the jar I was painting. Does maybe latex paint not work for this? Also, I wonder if you can dissolve the grout in water first, and then add it to the paint?? In the end, I bought a can of chalkboard paint at HomeDepot for $10 (not too bad of a price), but I just wish I didn’t spend the first $10 on the failed recipe. Any suggestions, as I would like to try again to make the chalkboard paint since I have the box of grout?

    • says

      Hmmmm…I am not really sure why you had such a problem. The only thing I can think of is maybe you got the sanded grout instead of the NON-sanded grout. They are right by each other on the shelf and maybe you got the wrong one? You should be using the NON-sanded grout. Maybe this is the issue. If not, let me know and I would be happy to see if we could figure it out. I have double checked the instructions and they were correct.

      • Holly Hibbs says

        Nope. Idk about Michelle, but I did get NON-sanded grout, & I still had these issues.

      • Judy Dahle says

        Grout sets. You mix it, it give it a couple minutes and then mix again to use for tile. Otherwise it is just sand. Maybe that changes how it manifests in the paint?

    • Holly Hibbs says

      I had the exact same problem with painting it on a glass jar. Also, the first batch I made was all clumpy, even though I mixed it well. Also looking for answers on solving these problems.

  51. says

    Hey there! I’ve created so many paints for my furniture using a similar recipe. I use 1 tbls undamaged grout per cup of paint. I found my grout very grainy and not suitable for furniture projects. To fix this I grabbed an old unused blender…added a few table spoons hot water and the grout and blended it for about 30 seconds… Then I add the paint and blend until very smooth… It works great! Happy painting!

  52. says

    Thank you so much! I have an old mirror to hang in our entry way and wanted to add some chalkboard paint to some of the panes for messages. This is perfect!

  53. says

    I love those!! I had no idea the chalk paint was so easy to make…definitely something that I will be doing!! Thanks for sharing!!

  54. Heidi says

    Great news but … I read about painting the fridge with that paint? Would it stick or is there the grout mixed with some specific paint for colour, like metal or…?

  55. Nikki says

    I made the chalkboard paint today with my kids and its awesome but we painted it on a board and it doesn’t wipe off to well. So we used a damp towel and its starting to wipe all of the paint off =( any suggestions?

    • Nikki says

      and I did get the NON sanded grout…but at least its not just me…i see where other people are having problems too….=(

      • Sara says

        You have to use flat paint. If there is any gloss to the paint at all, let the paint dry on the object and then go at it with a very fine sandpaper to knock the gloss off. Also remember to rub a piece of chalk all over the board to prime it for chalk before using.

        If a damp cloth is causing the paint to come off completely, then you used water based paint. Latex paint will also have a tendency to peel off smooth surfaces like glass. I would etch the surface of the glass to be painted. The etching will toughen the smooth surface so that the paint has something to hold on to.

        For anyone wanting to paint a large area, like a wall or a child’s room, this would be 2 cups non sanded grout to 1 gallon of paint. I’m planning on doing my daughter’s room with this in a pale lavender. But first I have to get the smaller boards done for Christmas and her bday party.

  56. Amanda says

    Amy! Thanks for the post!! We are transitioning our formal dining room into an AWESOME play and creative space for our children. I’d like to paint the bottom portion of the room (under the chair rails already on the walls) with this chalkboard paint. Herein lies the question… how difficult is it to paint over? My husband is a little worried about the day when we sell the house and having to paint over the chalkboard to transform the formal dining room back to a formal dining room… Thoughts? Sincerely, ~Amanda

  57. says

    I just have one question… Because i’m not anglophone I don’t understand what is the product that you are using, could you please try to explain what is it? thanks an greetings from Argentina.

  58. says

    Question! What is the difference between SANDED and NON-SANDED grout? I live in England and I don’t understand the difference. Our DIY shops don’t seem to offer a choice, or maybe the wording is different. In which case it would help to know what the two are like. Anyone? Thanks!

  59. Nancy says

    If you use magnetic paint under the chalkboard paint, you get two surfaces in one. Would be really nice in a kids room. They could draw on the all plus hang other tings with magnets!

  60. says

    Did anyone else have trouble with it clumping? I stirred really well and put a lid on the container, and when I went to use the paint later, it was dry and clumpy. I spritzed some water in it & tried to mix it around, but it was still pretty bad. It worked, but it was really hard to paint with. Idk if it’s something I did wrong or what.

  61. says

    I posted a comment recently, and now I can’t find it. I had trouble with my chalkboard paint and wondered if I’d done something wrong or if anyone had any tips.

  62. Lucy Woodman says

    I’m curious about which paint you would use… Surely if you use acrylic paint it would come off when you washed off the chalk?

      • Lucy Woodman says

        Oh that’s great! I will give it a go! We currently have some stick-on blackboard stuff on a wall in my kitchen, but the bubbles under it are so annoying – I will paint it instead. Thank you x

    • says

      It should work fine for that. You could test it out first to see if it is going to work with the type of paint you use or the surface you are painting.

  63. sd says

    Just made this, and just wanted to post about my experience in case it helps anyone. I used pieces of fir wood (I think it was fir). I sanded each board with an electric sander to remove the weird finish on it (it was repurposed wood). Each board was about 6″ by 7.” I put the non-sanded tile grout in a bucket, poured in the paint (just used some Apple Barrel brand black acrylic paint from Walmart, nothing special) and mixed them together well with a spoon. I painted my boards, a couple coats (didn’t really wait in between so not sure if that counts as a coat). I let it dry overnight. Then I primed it with a piece of chalk (otherwise the writing will stay on it). I probably did about 5 round of priming it, beginning with a damp cloth to wipe the chalk off, and then moving to a dry cloth to rub it in better. I just kept trying to write on it, and if it didn’t erase with the dry cloth, I wiped it with the wet one and primed it again. Now my board erases easily and completely (with my finger even), although the board is more of a black/gray than the deep black it started as. I think it looks fine though and I can write on it without any problems. It’s smooth because I sanded the wood. I can sort of see the lines of the wood in the paint, but I can write on it fine. Anyways, sorry for the long post, but hope this helps with some of the questions and problems people were encountering. Thanks for the idea!

  64. JustMe says

    Thanks for the tip! I’m about to make my own chalkboard with a very large frame I have (3′ x 5′) for my son’s room. I’m hoping it will encourage my 3-year-old to draw on that instead of everything else in my home! Thanks again!

    • says

      That sounds like a great idea! I am sure he will love it! I hear you about writing on “approved” surfaces with kids! :)

    • JustMe says

      haha I never did get that project above done, but as you will see wayyyyy down below, I did do their cute kiddie table…see results below :( Still needing to do the frame but will be more diligent in getting rid of the clumps first.

      Do you have any tips on how you got rid of your clumps? Or did you have small gritty pieces here and there and just ignore them?

      • says

        I had some small clumps too. I used a fork to get rid of them. You could try running it through an old sifter to help eliminate the clumps if they are too bad before mixing it in the paint.

  65. Patty says

    An idea is to do this if you have a desk or a table in your room and paint the top. Then if you need to remember something or just try to solve an equation you can just write it down… Perfect to do homework on!!! Thank you soo much for this “recipe”!!! XOX

  66. JustMe says

    I ended up with chunks galore! I stirred until my wrists hurt and still got a bunch of chunks! I then sanded the kids’ table I was painting…and of course there are now little white spots. No point in going over it again, will just have the same result. Also, you really do need to let it “cure” for a few days. After only hours of painting my table, I did the ABCs on it and viola…some of the paint came off where the chalk dug into it :( Guess I’ll just do a few more coats and the kids will have to live with the small pieces of grout. No biggie. I think I will try to use water and get rid of the chunks next time…it just wasn’t working when I put it in the paint first. We’ll see what happens ;)

  67. Stacy Yoder says

    Would this work on glass ? was thinking of doing it to wine glasses for a bridal party . Feed back would be fantastic


  68. Mandy Mostert says

    Hello please I need help.. the house I have bought needs a desperate paint all over I did the main bedroom but when I used the blue masking tape on the side walls so I could paint a feature wall the tape removed all the paint I had already done. And yes I waited a week for every thing to dry properly…. I have now been told my walls were not primed.. and the only way I can fix it is to sand all walls down and start again…my goodness I have a 4 bedroomed house that would take months…please can you sigest something else please please.

  69. Barb says

    Thank you for your chalk paint recipe! This stuff is expensive in the craft stores and I SO wanted to try it. I also like that you can use ANY paint with this! Thank you SO much for your creativeness!

  70. says

    My partner and I stumbled over here coming from a different website and thought I
    might as well check things out. I like what I see so now i’m following you.
    Look forward to going over your web page repeatedly.

  71. says

    This looks like an awesome idea, and it comes at just the right time! There is a small wall under my kitchen countertops that I was planning on painting with chalk board paint!

  72. renae says

    This is awesome! I have to say that not all paints are created equally. Yesterday, I made a batch with behrs paint that I had left over. Worked great. But today, I used valspar and it turned into paste. I had to use 2 cups of paint with the 2 tablespoons of grout grout to loosen it. I hope it will still work.

  73. Dorothy Boucher says

    wow! I didn’t know it was this easy, I am doing my dining room, painting and all and I wanted to add on the bottom of one of the walls for the children to chalk :) so thanks for saving me money lol

  74. says

    Wow! I never thought it would be this easy. I use chalkboard paint very often for diy projects but it is quite expensive indeed. Thank you for sharing. Definitely gonna try!


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