the writing on the wall

A must have in a classroom is a blackboard or dry erase board, so I thought it would be fun to have a black wall in our classroom. After much research, I found that the most recommended chalkboard paint was made by Rust-oleum.  After using our black wall for most of the year, I thought I would share my experience and provide a little review of chalkboard paint along with magnetic primer.

We have textured walls in our home and in order to use chalkboard paint, the surface has to be smooth.  So the first, and worst, part of the job was sanding the wall.  After I got it smooth enough (read as gave up), I decided to use a magnetic primer.  I used Rust-oleum magnetic primer.  The directions say to stir until the primer is uniform.  And stir I did.  The metal had become a big ball in the can, so I stirred for over 20 minutes.  I suggest having them shake it in the paint shaker at the store then immediately using it.  This will save you lots of stirring.  And be sure to use a drop cloth because this stuff splatters more than regular paint.

As far as magnets sticking to the wall, I wasn’t super impressed.  I followed the instructions and used a dense foam roller while applying thin coats.  I believe I applied 3 coats of primer.  As you can see in the picture above, small magnets will stay, but they do sometimes fall off.  There’s no way these magnets can hold paper to the wall.  I was planning to hang art work with magnets, but I realized I would need really strong magnets to hold up paper.  Perhaps I’ll try that next school year.  For now, I’ll give the magnetic primer 3 stars for being not so easy to apply and not really holding magnets.  If stronger magnets work, I’d probably bump that up to 4 stars.

I was much more impressed with the chalkboard paint.  I was mainly concerned with two things: 1. will the chalk actually show up on it or will it barely write like with cheaper blackboards and 2. will the paint flake off when we write on it.

Neither of these things happened. I applied 3 thin coats with a dense foam roller, then I primed the board after it dried by rubbing a piece of chalk on its side over the whole board. It looks and feels just like the blackboards I remember as a kid.  And the better chalk I choose, the better the whole black wall is.  So far,  I’m super impressed with Crayola brand chalk.  And don’t be disturbed by how dusty my wall is.  It’s because I give the kids the cheap chalk to draw with (which they love doing) and we haven’t cleaned the erasers in a while.  However, the wall is easy to clean with a damp cloth.

So I’ll give the chalkboard paint 5 stars!  We love it and use our black wall daily!

What have you been itching to paint with chalkboard paint?


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