Chalkboard ideas – ways to get creative with chalkboard paint in any room

Get creative with our chalkboard ideas to give purpose and personality to any surface of your home

Chalkboard paint is having a moment in the spotlight, and for good reason! Versatile and easy to use, it's the perfect way to make a statement in any room of your home. Creative chalkboard ideas can transform any wall or piece of furniture to give it purpose and personality.

Aside from a traditional chalkboard on the wall we've unearthed the potential for far more imaginative paint ideas, from kitchen signs and cupboard door drawing boards to garden panels – the possibilities with chalkboard paint ideas are endless.

Chalkboard ideas for around the home

Chalkboard paint makes a great alternative to a kitchen noticeboard or can provide a space for the kids to get creative in, without worrying about them marking pristine painted walls. You can paint any clean surface with chalkboard paint making it super versatile to welcome an idea in every room of the house.

1. Paint a focal feature wall

dining room with chalkboard wall

(Image credit: Future PLC/ Jo Henderson)

A chalkboard idea is ideal for a family dining space to allow an expression of personality and create a fun focal point. Use a spirit level and masking tape to fashion a memo-board expanse of wall. 

Paint the area inside the tape with speciality chalkboard paint which you can buy for less using home decor discount codes, and voila! You have a fun chalkboard directly onto the wall. Painting a chalkboard directly onto the wall saves the expense of buying a noticeboard and the hassle of hanging it.

2. Get creative with a bespoke storage unit

kitchen storage with chalkboard side

(Image credit: Future PLC/ Jo Henderson)

Try a trusty IKEA hack to introduce a chalkboard paint idea to a kitchen storage unit. In this instance a cluster of classic Billy bookcases are used to create a bespoke kitchen shelving unit. Turn one bookcase on its side, and then paint with chalkboard paint. The surface becomes a handy family planner/shopping list/doodle board – something for all the family.

For ease it is best to paint the exterior of the unit when it's upturned on its side to ensure no paint drips.

3. Give a hallway a focal notice board

hallway console with chalkboard painted above

(Image credit: Future PLC/ Jo Henderson)

Turn a hallway console table into a central hub of activity with a creative chalkboard paint idea. As this fine example demonstrates a plain white hallway idea can provide the perfect backdrop for a chalkboard idea to act as a daily reminder of tasks and to-do list for all the family.

As the last thing you see when you dash out of the house, and the first thing you see when returning home, the hallway is ideal location for daily reminders. It can also be the perfect spot to chalk up a daily affirmation, to set everyone's day off to a positive start.

4. Make a child's wardrobe more fun and functional

child's bedroom with wardrobe chalkboard memo boards on doors

(Image credit: Future PLC/)

It's not often kids are encourage to draw on the furniture, making this idea all the more fun. Painting the doors or a bedroom bedroom welcomes a sense of play to daily tasks such as getting dressed, doing chores or remembering homework. Simply tape the outer edges of the area you wish to paint. The area within the inlay of wardrobe doors provides a perfect framed area to paint with chalkboard paint.

5. Paint the door in different paint

kitchen with chalkboard wall and cream dresser unit

(Image credit: Future PLC/ James French)

When you want to give a door more purpose you can't go far wrong with a coat of chalkboard paint to make the door double as a an oversized message board. In this chic kitchen a black feature wall already adds impact to the colour scheme, so the black painted door doesn't jar with the rest of the decor. Painting the door in a chalkboard paint, as opposed to a flat emulsion makes the door multifunctional.

More than merely a barrier to the space beyond it becomes a generous expanse of extra wall space to jot down shopping lists and more.

6. Add depth to a dark colour scheme

open plan kitchen dining room with charcoal grey wall with chalkboard

(Image credit: Future PLC/ Simon Whitmore)

If your decor is already an on-trend shade of dark charcoal grey or slate black you can easily add depth by using a blackboard on the wall to allow personal messages to be jotted down with ease. Because the wall is already dark behind it will stand out less, feeling less intrusive on the room. Less school blackboard, more fun personal touch for welcoming messages and conversation starters.

7. Zone the garden

garden with kids play area with chalkboard sign

(Image credit: Future PLC/ Tim Young)

What could be more fun for little ones that creating a dedicated play area within your garden. Applicable for gardens of any size it can pay to define zones so everyone feels equally at home in the space. A fun chalkboard sign is the easiest way to make a statement and add a playful element to the kids' corner.

Simply paint a sheet of marine board using chalkboard paint to provide a generous drawing area to spark creativity. For safety ensure the board is securely attached to a fence panel or support structure so it can't fall over.

8. Create a calendar

chalkboard wall with family calendar painted on the wall

(Image credit: Future PLC/ Dan Duchars)

Need to organise your family? Paint a blackboard calendar on the wall in your kitchen or home office to make a dedicated area for all to see with ease. I have a friend who has personally followed this creative idea to create a family planner on the wall of for her kitchen – she now says she'd be lost without it! Turns out the writing on the wall, as it were, is easier than a digital reminder of events.

Use black and white chalkboard paint to mix different tones of grey to create an eye-catching effect that's easier to amend from month to month. We love Ronseal's One Coat Blackboard Paint (250ml), £8.09 from Amazon.

9. Paint a personal touch for a family room

kids playroom with chalkboard painted cupboard

(Image credit: Future PLC)

Add a fun touch to a family room and incorporate the cupboard doors into the play element of the room, by painting them in a chalkboard paint. The otherwise wasted surface area provides the perfect blank canvas on which to make your own chalkboard idea. This allows the kids to express themselves with chalks – leaving their mark on the family room decor, without drawing at will on the walls. Providing a dedicated place for them to get creative will ensure the remaining walls remain chalk and crayon-free.

You could also use the full height chalkboard space as a height chart for the kids, to quite literally watch them grow.

10. Focus on a feature wall

kitchen with chalkboard wall

(Image credit: Future PLC/ Matt Antrobus)

A chalk paint feature wall in the kitchen is both fun and functional, more than just a feature wall it's the ideal place to leave notes for each other, keep track of invitations and write up your shopping list - perfect for busy families. Plus the finish is highly practical for a kitchen because it's wipeable, which is a bonus in a room prone to spillages.

11. Embrace walls that can be marked

hallway with black chalkboard paint wall

(Image credit: Future PLC)

The trend for dark colours, seen with the popularity of black living room ideas and black kitchens, shows how strong colours are leading the way in interiors right now. But more than just on-trend, there are elements of using dark colours than can prove highly practical. Take for instance using a blackboard wall in hallway – the colour gives the desired statement look but the properties of chalkboard paint mean it's fine for scuffs and marks.

This idea is highly practical in high traffic areas of the home, such as the hallway. The added bonus of course is that you can write welcoming notes or label coat pegs accordingly.

What is the difference between chalk paint and chalkboard paint?

The key difference between chalk paint and chalkboard paint and that is that chalkboard paint is especially formulated to be drawn on with chalks and chalk pens then wiped clean. Chalk paint is very much a decorating only paint, with the name referring to the chalky finish and flat colour. The two are not to be confused, they have very different qualities.

How do you apply chalkboard paint?

Applying chalkboard paint is very much the same as any other wall paint. Make sure the surface area is thoroughly clean before applying. If you're painting over a standard emulsion (matt) paint, you can paint directly onto the surface. If the existing surface is vinyl paint, wood or metal, you'll need to apply primer.

To get a good, even finish, you'll need to apply several coats. Always check the label before starting, as this should give you a guideline.

Leave each coat to dry for 3-4 hours before applying the next.Leave it to dry for 24 hours. Once dried, the blackboard paint will be ready to use. To remove chalk simply use a warm, damp cloth.

As a master of DIY and home decoration we turn to our Editor Heather Young to share her experience of using chalkboard paint to create feature walls in her own home. She tells us of her experience: 'Chalkboard paint is very easy to apply and goes on much like you would paint any paint. I created a chalkboard wall in our family kitchen for memos and for the kids to doodle on when they were young. I applied a pre-mixed black chalkboard paint with a roller, one single light coat at a time. Once dry, I added another coat.'


Tamara was Ideal Home's Digital Editor before joining the Woman & Home team in 2022. She has spent the last 15 years working with the style teams at Country Homes & Interiors and Ideal Home, both now at Future PLC. It’s with these award wining interiors teams that she's honed her skills and passion for shopping, styling and writing. Tamara is always ahead of the curve when it comes to interiors trends – and is great at seeking out designer dupes on the high street.