Idea Paint Vs. Chalkboard Paint: Which is Right For You?

Mar 25, 2015

A wall that has been painted with dry erase paintA home’s functionality is critical, and home owners often look for new and better ways to improve how they use their space.

Chalkboard paint and dry erase paint have been around for a while now, often put to work in play or game rooms and kitchens. Are you considering converting one of your walls into a messaging wall?

Here’s what you need to know before you decide on which type of paint to use.


Regardless of the type of paint, the wall or surface you are going to paint needs to be prepped. That means the wall must be cleaned, holes or dents patched, and given a light sand.  If you have a dark wall and are going with white dry erase paint, you will want to prime the area as well.

A wall that has been painted with chalkboard paint.Application

You should apply at least two coats of paint for the best dry erase or chalkboard.

Dry erase paint must be applied with a microfiber roller and depending on the brand, requires 48-72 hours to cure before use. Some dry erase paints come in two parts and must be mixed together before application.

Depending on the size of the space being painted, chalkboard paint can be applied with a regular roller or a sponge paint brush. Once the paint has dried – allow the same amount of dry time as you would regular wall paint – smooth the area with a fine grit sandpaper and wipe the dust away. Condition the chalkboard by rubbing the side of piece of chalk over it, then wipe away the residue.

Cover it Back Up!

If you decide you no longer want your dry erase or chalkboard, it’s pretty simple to get rid of. Dry erase walls must be sanded and primed, then they can be painted over.

Depending on the color, chalkboards can be painted over once they have been cleaned. If the chalkboard is dark and want to replace it with a light color, prime the area before painting.

Features and Benefits of Each Type of Paint

Dry Erase Paint

  • Latex paint
  • High Gloss finish
  • Available in low VOC options
  • Some brands offer clear dry erase paint, though most offer white
  • Patch walls and sand before painting
  • Apply at least 2 coats
  • 48-72 hour cure time
  • To paint over: sand and prime the area, then paint as usual
Chalkboard Paint

  • Latex paint
  • Flat finish
  • Available in low VOC options
  • Some crafts stores sell chalkboard paint in a variety of colors, most home improvement stores carry black and green
  • Patch walls and sand before painting
  • Apply at least 2 coats
  • For smoother chalkboard, use a fine grit sandpaper between coats and wipe away the dust
  • Regular paint dry time
  • Condition surface by rubbing the side of chalk along the surface, then wiping away the residue

A few extra considerations

Dry erase paint may be better for households where someone has a dust allergy – dry erase markers do not leave fine dust behind when erased the way chalk does.

Families with young children may prefer chalkboards because children may ruin markers quickly. Plus, it’s easier to clean chalk of off surfaces that are not chalkboards.

Ultimately, the area of the house, the people using the surface and your personal aesthetic should all be considered, but no matter what, if you decide you no longer want a chalkboard or dry erase board in your home, it’s easy to undo.

Whether you’re ready to transform one of your walls with either of these paints, or go back to traditional paint, Three Brothers Painting is here for you! Contact us to schedule your free estimate today.


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