Many homeowners look for something different, something fun or something interesting when trying to choose a backsplash in their kitchen. Even if you are not doing a complete kitchen remodel, adding a new backsplash can really change the entire look of the room. The common choices include ceramic tile, natural stone, laminate, solid surfacing material, metal tiles or paint – all great ideas, but for the homeowner with a quirky personality or limited budget, those options just won’t work. Looking through magazines and design books usually gives you some ideas that are way out of budget, but beautiful.

Turning you backsplash into a chalkboard is outside of the norm. Chalkboard backsplashes are not only an unpredictable element in the kitchen, they are useful. Imagine leaving notes for your family in a convenient space or writing the recipe you place on making for dinner right on the back-splash, which is convenient and easy. Or maybe you are the type who likes to leave words of encouragement or motivation for your family, you can write the words and change them everyday. Or maybe you are even the artistic type who gets bored with living in unchanging surroundings. You can decorate the chalkboard backsplash and redecorate it every month, every week or every day if you choose.

Grab some colored chalk and follow me, I will show you step by step how to change your kitchen into a conversation piece.

Preparing the Kitchen For A Chalkboard Backsplash

Unscrew the electrical receptacle covers and place them on the side if you want to reinstall them later.

 Remove the existing tile, laminate, stone or solid surfacing material. If this is a kitchen remodel and you have nothing on the back-splash yet  or have the existing covering off – you are good to go!

 Lay tarps over your countertop and secure them in place with masking tape. If you don’t have tarps or a drop cloth lay a thick layer of newspapers over the countertop and tape it in place.

Cover the appliances with tarp or drop cloths. If you have an older stove that has a pilot light, you will have to turn off the gas supply before covering the stove. The pilot light can ignite the tarp or drop cloth and cause a fire.

Cover the face of the kitchen cabinets both above and below the backsplash with tarps, drop cloths or newspapers.

Lay strips of low tack painter’s masking tape over the edges of the appliances, cabinets and countertops that are still exposed to protect them.

Preparing the Back-splash for a Chalkboard Finish

Scoop up premixed drywall joint compound on a flexible putty knife and fill in cracks, holes, gaps or nail or screw heads. Let the joint compound dry for 1 to 2 hours.

 Wrap 220-grit sandpaper around a sanding block and sand the joint compound repairs so they are smooth and even.

Wipe the sanding dust off the backsplash with a tack rag.

Wrap 320-grit sandpaper around a sanding block and lightly sand the surface to create a smooth, level, even surface.

Wipe all of the dust off the backsplash with a tack rag.

Vacuum the backsplash and countertops with an upholstery brush attachment onto a vacuum hose.

Priming the Back-splash

Pour black tinted stain blocking wall primer into a painting tray. Most paint stores and home improvement stores will tint primer to any color. Have your primer tinted black, make the tint as dark as possible to match the chalkboard paint color. If you chose to have a green blackboard backsplash, have the primer tinted green.

Dip a paintbrush into the tinted primer and carefully paint the backsplash around the edges where the backsplash meets the underside of the cabinets, the countertop and any walls. Paint about a 2 to 3 inch strip all around.

Roll a ¼ inch nap paint roller through the tinted wall primer and roll the tinted primer onto the backsplash. Make a V pattern as you roll on the primer and then overlap the V’s to attain a smooth, even coverage.

Let the tinted primer dry for three to four hours. Keep the primer tightly covered while you are waiting for the first coat to dry.

Dip a paintbrush into the tinted primer and cut in around the perimeter of the backsplash.

Roll a second coat of tinted primer onto the backsplash in an overlapping V pattern again.

Let the tinted primer dry for three to four hours.

Wash the painting tray, paintbrushes and roller, set them aside to dry for later use.

Painting on the Chalkboard Backsplash

Pour specialty chalkboard paint in the color of your choice into the clean painting tray.

Dip a paintbrush into the chalkboard paint and paint around the perimeter of the backsplash coating a 2 to 3 inch wide strip along the underside of the cabinets, above the countertops and along the walls that meet the backsplash.

Roll the ¼ inch nap roller through the chalkboard paint. Roll the chalkboard paint onto the backsplash, moving the paint roller up and down while you are overlapping the edges of the previous pass. Continue to roll the chalkboard paint onto the backsplash until you have an even coating on the backsplash.

Let the chalkboard paint dry for five to six hours.

Wash the paintbrush, painting tray and paint roller. Keep the chalkboard paint tightly lidded while the first coat of paint dries.

Pour more chalkboard paint into the painting tray.

Dip a paintbrush into the paint and cut in around the perimeter of the back-splash.

Roll the paint roller through the paint and roll on a second coat of chalkboard paint. This time roll the roller across the backsplash rather than up and down as you did with the first coat. Keep rolling on chalkboard paint in an even layer until the entire backsplash has been painted.

 Let the paint dry for three to four days.

Before Using the Chalkboard

 Hold a piece of chalk to the backsplash on its side, sidewalk chalk works best for this part because it it bigger and fatter. Begin along the edge of the chalkboard backsplash and move the chalk up and down or side to side to leave a chalk covering over the entire backsplash.

Let the chalk sit on the surface for three to five minutes.

Erase the chalk from the back-splash with a chalkboard easer.