Walk into the kitchen or mudroom, stand back and look around. Can the crooked picture hanging next to the window be taken down? How about transforming the space next to the refrigerator? Create a mental picture of what it would look like if that wall was converted into a writing pad. Ask if that location would be a convenient place to transcribe the weekend to-do list. Would large wall-posted phone numbers be easily read from anywhere in the kitchen? If the kids were being creative artists on the wall, would their presence hinder traffic flow? Are there any appliances that would have to be jockeyed around? Would a black chalkboard fit the kitchen color scheme or would green work best? Answering these questions will help visualize the wall being used even before it is repainted.
Call ahead and confirm that writeable and erasable latex chalkboard paint is in stock at your local hardware store. Your paint retailer may have to order it for you.
The amount of chalkboard paint needed depends on the size of the kitchen wall. Measure the square footage of the wall (width x height). Keep in mind that two coats of coverage are needed. Approximate costs: Quart-size black is about $15 and covers approximately 50 square feet. Gallon-size black is about $45 and covers approximately 200 square feet. Green latex chalkboard paint may cost 15 percent to 20 percent more.
Relocate any appliances. Remove the shoe mold and baseboard carefully from the wall that is being painted. Remove the nails and store it in a safe place for reinstallation later in the day.
Place a drop cloth on the floor next to the wall being painted. Grab the sanding pole and sand the wall from floor to ceiling and side wall to side wall (Image 1).
Need to paint around any windows? If so, use a steady hand or protect window trim with painter's tape (Image 2). Do the same with the wall edges and ceiling intersections. Use a putty knife or 5 in 1 painter's tool to "force seal" the tape to the surface (Image 3).
Vacuum and clean up any paint dust residue.
Painter's Tip: Use a small flat bar or wide putty knife to pry the shoe mold and baseboard from the wall. Be careful not to dent the drywall or baseboard during the removal process. It helps to place a thin piece of wood or a putty knife between the pry bar and wall to protect the drywall from any damage. Remove nails by pulling them through the back to prevent marring the face.
Safety Tip: Older houses (pre 1978) are at a higher risk of containing lead-based paint. Use respiratory protection when sanding. Refer to the EPA pamphlet titled Protect Your Family from Lead in Your Home for more details.
Pour the latex chalkboard paint into a small container to be used to cut in around the window trim, ceiling corners and wall edges. Apply two coats of edging paint and corner details. Two coats will be matched with two coats of rolled paint on the walls.
Safety Tip: It is always wise to use safety glasses when painting above the head.
Pour the remains of the edging paint into the paint tray (Image 1). Wash the brush and paint container with warm soapy water. Set aside to dry.
Working in small areas at a time and eliminating roller ridge as you go, roll small quantities of paint onto the wall in an up-and-down "W" motion (Image 2). Many latex chalkboard paints will dry to the touch in 30 minutes. A second coat can be applied after two hours. Read paint can directions to confirm dry time.
When applying the second coat, "lay off the wall" using a light touch to apply last roller strokes.
Allow the second coat of paint to dry to the touch. Pull off and dispose of the painter's tape. Clean the roller and roller pan with warm soapy water. Touch up any trim paint if needed. Remove the drop cloth and reinstall the baseboard. Be certain to nail the baseboard into the wall studs so as not to hit any electrical wiring that may be present inside the wall. Replace appliances to their proper locations. Allow the chalkboard paint to dry until morning before writing on the wall.
Purchase colored chalk and store it and an eraser in a nearby basket for easy access. Hang a clock up high on the wall. Create a rack to hold cooking pans and attach it to your chalkboard wall.