People love drawing, and drawing with chalk has always been a great way to bring out the inner artist. Perhaps this is because you can easily erase and correct what you’ve done, or start completely over on your creative masterpiece, giving greater confidence and freedom to experiment.
And with the more recent introduction of chalk board contact paper and chalkboard paint, you can turn virtually anything into a blackboard, and begin drawing away. Imagine, permission to write all over the wall!
Both chalkboard paper and paint have really generated a craze. Creative people everywhere are thinking up new and wonderfully unique ways to make and use chalkboards as an artistic tool for crafts and projects of all types at their home and business.
What Is Chalkboard Paint?
Chalkboard paint is paint that can be put on most any surface and transforms it into a blackboard that can be written and drawn on with chalk. There are different types of chalkboard paints, including:
- Standard – This type of paint comes in a can like any house paint, and you use a brush or roller to apply it onto the wall or surface.
- Spray Paint – This paint comes in aerosol cans and is sprayed onto the surface you are painting.
- Magnetic – This might be standard or spray, but it has the added quality of having some magnetic properties which allow small items such as children’s alphabet letter and refrigerator magnets to attach to it.
What Is Chalkboard Contact Paper?
Chalkboard contact paper is paper that has adhesive on one side, and a smooth chalkboard like material on the other side. As with any contact paper, you can get it in rolls that can be applied to walls, tables, and other surfaces large or small.
It also is available in different sizes, such as poster paper size, 8×10 inch paper size, or small label or pre-cut shapes of varying sizes. This provides lots of creative possibilities for how and where it can be used.
What Are the Pros and Cons of Each?
People really enjoy working with both of these products, and each has its advantages and disadvantages. Here are some of these:
- Colors: Contact chalkboard paper is most widely available in black, but can also be found in a few other colors including blue, green, and even purple. But the paint comes in a broad variety of hues and shades so you can select a favorite color or match your surrounding decor.
- Application and Removal: Both types stick to a broad variety of surfaces, including wood, metal, drywall, glass, and concrete. But the chalkboard paper has the advantage of being able to be repositioned or removed with little or no residue. Paint, of course, can not be moved; it must instead be primed and painted over.
- Ease of Application: If you’ve ever painted a room or piece of furniture, you know that it is messy. You need to carefully cover surrounding areas and use masking tape to apply it evenly and protect from going over. You also want to make sure you are applying it smoothly and evenly. It is, however, much easier to cover a large surface with paint than it is with paper. On the other hand, contact paper is not messy at all. But it can sometimes be a challenge to get it flush on the surface and remove any bubbles that might exist underneath. This can usually be done with a ruler or yardstick, depending on the area you are covering.
- Speed of Preparation: It is typically recommended that chalkboard paint is let alone to dry for between 24-72 hours before use. Contact paper is ready right away.
- Curing: Both surface types need to be “cured” before you can begin writing on them with chalk. This is done by rubbing the side of a stick of chalk lightly and evenly across the entire surface of the board, then erasing it using a felt chalk eraser or smooth rag. This process allows the material to accept the chalk when you write or draw on it next.
- Cost: Contact paper is generally less expensive than paint. You can buy small quantities if that is all you need, without a whole lot left to waste. But for entire walls or other large areas, the cost may actually start to even out and be pretty equivalent across the board.
- Maintenance: Most brands of both paper and paint claim to be durable and washable, wiping away chalk and other marks cleanly. Check the labels of the chalks you get. Some varieties can leave a film or residue when erased, which is difficult if not impossible to remove. Unless you want your drawing to be permanent, look for lighter colored chalks that are specifically designed for use on chalkboards.