How To Get The Perfect Chalkboard Paint Backsplash (for only $50)

Chalkboard Paint So I may (or may not) have mentioned this, but…I’m getting married!  Yep! In January (which is  a little under 6 months away…..eeek.) My fiance and I are very blessed as we have a home to move into already, it’s a family owned property and my family members have allowed us to basically fix it up as we would like.

The place is a bit dated, my grandmother lived in it for many years and as she had loved the way it looked in the 1960s she didn’t really want to change it. But now it could use a little freshening up. So as we are getting married (read: paying for a wedding) and helping out by buying a lot of other supplies (painting and hardware), we wanted to update the backsplash in the kitchen but do it….cost effectively and creatively.

I didn’t want to just paint over it because I felt like it wouldn’t look right and I would love to add additional function there…. and then I went to Pinterest and discovered chalkboard paint. Perfect! Both my future husband and I are artistic and creative. We would love to have something there we can decorate ourselves! Or use to write reminders and notes!

So I continued to do a little more research but I was shocked to find so many people who had bad experiences with chalkboard paint. Either they couldn’t write on it or it didn’t look right or it didnt give them good coverage..and that made me a bit concerned but I saw a lot of people making the same kinds of mistakes with chalkboard paint  so I decided to write a blog dedicated to how I used it to make a sleek, fun, and relatively cheap chalkboard backsplash for my kitchen that really looks marvelous!

Tip #1 Doing this right takes time, it won’t be a quick weekend update, it will require multiple coats, and touching up. I am the queen of taking short cuts when I can but I realized real quick that to have this look right I was gonna have to invest at least a week to have it come out perfect. I’ll be posting more special tips throughout this tutorial as well but let’s get to the fun part! Buying the Supplies! I will put the total cost breakdown at the bottom of this post (and maybe will do a downloadable PDF with the supplies list also). What you will need: Chalkboard Paint: I used Rustoleum 30 oz Black Chalkboard Paint ($9.67) I bought two cans but I only just barely finished the first one. I say judge by how much wall you need to cover.

(1) Mini Roller And (1) Mini Roller Cover: I had these from other painting projects we were doing in our apartment so these were free for me but generally speaking they don’t run more than maybe $1.00 to $3.00 for the roller and maybe $4.00 for a pack of mini rollers.

Please excuse the state of my counter top the whole place is getting a bit of a face lift so there’s a lot of things out of place.

(1) Small Paint Brush: I just had this little paint brush laying around and it ended up being perfect. So for me it was free but you can find these for next to nothing maybe a dollar? On Amazon they have them for .67 cents…

Paper Towel, and Wet Wipes: Great for getting slips and drips of paint off areas you don’t want to paint…like my chrome framing along each of the panels I have in my kitchen.

Chalk: I went to JoAnns and went a bit crazy but you don’t have to haha! I got these small coordinating color packs of chalk for about $3.00 a pack (they were on sale). They also always have sales and coupons so go there for sure and you’ll get a good deal on them. When not on sale they’re around $5.00 for one of these four packs. I recommend buying two and getting one that has a color you don’t like to use for prepping the chalkboard (I’ll explain this later).

Tip # 2 You may be tempted to buy chalk markers but for now DO NOT use them on a chalkboard painted wall. They tend to leave residue that will not come off chalkboard painted surfaces.  Once I get into the swing of using my chalkboard back splash I’ll be posting an update on how to use it and how to clean it and I’ll look into cleaning chalk markers off if possible! Stick to the sidewalk chalk for now. It’s safer and you need it to prep your surface anyway. (1) Paint Tray: I picked out the cheap .99 cent ones they’ll do just fine for ya!

(1) Painters Tape: Good for the first go-round when you’re painting everywhere. It definitely helps to down an extra strip along your counter-top in case the rollers misses the little taped area.

Okay so you’ve got all  your supplies! Let’s talk prepping your space.


So I know how excited you are to get started painting but a few minutes of careful prep will make for less clean up and less headaches for you.

Prep Step 1: Clear your Counter-top. This may seem like a hassle but it’s worth it. It’ll make the whole process of painting your back splash so much easier. You’ll have more room to maneuver and you can keep your supplies right on your counter top (if you have new or expensive counter top put a little tarp down to keep  paint dribbles off your surface)

Prep Step 2: Clean and dry your surface.  My grandmother hadn’t cooked in her kitchen for over ten years and was very picky about keeping the kitchen clean and I STILL found little bits of oven and stove grease on the back splash. It’s definitely a functional space so you wanna make sure that it’s completely clean before put the paint on. This will make sure you have an even surface to paint on.

Prep Step 3: Apply Painter’s Tape. Okay I’m a bit of  lazy bones and I only taped once during the initial painting and then I removed it right away once I had finished and then didn’t bother to tape again to do the touch ups. Depending on how picky you are you could do that or you could tape every time. Your call.


1.) Open your can of paint, it should look like it has little black particles, it may even look a little gray. It’s normal, just get out a little stirring stick and start to blend it.

Tip #3  Do NOT vigorously stir the paint. I know in most paints it requires a certain amount of elbow grease to really get it well mixed but with chalkboard paint if you stir really hard you run the risk of dissolving the particles that make the chalkboard paint chalkboardy…if that makes sense. When you’re done stirring the paint will look even with no gray or whitish streaks  and will be even in color like this:

You CAN get other colors of chalkboard paint other than black, I'm just old school I guess haha.
You CAN get other colors of chalkboard paint other than black, I’m just old school I guess haha.

2.) Start painting! Pour your perfectly mixed paint in your tray and start with your mini roller. Chalkboard paint unlike regular latex/indoor paint has a tendency to go on a little thin at first so you’ll see it kinda look a little sponge painted at first but  keep going over it and it’ll start to even out. I recommend getting an initial coat down first and just moving along the backsplash as you need to. Just be careful to avoid thick drip lines of paint, if it dries that way it’ll leave an uneven surface for you to write on.

Just an example of how not so great coverage looks, this needed some going over to get rid of.
Just an example of how not so great coverage looks, this needed some going over to get rid of.

Tip #4 Also if you have the layout to do this, I would recommend doing a small “test panel” that will allow you to get a good idea of how the paint sets and dries.  At the bottom of the post I’ll have a before and after shot and on either end I actually did TWO test panels  and after they looked great I went ahead and painted the rest of the backsplash.

3.) A backsplash is a pretty wide surface area to cover but it usually takes about an hour to an hour and a half to get a first coat down, that means that you can save yourself some touch up time by going BACK to the area where you first started and putting down another coat and evening out the areas that are looking a little streaky or spongy.

Tip#5 Be careful when you’re washing your hands (in the kitchen sink) after you’re done painting, you will splatter a bit of water and it will make these annoying little  droplet marks in your paint job…I know…because I did it and this is what happened:

See?? Ack! So annoying!
See?? Ack! So annoying

4.) Once you have the larger areas well covered  You can start filling over the harder to paint areas like corners and edges.  You can see from my pictures that I have a thin chrome frame around every single panel so getting the paint in all those crevices while not being totally messy was a bit challenging. I found that getting real close with the roller helped in some cases and in others I would use the small paint brush to touch up by gently using short strokes and then taming any larger resulting streaks with the roller.

Sorry for the slight over exposure I was working a bit late and the lighting is not so good in that space.
Sorry for the slight over exposure I was working a bit late and the lighting is not so good in that space.

Tip #6  You may have noticed that I’d gotten some paint on the chrome border in that last photo.  If this happens just use the edge of a wet wipe wrapped against a fingertip to wipe it off. If it’s started to dry you can still usually get it off by scraping it a bit with your fingernail.

5.) Hurry up…and wait. Chalkboard paint needs to cure for 3 days before being chalk prepped. If you see coverage issues, I would wait an additional 3 days every time you put another touch up coat down. This is a great opportunity for you to check on it and see how the paint coverage is looking.

The Chalk Prep

After waiting the 3 days for the paint to set you’re going to have to get it ready for being written on. This involves rubbing chalk along the surface covering it completely and then wiping it down.  I used my black chalk since I highly doubted that I would need to use it. I just put it on it’s side  and gave the whole backsplash a nice even coating of chalk.

Chalk preppin'
Chalk preppin’

Once the whole surface is covered you’re gonna give it a good rub down with a rag and some warm water. It may take a few goings over to get all the chalk dust off of it, and don’t forget to wipe down your counter-top also there will be a lot of chalk dust from the chalk prep sitting there.

Getting it nice and clean. I know in the picture you see me using some paper twol that was earlier on, I honestly don't recommend it. It tends to leave little dusty bits.
Getting it nice and clean. I know in the picture you see me using some paper twol that was earlier on, I honestly don’t recommend it. It tends to leave little dusty bits.

And then put that rag down (maybe wash your hands) and give yourself a pat on the back! Because you just finished your backplash!

Here’s a before and after shot from my project:


Just about to begin…

And After:

All done!
All done!

Right now my kitchen is getting a total makeover, so once everything is completely finished  I’ll post an updated cleaned up picture!

I hope this helped you with your Chalkboard paint backsplash project. If you have any questions let me know in the comments!

Total Cost Breakdown:

Chalkboard Paint: $21

Roller/ Roller Cover Cost: $7.00

Paint Brush total: $1.00

Painters Tape: $5.00

Paper Towel and Wipes: $3.00

Paint Tray: $1.00 Chalk Total: $10.00

Total Cost: $47.00 (approx)


One comment

  1. Very cool! Thanks for entering this pin in the Pinterest Game, and we hope to see you again next week! And CONGRATULATIONS on your upcoming wedding! 🙂


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