The 4 Best Chalkboard Paints For Any Type Of Surface

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Almost any surface can become a chalkboard with the help of the best chalkboard paints, and choosing the right paint for you is all about what your specific project requires. To choose the ideal chalkboard paint for your project, make sure that the paint works for the actual surface that you’re painting on, since each product has limitations on where it can be used (though most are suitable for walls and wood). If your plan is to transform an exterior surface, you’ll have to pay extra-close attention when picking out your paint since most are suitable for indoor-use only.

Chalkboard paint typically comes in two formats — one that’s designed to be rolled or brushed on, or a pick that’s in a spray can. Choosing between them based on your personal preference, but Sarabeth Asaff South, home design expert at Fixr, prefers paint that can be rolled or brushed on since it allows for better precision. “Spray paint is a little harder to control if you’ve never used it, especially because the paint is very dark. So, you can end up with flecks of black paint in places you don’t want them,” she explains. However, keep in mind that applying paint with a brush isn’t fool-proof either; to prevent visible brush strokes, you’ll need to choose a high-quality brush and avoid getting too much product on the brush at a time.

Chalkboard paint is sold in many different quantities ranging from just a few ounces for smaller projects up to multiple quarts for larger surfaces, so be sure to buy the right amount of paint for the size of the area you’ll be painting — some picks even list how many square feet they can cover to help you determine how much product you’ll need. You’ll also want to take note of the drying time when purchasing chalkboard paint, which can vary between products. Asaff South notes that the paint should be “completely dry to the touch, not tacky in any way” before you break out the chalk, so look for a quicker dry time if you’re in a rush. Finally, while black is by and large the most common color of chalkboard paint, some products come in other hues for a vibrant pop of color in your space, so be on the lookout for that if it’s of interest.

These are the four best chalkboard paints you can buy on Amazon. Available in different quantities, application methods, and colors, you’ll surely find the perfect pick for your next DIY project.

1. A Fan-Favorite Chalkboard Paint

  • Can be used on: most walls, doors, paper, and wood
  • Dry time: not specified by manufacturer, but Amazon users report that one coat dries in less than 30 minutes

With a whopping 4.7-star rating overall on Amazon, among 2,300 and growing reviews, this chalkboard paint from American Crafts is wildly popular on the site because it goes on smoothly and opaquely. The black chalkboard paint can either be applied with a brush or a roller, and since it’s suitable for a variety of different surfaces, it’ll likely become a staple in your crafting tool bet.

This pick is both nontoxic and odorless, and it’s meant for indoor use; Amazon reviewers have mixed feedback about whether the paint can be utilized on exterior surfaces. American Crafts doesn’t specify how many square feet the 16.5 ounces of paint should cover, but according to users, it covers plenty. “This size covered 1/2 of the bedroom wall- two coats,” one reviewer reported. “I've used less than 1/2 and it covered 3 coats on a large 4 x 5 ft whiteboard,” noted another.

Enthusiastic Amazon review: “This stuff is GREAT!! I love it! The kids love it! It’s so cute! We got an old frame from a big picture and nailed it to the wall in the kids room and put the chalkboard paint inside of the frame. It works wonders!! It’s so fun for the little ones to be able to draw on the walls. And it gives them a space so they don’t go outside of their boundaries (the frame) to write on where they are not allowed to.”

2. A 6-Pack Of Chalkboard Spray Paint

  • Can be used on: wood, metal, masonry, drywall, plaster, glass, concrete, paperboard, and hardboard
  • Dry time: 20 minutes

If you prefer a spray paint application, this pick from Rust-Oleum has received high praise on Amazon — a knockout 4.7-star rating overall, to be exact. The pack comes with six cans of the oil-based spray paint, each of which can cover up to 7 square feet. Once applied, the end result is a smooth, scratch-resistant, and easily-erasable chalkboard.

This pick only comes in black, and it’s intended for indoor surfaces. The dry time is about 20 minutes, though it’s recommended to condition the chalkboard for use 24 hours after application by rubbing the side of your chalk over the surface and then erasing it.

Enthusiastic Amazon review: “Painted over some plastic signs to redo them. Worked great and went on smooth. Looks just like chalkboard! Two years later and paint is still holding up well!”

3. A Chalkboard Paint In A Rainbow Of Colors

  • Can be used on: wood, metal, glass, and walls (plasterboard)
  • Dry time: 15 minutes

There’s a lot to love about this chalkboard paint from Rainbow Chalk Markers. For one, it comes in a wide range of colors, from basics like black to vibrant pops of color like red, yellow, and green. The water-based paint has a super short dry time of just 15 minutes, and it can be used on both interior and exterior projects — a rarity for paint of this kind. Apply the product using either a brush or a roller, and you’ll adore the smooth, matte finish that you achieve as a result.

This paint is washable and non-flammable. The number of square feet a can of paint will cover isn’t listed, but one Amazon reviewer noted that the label on the can estimated 30 square feet.

Enthusiastic Amazon review: “Great product. Wanted it to make a chalkboard wall, done the job perfect. Great coverage over a red wall. 2 coats has done it! Very easy to apply and quick drying. Very happy. Highly recommend”

4. A Large Can Of Chalkboard Paint That Can Cover Up To 90 Square Feet

  • Can be used on: wood, metal, glass, plaster, and ceramic
  • Dry time: 60 minutes

For larger projects, this chalkboard paint from Krylon is your best bet, since a single can cover up to a whopping 90 square feet, according to the seller. It’s easy to apply on a variety of different surfaces (the manufacturer recommends doing so with a brush, but multiple Amazon reviewers have had success with rollers), and once it’s dry, you’ll have a totally usable, smooth chalkboard. But don’t just take my word for it; Amazon reviewers are thrilled about the results they get with this pick, hence the solid 4.7-star rating overall they give the paint on the site, among 2,000 and growing reviews.

This chalkboard paint is intended for indoor surfaces only. This pick comes in black, but Krylon also sells chalkboard spray paint in blue, green, or clear options.

Enthusiastic Amazon review: “I was a little nervous about using blackboard paint because I had never used one before. But I am pleased to say that this product worked perfectly! I used this to make some diy chalkboards for my wedding and used it on many different surfaces and the chalk and everything erases perfectly!”


Sarabeth Asaff South, home design expert at Fixr