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Smoothing Out Chalkboard Paint

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I AM DESPERATE FOR HELP!! I am trying to make chalkboards. They are 2'X2' so I want to paint them with a roller. I am now on my 3rd can of paint and no chalkboard.

Does anyone know if you can get a nice smooth finish with chalkboard paint? After trying to make them on Masonite, I was fortunate to find chalkboard material in 2'X4' pieces. Problem is that they are green and I need black. So, the man at the paint store told me I could just paint them black with the chalkboard paint. Great idea, so I thought. Unfortunately, I still have the same problem. I can't get a nice smooth finish. They look kind of like they are textured.

The man at the paint store said it is orange peel. I have gotten so many tips about what to do - make sure surface is smooth and clean, use the right size roller, don't shake the paint, stir it enough, don't press down on the roller, don't paint if it's too hot
etc. So, I incorporated all the tips, but to no avail. I have tried different kinds of paint and bought expensive rollers (1/4" nap for ultra smooth finish) and foam rollers. I want to make several of these, but it is getting very expensive so I really need to find out what to do. I won't use spray paint without a paint booth so that is out. I'm not good with a brush because I get too many lines. I really want to use the roller. Does anyone have any suggestions? I'll appreciate any help at all.

I'm ready to cry, but I'M DETERMINED NOT TO GIVE UP!
Thanks in advance for ANY help you can give me.


Ann from Elmira, NY

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Recent Answers

Here are the recent answer to this question.

By EllaBee (Guest Post)09/13/2008

After using a clean sponge roller (not the yellow type, but the white ones) take a large sponge brush and gently pull it along the wet surface. This will help smooth out all the lines. I have done this oodles of times and it works super well each and every time!

By Gaz (Guest Post)08/07/2008

Use Chalkboard vinyl instead.

By tim (Guest Post)12/21/2007

i dont think that its anything that you are doing, as i have had similar effects with both brushes and with rollers. The solution as far as i am concerned is to get up a good few layers and then sand it down progressively (with finer emery cloth). The paint seems to be designed so that this is required however the manufacturers seem to give no instruction to this effect.

By Bryn (Guest Post)08/24/2007

How about not using chalkboard paint that needs a brush and simply purchase Krylon Chalkboard Paint in a spray can? Spraying on the paint is what gives the smooth surface without any orange peel (roller) or brush strokes. You need to spray it on lightly, not to get any runs. Two coats are best. It works on all types of surfaces. A much simpler solution.

By SheilaMay from NYC (Guest Post)08/09/2007

Try using a paint pad instead of a brush or roller. It doesn't leave a textured finish like a roller or paintbrush - it's meant to leave a smooth surface. It's much cheaper and easier to use since it's also much lighter.

By Connie Vowles [3]08/09/2007

I know for sure that using a foam roller will give you that orange peel effect. I've used it to get that same effect on a frig, so it does not show finger prints. I don't know about regular rollers but it sure does with a foam one.

By Ann [1]08/08/2007

Thank you so much for your comments. I do think one of my problems is too much paint on the roller, it just seems like no matter how much I roll up and down the tray there is still a ton of paint on it. I think I will try with a brush and see what happens. I do know it won't come out perfect, but I would like to see if I can't get a better finish. I will be making these all through the winter, so maybe in time I will get the hang of it.

Thanks again, you guys are GREAT! I will let you know how things go.

Ann

By Judy = Oklahoma [57]08/08/2007

I just painted my son's closet doors with chalkboard paint. I've never used it before & the can said to use a brush,but I like rollers too so tried that-too much texture,like you said. Here's what I did that worked. Just keep in mind it's not going to look perfect like a chalboard you'd buy at the store.
First, if your surface is really bumpy or orange-peeled, you probably need to sand it down good before trying again. Also, stir well, I didn't & got some grit on my first coat-or throw a couple of nuts (as in nuts & bolts) in the can,put the lid on & shake well to mix.

I had a smooth surface with white primer. I put 3 coats on with a wide brush(use a good one with soft bristles,I used Rubbermaid brand from Walmart).
Lightly sand with fine grit sandpaper between coatings.
The secret to using a brush & not getting a bunch of lines- 1st just get the paint on & even, when the surface is covered, you have to go back over it to smooth it out. Hold the brush at an angle & starting at one end, BARELY let the brush touch the surface & very lightly & evenly, pull the brush across to other end. Keep doing this, overlapping strokes slightly. It should look pretty smooth, look even smoother when it's dried. If you have any small bumps or streaks, you can lightly sand it again.
Hopes this helps!

By Brenda Norrish [1]08/08/2007

You may be using too much paint. Make sure you use a proper paint tray, load the roller, then roll on the tray a few times so that there are not huge globs of paint in any one place, and the paint is evenly dispersed.
Using a roller usually does give a textured finish, but this should be only slightly textured. If your surface was super smooth, the chalk would slide over the surface and be difficult to use. All chalkboards are slightly rough.
Good luck.
Regards, Brenda

By Judy = Oklahoma [57]08/08/2007

I just painted my son's closet doors with chalkboard paint. I've never used it before & the can said to use a brush,but I like rollers too so tried that-too much texture, like you said. Here's what I did that worked. Just keep in mind it's not going to look perfect like a chalboard you'd buy at the store.
First, if your surface is really bumpy or orange-peeled, you probably need to sand it down good before trying again. Also, stir well, I didn't & got some grit on my first coat-or throw a couple of nuts (as in nuts & bolts) in the can, put the lid on & shake well to mix.

I had a smooth surface with white primer. I put 3 coats on with a wide brush (use a good one with soft bristles,I used Rubbermaid brand from Walmart).
Lightly sand with fine grit sandpaper between coatings.
The secret to using a brush & not getting a bunch of lines- 1st just get the paint on & even, when the surface is covered, you have to go back over it to smooth it out. Hold the brush at an angle & starting at one end, BARELY let the brush touch the surface & very lightly & evenly, pull the brush across to other end. Keep doing this, overlapping strokes slightly. It should look pretty smooth, look even smoother when it's dried. If you have any small bumps or streaks, you can lightly sand it again.
Hopes this helps!

By Jess [78]08/07/2007

Ann,

We painted the back of a steel door with chalk board paint and it worked quite well. The door was white when we started so two coats were necessary. We just used a regular paint brush and it didn't come out perfectly smooth but it was definitely functional.

I must admit I was concerned when we first started painting the door I could see lots of brush strokes and I was sure it would dry that way, but it looked great once it dried.

Good luck!

Stew

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