Chalkboard Black

We hosted a birthday party the other night.

I had planned to bake — ok, fine- heat up a frozen blackberry cobbler, but we kicked our nasty, old, malfunctioning stove to the curb when we had the new flooring installed in the kitchen. And since a new stove isn’t quite in the budget yet, I opted for a store-bought birthday cake instead. Everyone seemed to enjoy it, and boy did our niece and nephew (Lee Ann and Benton) get a good giggle out of everyone’s blue-stained teeth.

The week before the party, I made it my goal to finish up a big project on the right side of the kitchen.

I started by patching the drywall that got damaged when Kevin pulled the beadboard paneling off…

I got some DryDex spackling paste from True Value, and used a putty or “drywall knife” to fill in the damaged parts. I love using DryDex because it goes on pink, and shows you when it’s dry by turning white! After that, I used a medium-grit “Wall Sand” sanding sponge to smooth everything out.

Then, after I vacuumed up 18 lbs. of spackle dust, I broke out a fresh roller head and painted on a wall full of chalkboard black paint…

After that, the cabinets we salvaged from our guest bathroom came back into the room, and the heaviest-butcherblock-countertop-in-the-world (Ikea) got flipped over and stained “Special Walnut“. After that, the chalkboard wall got outfitted with some stainless steel shelves (Ikea).

Later that night, the kids and I had fun breaking it in.

Lee Ann and I drew balloons and birthday banners…

…and Benton taught me all about the wild world of Mario…

(Who knew a “toad” didn’t actually look like a “toad”?)

Nothin’ like bonding, blackboards, and birthday cake.

Ooh- and paper plates and plasticware. I enjoy those a lot, too.

This post is a part of our True Value DIY Blog Squad series!

PS- You can find more info True Value (and the entire DIY blog squad!) on Facebook and Twitter!

Disclaimer: We were selected by True Value to work on the DIY Blog Squad and have been compensated for our time commitment to True Value-related blog posts. We’ve also been given a gift card to purchase the materials needed for our True Value-related projects, however, our opinions are entirely our own and we have not been paid to publish positive reviews. Boom!

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  1. Kim says

    Love it! It looks fabulous as always!!! Looking forward to more pictures when the kitchen is all done. You and Kev inspire me to do more with my home.

  2. says

    oh i want this so bad…but i was always sneezing around chalk when i was a kid. i guess i could get some of those chalk markers……hmmmmmm which wall??! love it!

  3. says

    This is BEAUTIFUL! I love your style and your work is AMAZING! Thanks for being a great inspiration to us all :) May I blog about this on my blog? I will make sure to link back to you!


  4. Lindsay says

    Ooh I really love this! I also love the counters, oh how I wish I wasn’t renting…I’d love to do something similar.

  5. says

    LOVE! I stained an island butcher top with Dark Walnut this year…. Love it. I sealed it with a water based poly and so far it’s held up fantastically! (even for vigorous scrubbing after I sprayed it with adhesive!)

  6. says

    You can”t go wrong with a chalkboard wall! It looks great. The possibilities are endless.

    Cannot wait to see a kitchen reveal when you have it finished. I admired all the previous versions anyway so this one has got to be good. Oh, the anticipation…

  7. says

    The chalkboard wall looks awesome!! I’m so envious that you have the space to do that! And I’m the lovin’ the dark stain on the butcher block too!

  8. says

    • says

      Oh i just missed where you wrote—Ikea, right? Looks like you have something different in the rest of the kitchen. What would be your thoughts on having the butcher block over the entire countertop in a kitchen?

  9. says

    LOVING your blog…nothing like re-inventing, repurposing and Ikea. Your bathrm looks awesome and the wall in the kitchen?
    I N G E N I O U S Can u come over and play at my house?

  10. kay says

    wowwwww that looks amazing! would love to see a shot of the wall like the one you took while you were painting…ive been debating painting one of the walls in my kitchen the same way but i dont know how well all that black would go in the tiny room.

  11. says

    Wow – this looks amazing. I hope your TV pilot is such a success that you go international cos I really need your help with my home!
    Your blackboard wall looks great x

  12. says

    Everything about that wall is great. I love the shelving and the butchers block. Great job. Even your drawings are perfect. I’m really impressed that not even a black wall darkens your style at all. I need to look into that one. Great job, once agaiin!

  13. says

    Oh my goodness, I love it! I’m always a fan of blackboard walls, but I love how it looks against the butcher’s block counters and the stainless shelves – amazing! I would totally do something like this in my own house if it weren’t for the fact that I’m awful at drawing with chalk, so it would always look ridiculous!

    • Layla says

      Thank you Amanda! :-D
      You could always use white vinyl wall decals to put phrases and designs on yours! ;-)

  14. says

    LOVE IT! Those stainless shelves look great against the black wall. I also love how you’ve accessorized the shelves. Nice work you two!

  15. says

    This makes me want to paint some walls black (with chalkboard paint of course). The kiddos (even the big man one – aka: husband) would love this.

  16. Jessica says

    What stain did you use for the butcher block countertop? It needs to be food grade and I have not yet found one. We are thinking of the Ikea top for our kitchen. Is it working out well for you so far?

    • Layla says

      Hey Jessica! We used Minwax Special Walnut-colored stain from True Value. We didn’t really care if ours was food grade because we’re not going to use ours to cut food on. It’s more of a serving counter surface. Think: pizza boxes, plasticware and paper plates- LOL! I’m not sure what you’d use if you wanted to cut on it. ?

  17. cyndi says

    I’m confused! I thought you scored a great stainless range on craigs list not long ago? Am I losing it (again!!) The wall looks great!!

  18. Beverly Palmer says

    Oh you gotta show us a pic of the whole wall! Also, are those really your painting clothes??? Really???

  19. says

    Oh my! I absolutely LOVE this! And I LOVE those shelves from IKEA!!!
    It’s funny, because I’m breaking out the ‘ol chalkboard paint today and sprucing up a nasty old hollow core door in my dining room! Wish me luck!

  20. says

    Love it, love it, love it! Trying to figure out where I can put a large chalkboard wall in my house now too…you are awesome with all of your handiness ( is that a word?) and great ideas! Thanks

  21. Pam Miner says

    What a great ideal..and looks great too…Hey I, saw you on the 700 club today…you did a great job you go girl ;)

  22. Kim H. says

    That’s hilarious! I just painted an entire wall in my very small kitchen/dining room last night. This morning I’m looking at it thinking wow that’s dark lol It’ll grow on me though :) Yours looks great!

  23. says

    LOVE LOVE LOVE it!!! It’s perfect! I so wish that we could do a chalkboard wall but our walls are so heavily textured (not a fan) that we would never be able to write on them. I guess I could scrape it off buuuuuuttttt………too much work! :)

  24. Ter'e Crow Lindsay says

    I told my kids this a.m. —- “does it get any better than blackboard paint and IKEA? Only if raw oysters are thrown in”. Love the new wall. I have been wanting to paint a wall with bbp, forever!!!!! My husband is fighting me all the way! Can’t wait to show him your results!!!!!!!

    Layla……..what do you suggest of you have textured walls???? Just go for it, anyway?

    • Layla says

      Thanks so much! :-D
      I don’t know how it would work on textured walls. ? You could always give it a whirl and paint over it if you don’t like it! :-D

  25. Kim in Iowa says

    Love it! Seems like you have some good light in there, too, so it helps offset the dark wall. So much fun could be had with that wall! Colored chalk, seasonal drawings, notes to each other… fun!

    • Layla says

      Thanks, Kim! It’s actually pretty dark in there- but we’re hoping to put in a wall full of windows opposite the chalkboard, soon! :-D
      LOVE the options you mentioned, too. FUN STUFF!

      • Kim in Iowa says

        Oh that’s right, I remember now how you’ve mentioned putting in that wall of windows. DEFINITELY!! Can never have too many windows (so long as someone is willing to clean them;)

  26. Erika says

    Love it, looks very similar to Lauren’s (Pure Style Home) kitchen….both of you have AWESOME taste! Curious what where in the house is the “Mario” wall? It looks like its in a little nook but wondering where..can’t wait to see the kitchen reveal! ;-)

  27. Kathleen says

    Oh, I love that chalkboard wall and the stainless steel shelves are the icing on the cake!

  28. Rene' Foust says

    I love the chalk board wall, I put one in my new old kitchen that we just completed (well almost completed, it may never be complete) I framed mine and finished it to look like an old picture!
    Oh and it sounds to me that you had just as much fun with the store bought cake and paper plates with far less fuss!!

  29. says

    Layla, I beg you for a full wall shot! Beg, I tells ya!

    I LOVE this. So much.

    I am so excited. What a wonderful job you and Kevin did.

  30. says

    It looks great! You’ll love the Ikea counter-tops. I’ve only had to seal mine a few times and that’s just around the sink where it’s wet all of the time! They hold up so well.

  31. Laura says

    Oh- the humanity! I might be shedding a tear or two of just a little-bitty-tiny-bit of envy. Ok. Done now! Do your amazing ideas never end? You and Kevin are like the Energizer Remodelers!

  32. says

    WOW Layla I absolutely love it!! Now you have me thinking what room in our house I paint w/chalkboard paint.. I have a can just sitting on my workbench waiting to be used!

    I want to see more pictures of the whole kitchen!

  33. says

    I just found you via Ree’s blog. I have to say I’m so excited to peruse this in depth after the madness of the holidays and bookmark projects for when we move in a few years. I don’t know how jazzed the non-handy hubby will be about it but that’s my issue. :-)

  34. Eileen says

    I’ve been considering chalkboard paint, but I’ve always wondered if it erases well or if you have to really scrub it to get off the chalk? Also, I’m guessing you’d have to have a completely smooth wall to start with?

  35. Stephanie says

    I really love the chalkboard idea but my hubby isn’t for it at all. He just thinks of all the dust it creates. You’ll have to let me know how it works out for you.

  36. says

    This looks so great! I love the shelves on the wall and the decor drawing all around. Thanks for sharing!
    One question…did you have to “chalk” the whole wall to season it?

  37. says

    I Love the wall. One question though. On the butcher block, do you have to use a food safe stain? I have a butcher block top that I’d love to stain a dark color but I’ve read elsewhere that you need a food safe stain. Any suggestions?

  38. says

    Only you could look gorgeous while painting a wall, Layla! :O)

    Seriously, it looks great and I love how the shelves go right over it. I have a pantry door that is on my “list” to paint with blackboard paint…maybe next year?!


  39. Tracey says

    Am I only the one who read this post and thought, “WHOA”??? LOL. This is what I love about TLC so much… I was all excited about the cake and party and then BAM total wall reno! It looks amazing (as always!) Just… Amazing. I’m speechless. Well done, ma’am! ;D

  40. tracyo says

    I’ll bet those kids think that you and Kevin are the COOLEST aunt & uncle ever. That chalkboard wall is soooooo much fun! What a good idea!

  41. says

    Whoo hooo….I knew it! Looks awesome and I love those ikea shelves. You picked the perfect color stain for that butcher block…looks fab!

  42. Dorothy Brown says

    Absolutely adorable!! And now I intend to shamelessly copy to the maximum extent possible in my own kitchen-thank you!!

  43. Sherry Ann says

    LOVE CHALKBOARD WALLS ! ! ! Yours is beautiful with the stainless shelves ! Of course the special birthday doodles are the best !

  44. says

    If that isn’t the cutest thing!! Love the chalkboard wall! And the ikea countertop looks fantastic too!! (as do the shelves – you gotta love Ikea!)

    Once again, nice work!

  45. claire says

    My 2 yr. old’s name is “Benton” as well! I’ve never known anyone else with a (young) boy Benton! I named him after my mother-in-law’s maiden last name. Curious to find out if it’s a family name for y’all as well. So cool :)

  46. Lisa W. says

    This is SO cute…I love this…have been thinking of a chalkboard wall, now I really want one. So nice…your kitchen looks awesome!!!

  47. says

    Your wall looks like so much fun and how much easier can banners and decorating be?! Great idea, and I love the Ikea shelves.

  48. Missy A says

    Miss Layla, could you please post a pic of the whole wall from the other side? Like the before picture with you painting the black wall. Then we can appreciate everything altogether! Please and tank u!

  49. Melanie says

    Wow- so much fun! I love mario games and chalkboard walls. I hope walking in your new space is a new fire in your soul. It just made mine flutter. (= BTW I keep us some paper plates, cups and silverware around. I may or may not like doing dishes(SHH)…..

  50. says

    That looks terrific!!! A few questions… :) We have textured walls. Do you think that Dry Dex stuff would work to smooth out a whole wall? Or is there some other product you would use to do that? I’ve been wanting to paint a chalkboard wall, but I don’t think the textured drywall would work too well as a writing surface. I’ve also been wanting to do a faux board and batten wall, but again, I don’t know if it would look right without smooth walls.

    Also… What brand of chalkboard paint did you use? And does your wall erase well? I used chalkboard paint in a frame, and it looks great, but it’s really hard to erase. I pretty much have to wash and recondition it each time I want to change the message.

    Thanks!!! I love your blog and your house! :)

    PS. This probably sounds really crazy, but I had a dream last night that you were designing a room for Betty White, and she had a painting of herself when she was young, and it looked just like you. I know… where did that come from!? :)

    • Layla says

      Hey Jenny!
      I’m not sure it would work for an entire textured wall, but I bet you they make a product for that!
      We used chalkboard paint from Lowes…I can’t recall the brand right now, I’m sorry! It was the only one they had though.
      It does erase well, but we’ve been using a wadded up paper towel as an eraser, so that might have something to do with it. (?)
      SO FUNNY about your dream! I have no idea what it means, but I dig Betty White, so it’s all good! :-D

  51. Beth C says

    I painted my mom’s backsplash behind her cooktop several years ago and she loves it! The whole family uses it for celebration signs, lists and doodling! Great idea!

  52. SheilaE says

    I have been thinking about doing this in my kitchen/dining room also. You definitely move people to get going! I also have questions about “seasoning” chalkboard paint. I have done a couple of old frames and it doesn’t erase worth a darn.

  53. Brittney says

    Can you tell me where you got the shelves? :) I would love to have them in my kitchen too!

  54. says

    So, I’m attempting a wall in my son’s room with chalkboard and parts of it are squawking wherever we had some primer. My son is yelling to me at this moment, “DID YOU FIND IT YET?!? I ran to this post to see if you had any tips and tricks working with this crazy stuff! Oh well. :)



    • Layla says

      Hi Donna! The only tip I can tell you is that once you “season” it with chalk, those “squawky” parts don’t even seem to show up anymore! :-D

  55. Leigh Harless says

    Nice work!! Why did you need to flip the counter top to stain it? I want to replicate this look with an ikea counter top=) also, is this is the beech wood not the birch wood?? why was one wood type more preferable to you?? thank You!!

    • Layla says

      Hey Leigh!
      We had to flip it because we used Tung Oil on the other side and it wouldn’t accept stain. I think it’s beech wood, and we just got it because it was the only thing in stock! :-D

  56. Leigh Harless says

    Thank you for your reply to my comment! We are getting ours on this Wednesday and I do plan to stain it darker also! They say…..imitation is the sincerest form or flattery! =)

  57. says

    I LOVE THIS! I’m doing this right now in my kitchen/living rooms, looking to replace old tile countertops with wood just like that. Beautiful job, as always!

  58. says

    I love, love, LOVE your chalkboard wall. The future hubs has been wanting an “idea wall” since we bought our house. I have a feeling it’s in our not too distant future. A million thumbs up to your blog and home – they are beautiful!

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