Cottage Living 2007 Idea House- Custom Chalkboard Paint Color

Cottage Living’s 2007 Idea House has always been one of my favorites. Do you remember it?

The home sits at 4505 Camp Street- a historic neighborhood, in the heart of New Orleans. It has 2400 square feet of living space, three bedrooms and two baths. Cottage Living teamed with the New Orleans Preservation Resource Center to build the modular “shotgun” style home, which was designed by Eric Moser of Moser Design Group

The term “shotgun house” is often thought to be named for the tradition that if a shotgun were fired through the front door, the bullet would exit straight through the back door. Recent studies suggest the name may actually come from the word “shogon”, which means “Gods House” in African. Shotgun houses are typically made up of a simple, single row of a rooms that run perpendicular to the street. This compact style allows for more houses to be built per city block. They almost all have front porches, and they often have gabled roofs.

Cottage Living’s 2007 Idea House is definitely one of the prettiest shotgun houses I’ve ever seen! Even the exterior paint colors drive me wild…

Photo by Artsy-Craftsy

Photo by Artsy-Craftsy

One of my favorite parts of the house is the chalkboard wall in the kitchen…

Photo by Robbie Caponetto

Photo by Artsy-Craftsy

…and thanks to the custom chalkboard paint color instructions they listed in Cottage Living magazine, we can create one just like it! Their recipe allows you to mix whatever color you want, so you can create a chalkboard that coordinates perfectly with any palette.

Here are the steps…

1. Pour 1 cup of acrylic latex paint, in the color of your choice, into a clean, 1-gallon bucket.

2. Add 2 tablespoons of dry, unsanded tile grout mix into the paint. Mix with a kitchen whisk until the paint is smooth and clump-free. (Use plain grout mix without added pigments to prevent color shifts.) Repeat the mixing process until you have enough paint to complete your entire project. (For the pantry area in the Idea House, they mixed their chalkboard paint in 1-gallon batches)

3. If necessary, prepare the wall with a light sanding or priming. Apply the chalkboard mixture to any paintable surface with a roller or brush. (In the Idea House, they used two coats of chalkboard paint to build up a thick surface.)

4. Allow the paint to completely dry, then sand the surface with fine sandpaper until you achieve a texture that accepts chalk. Next, “color” the surface with the side of a piece of white chalk to get a chalkboard-like patina.

5. Wipe away excess chalk with a damp cloth.


If you’d like to see more of this magnificent house, click on the photo below to take a video tour…

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  1. frances says

    we were wondering if you still had this Oct. 2007 issue? There was an article on a corona del mar cottage that we wanted to use some ideas from (e.g. Staircase) but we never got the issue back from an architect we did not use. If you do, is there any way you could scan the photos from that article and email them to me? I would be extremely grateful.
    thank you very much.