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BRIANA: Since it’s Black Friday, I thought we could rap about blackboards. They’re handy in the classroom, but the trend of using chalkboards and chalkboard paint at home shows no signs of slowing. So, spell it out for me: Are you bored with decorative chalkboards? Do you think they’re cool or should they stay in school?

chalkboard over bar

LIZ: True, it’s not exactly revolutionary decor at this point, but I’m not ready to erase the trend quite yet. I mean, you get to DRAW ON THE WALLS (and refrigerator!) Do I really need to say more?

child drawing on chalkboard fridge
MARIANNE: I’m not totally over it, but I gravitate more towards clever accessories, like this chalkboard spice jar. I have plans to buy a few to give as gifts this year!

chalkboard spice jar

JESSICA: It’s like you were reading my mind. My shiny new bio pretty much sums up my feelings about chalkboards:

jessica's bio

Ever since I was a child, I’ve only liked chalk from a distance. It’s always super cute to me, but something about the texture makes me cringe. Despite that, I overcame my fear yesterday and bought a can of chalkboard spray paint because I want to make these ornaments from Rust & Sunshine:

chalkboard christmas ornaments

Photo: Michelle DuPuis – Rust & Sunshine

ABBI: I agree with Jessica. I like to look at chalkboard decor, but the idea of writing with chalk makes me shudder. The sound of chalk on the board — ugh, I cannot handle it. That said, I could see ordering a pre-made chalkboard sign, like this one from Etsy. Someone else does the cringe-worthy work and I get to enjoy the look. Plus, it’s got a coat of acrylic paint so it won’t fade:

wedding chalkboard sign

GRANT: I guess I’m OK with chalkboard paint on walls. I’m not, however, OK with letting kiddos go wild on it and leaving it there. I wasn’t blessed with nerves that could tolerate this:

messy chalkboard

LILI: I’m afraid I’m with Grant on this one. With two 5-year-olds at home, I don’t think I’d ever be able to maintain order over a chalkboard wall. However, it would provide ample opportunity to wash the chalk off…(I always loved being picked by my teacher to wash the board. Nerd alert!)

SARAH: Here’s part of my chalkboard wall at home:

sarah chalkboard wall

This demonstrates one problem with chalkboard-painted walls: sentimental types like myself never want to erase it. Do you see the ‘Happy New Year’? Yeah, we were celebrating the beginning of 2008. And ‘Happy Birthday Andrew!’ was when he was 4. He just turned 8. I kid you not. As far as kids drawing on it, I’ll keep that part cropped out of the photo. Although, after they draw on the non-chalkboard-painted walls of the room, the novelty wears off. Would I do it again? Absolutely.

KAYLA: I love the idea of chalkboard everything, but I have a little bit of Adrian Monk in me and I know the dust and mess would drive me CRAZY. I think small, chalkboard wine charms are better suited for me.

chalkboard wine charms

LIZ: Granted, I have no children and enjoy chalkboard paint because drawing on the walls lets me feel like a mad scientist in the best possible way. But doubters, let me introduce you to….

1)      Chalkboard markers: less mess and no chance of nails-on-chalkboard sound effects

2)      Roll-up chalkboard mats: to get rid of the mess at your convenience

chalkboard mats

ABBI: Liz, those chalkboard markers are genius. I might have to rethink my stance on chalkboards now that the horrible noises have been taken out of the equation.

MARIANNE: I’m a huge fan of the chalk marker! I used them here to make all of your Christmas presents (surprise!).

chalkboard marker tins

FARIMA: My favorite image on our site is this headboard:

chalkboard headboard

I think writing sweet or funny messages would make getting up early easier. Maybe not, but either way I would love a chalkboard headboard or wall in my house. And I don’t have any kids, but I would imagine letting them loose with chalk would be better than permanent markers on your freshly-painted walls.

MARIANNE: My hair would totally erase that headboard.

FARIMA: LOL, good point. And I would probably end up writing cranky messages more than sweet or funny ones.

We’ve schooled you on our chalkboard opinions, now tell us how you feel:


Design Trends

25 Responses

  1. Paula says:

    Dust producing and can look messy. I think it is a fad that will not stay.

  2. SuzetteWV says:

    Chalkboard walls?… YES. I have a huge kitchen and decided 12 years ago to paint black chalkboard above a wide shelf chair rail that I made with it, along two adjacent walls. The decor is a very deep old gold/black/warm white trim. It works nicely and invites you to a far area of the kitchen to relax and have fun. I wasn't sure I was doing the right thing at first, but it's only paint, and easily changed. The reaction from my 4 teen boys was surpisingly positive. Their friends and visiting adults alike, find it fun and our tradition is – all who enter feel welcome to leave their mark if they so wish. And most take part in the interactive kitchen. This is definitely reserved for the more relaxed personality… but if you have 4 kids you have to be or you will wind up in a loony bin. It's all about enjoying everyday life… and where better than the kitchen. We have pictionary tournaments on these walls. If I had done it right… I would have painted the bottom half when the boys were younger and then switched to the upper half later. P.S… this also has nothing to do with raising poorly disciplined kids. How many kids do you know wrote on walls? Lots of them… and of course they would… at a young age it appears a huge canvas. No different than an adult who expresses by painting a wall whatever they wish. :o )

  3. Rosewood11 says:

    Again, everything in moderation, but I like the chalkboard fridge. On one wall or part of a wall, I like the idea of chalkboard paint. This actually has a function, and it's not ugly if kept to a minimum. I would put this in some places in my own home.

  4. Karen says:

    I think one of the most fun things in my home is the side of the pantry cabinet painted with chalkboard paint. My grandaughters love to leave their murals for me and when I can't bear to erase a special one, I just take a picture of it .It's a great message center/ shopping list ,too. (When they leave me some room!)

  5. georgia says:

    I make corked chalkboards out of used wine corks and chalkboard paint. You can email me, I'll send you a photo. Made to order sizes available!

Briana MowreyBriana is a writer and senior editor for HGTV.com. Her self-described design style is "mid-century modern magpie." She lives in a Brooklyn apartment with her husband, their spoiled dachshund, Chauncey,...


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