As a long-time classroom teacher, I just can’t understand the trend toward chalkboard paint. In the classroom, where one needs to write constantly on the board for 6-7 periods a day, no one is fond of the chalk dust. I will admit that it’s cute for one-time use on labels. In the classroom, it becomes a real problem, getting into the tiniest crevice. It gets on your hands and clothes, and accumulates everywhere. This causes problems with our technology, as well as creating a place for dust mites, which causes many allergy problems. When you have a Promethean or Smart Board placed square in the middle of a chalkboard, it is really a problem. The dust can get into the delicate electronics and cause technological issues that are a nightmare.
This year, I was determined to stop the problems. I researched everywhere that I could find, and no one had ever turned their chalkboard into a dry erase board. There were ways to put cheap tile board over the existing chalkboard, but mine were magnetic, and I wanted to keep that feature. I knew that there was an epoxy paint that could deliver the desired finish, because I had seen it applied to an old, worn tile board in a classroom. I wanted to skip the step of hanging 4’ x 8’ sections of shiny white shower board on my walls. Unable to find anywhere that discussed the desired transformation, I then researched ways to seal the porous chalk board so that I could paint the dry erase paint over it.
Porous surfaces like the chalkboard and sheetrock need to be sealed with a primer/sealer. I used the gripper primer/sealer by Glidden from Lowe’s to make sure that the epoxy would grip and provide a smooth surface for writing.
Armed with the information, I approached my supervisor for permission to paint the chalkboards in my room. Success!
The paint necessary for the conversion was an epoxy called Dry Erase paint by Rustoleum. It gave an awesome finish, which has really impressed the professional educators in the last few months.