Why Chalkboard Walls Are Too Cool For School

I've always loved a chalkboard.  Forever connected with the memory of school (yes, I was at school well prior to the advent of whiteboards).  When you pick up the chalk to write, it feels a bit like it's against the rules.   The freedom of being able to express yourself in whichever way you choose!  This also has it's downside, obviously.  After our Christmas party last year, I woke to find a huge penis had been artistically drawn on my kitchen wall.

My first chalkboard was in our house in Caversham ten years ago.  After being inspired by an article I'd seen in Livingetc, I went to B&Q and asked them to cut a huge piece of MDF the size of a door.  It was super cheap and when I'd painted it in chalkboard paint and Joe had screwed to the wall, it was perfect.  

Now we live in York, I have moved on and we have three chalkboard walls in our house.  Possibly excessive, but hey.  The first is in the kitchen, the ideal place in my opinion.  The second is in the study, where one of the walls was originally a dark burgundy which wasn't my favourite colour.  Rather than spend hours blocking the colour out, I went for the easy (and, let's face it, lazy)  option of painting it in chalkboard paint.  This has actually turned out to be surprisingly practical.  The third wall is in the kids games room, another ideal space for an art wall.

There are several good reasons why your house should have a chalkboard wall.

They Look Cool As

If you have even an ounce of artistic talent, you can create some amazing drawings and quotes.  You'll be surprised at how good you are!  Check out Pinterest and Instagram for ideas.  Copy other people's ideas.  Things that look like they are complicated to draw often are easier than you think.  Although watch out when drawing cacti, mine have a tendency to look like willies.  If you search on 'chalkboard quotes' on Pinterest, you will pull up loads of brilliant quote art that you can duplicate in your own space.   

 Amazing chalkboard wall art by @artynads

Amazing chalkboard wall art by @artynads

You Can Put One Anywhere

A radiator wall, a pipe cupboard, a kitchen or cupboard door or a beam.  The list is endless.  Somewhere that usually is a plain boring space can be transformed into a creative area.  They cover up a multitude of wall sins too such as cracks and less than favourable wallpaper.

 Fabulous kitchen art on a beam @cowboykate_

Fabulous kitchen art on a beam @cowboykate_

You Can Put Anything On Them

Once you paint a chalkboard wall, it stops being a normal wall and becomes a place where you can do anything you like.  Try postcards, calendars, photographs, fairy lights, those certificates the kids get at school that you stick with magnets on the fridge and always fall off.  Usually you would hesitate to sellotape or pin, but with a chalkboard wall you are free to go ahead.  I use patterned tape for attaching things to mine - try Pearl & Earl who have a gorgeous selection.

You Can Pretend You Are Organised

Meal planning is an excellent example of this.  Sometimes I plan a week's worth of meals simply so I can write a menu on my chalkboard and look at it smugly.  Who cares if you don't stick to it?  Who knows if you have wine and crisps for tea instead of chickpea curry?  No one knows. All they see is your excellent Mumsnet style organisational skills.  I am forever forgetting dentist and orthodontic appointments for my kids despite having a phone, an iPad and a Mac calendar which all beep to remind me.  I write it on my kitchen wall and I'm on it like a car bonnet.

It's A Budget Friendly Option

You don't need to splash out on expensive paint.  After years of using proper, made for the job chalkboard paint, I've started using Valspar from B&Q.  This is a super durable jet black paint and is made to last.  You can brillo pad it and it still won't come off.  I was unconvinced by the so called magnetic chalkboard paints that couldn't even hold up a postcard.  You can use special chalk pens but I've never really got the hang of those and always use normal chalk which you can pick up in the supermarket.

 Majority of images courtesy of Pinterest

Majority of images courtesy of Pinterest

It's Black

Black is cool.  This means that whatever colour you put against it, it looks bloody amazing.  It suits the trend for dark interiors down to the ground, and if you are not into dark interiors, it's a monochrome contrast against white.  Plants look fantastic against it.  Fairy lights sparkle.  Festoons look fabulous.  It's a winner all round.

 Image courtesy of Pinterest

Image courtesy of Pinterest

So if you don't already have a chalkboard wall, try one!  They're an excellent way to update your interior without spending huge amounts of cash.  Unleash your inner Picasso and make sure you post it on your Instagram feed for everyone to see!