How to Prevent/Fix Chalkboard Ghosting

I have made (painted) myself a few different chalkboards with chalkboard paint, but I have always had a problem with the chalk ghosting the image of my writing onto the background.  I could totally see it after I erased my board and I wasn't sure what to do about it.  I finally found out how to prevent this from happening and thought I would share this hot (and super easy) tip with all of you :)

Chalkboard paint is very porous and therefore when you write on it, some of the chalk remains in the pores of the paint on the board, leaving a ghosting (shadow image) of what you had written.  Even after you've erased it completely with a wet rag you could still totally see what had been written on it in the past.  Since I've just finished painting my kitchen back-splash with chalkboard paint, I had to find out how to prevent this shadowing before I write on my new walls!!!  (I don't really want my kitchen to look like a total graffiti tagger has been in it)!

I found out that if you season your chalkboard before writing on it, you can prevent shadowing (ghosting) from happening.  You can season your chalkboard even after you have written on it to help erase most of the previous ghosting images and to prevent future ones.  It is super easy to do!  

Here is simple picture tutorial on how to season your chalkboard:

Use your chalk flat on it's side and rub it across the entire board getting it into all of the pores.  Rub it top to bottom and left to right.

After you have completely covered the board, wet a rag or strong paper towel and ring most of the water out, then wipe the chalk completely off of the board.

Here is what my board looked like when it was completely wiped off.  You can still see a slight shadow ghosting (although about 90% of it disappeared!), so I will do the process one more time.  The whole process took less than 3 minutes.  This second time I will rub the chalk sideways on the board while the board is a little damp... and then re-wipe it clean again when done.  I want to make sure all of the pores suck up the chalk (I hope that makes sense...)

I used white chalk to season this chalkboard so a little of the white residue does show up in the pores, but chalk also comes in many colors, so I am going to order this Jumbo Triangular Chalk Set (this set is less than $5, so I will order two sets so I will have two of the jumbo black chalks) to season my kitchen wall chalkboard using the dark color so the chalk residue won't show up in the pores.  Then after I'm done I will have all these fun colors to get creative on my walls with :) 

I left my hubby a little note for when he gets home...

Until next time,
Happy decorating!

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  1. Thanks Diana, for this great tip. We want to use chalk paint painted walls in our Children's Worship area at church. This will be so helpful.

    1. You're welcome :) It is awesome for kids! Someone pointed out to me that the paint can actually gives this tip on the instructions... but you would actually have to read the instructions (which I never do, ooops). I've been painting for many years, so I tend to just get out my brush and roller and get painting! I have a feeling that many DIY'rs are just like me, and don't actually read the can :) Blessings, Diana

  2. Thank you - this worked fantastically to eliminate the ghosting!

  3. We made 4 large boards in our church. All 4 are ghosting, even though we read the directions and "conditioned" the boards. You think doing it again will fix the ghosting?

    1. I would try doing it again. Some chalk boards/board paints are more porous than others. It may take a few times depending on how porous they are. Best of luck!

    2. I would try doing it again. Some chalk boards/board paints are more porous than others. It may take a few times depending on how porous they are. Best of luck!


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