13 answers

Cleaning Chalkboard

My daughter put lotion on her easel chalkboard and I wiped it off and cleaned it with an all purpose cleaner but we still can't write on it with chalk. Any ideas of how to revive a chalkboard?

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So What Happened?™

Thank you everyone for your suggestions!! I tried using a dish soap, similar to Dawn, that cuts grease on dishes even better than Dawn (Maleleuca dishsoap)and then rubbed chalk all over it. It seems to work better, but there are still some spots that don't work. If continues to be a problem I will prob, just buy a paint and paint over it. Thanks Again!!

Featured Answers

I know the first time you use a chalkboard you need to prep it by rubbing it all over with the edge of a piece of chalk. Maybe that would help?

More Answers

Try chalkboard paint over the old surface. Home Depot sells it (not too expensive, aroiund $12 a can) in black or it can be tinted 12 other colors. It paints on easily - I've painted walls in both my daughters bedrooms. You might ask if they sell it in a spray paint which may be faster and easier than getting all the roll-on paint supplies out. Good Luck!

1 mom found this helpful

Try using Dawn, it should cute through the oil in the lotion better than Windex.
Good luck

lotion has a lot og greasy stuff i would think and maybe a kitchen degreaser or even dawn dishwashing liquid "it takes away the grease"
there is also this great cleaner that we found at the dollar tree it is called "awesome" cleaner
good luck

Go to Home Depot and grab a can of chalkboard paint. It isn't cheap (around $18), but maybe you could share with friends....

I've seen on redecorating shows where there is some spray on chalkboard paint that should cover your boards. I'm not sure who carries this but a few calls to home improvement, paint, or craft stores should get you there.

not completely sure, but if you can't figure out how to use chalk on it, try using a dry erase marker on the chalk board... I saw people doing that in a church and it wiped off just fine. good luck. :)

I had the same problem! I used orange oil to clean my daughter's chalkboard and it restored just like new. Not the "orange oil cleaners," but actual orange oil, the kind that you can find at the health food store. Might work!

Try chalkboard paint.


I don't know if this will work or not, but I got an email forward recently about all the wonderful things you could do with WD 40 and one of the them said it will clean and restore chalkboards. I think it would be worth a try before you go to the expense of chalkboard paint.

If all else fails you can repaint the chalkboard with chalkboard paint. The spray paint kind works well because it gives a perfectly flat surface.

I know the first time you use a chalkboard you need to prep it by rubbing it all over with the edge of a piece of chalk. Maybe that would help?

The best product to remove lotion is Dawn or dishwashing soap. However, it's probably NOT the best product of washing on a chalk board. If you used it very sparingly, with a sponge, and then rinsed the board, you'd probably be ok. What happens when you remove the top finish on a chalk board, it gets sticky. If it's a professional, bought chalk board, Dawn shouldn't hurt it. If it's one you painted, once should be OK. Then you need to take a piece of chalk, and NOT the kind that has no dust. It must be REAL chalk, and rub the piece against the board to make the board really, really chalky. Then you erase and use as normal.

I'm a teacher; I taught 3 years with a chalkboard before I got "upgraded" to a white board. You know the biggest difference? The chalk board I was using was 30 years old. The white board I have lost its finish 2 years ago---after only 9 years. It's pretty difficult to hurt a good chalk board.

There is chalkboard paint, I haven't bought any for a long time. I still have a can. What I have is a spray paint. You might check in a craft store. When a chalkboard loses it's "grit" I think repainting is about laa you can do to restore it.

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