Can You Use Tempera Paint On Chalkboard: Is It The Right Choice

Tempera paint is a washable, non-toxic, non-permanent paint usually used in children’s art and craft projects in school. As it is safe for children, you may want to use the paint on the chalkboard. But can you use Tempera paint on the chalkboard?

The short answer is yes, you can use Tempera paint on the chalkboard, but it is not as durable as other types of paint. And the paint will flake and peel off because of frequent erasing and rewriting, which is typically associated with chalkboards.

Can You Use Tempera Paint On Chalkboard
Painting chalkboard with tempera color

In this article, we will discuss the pros and cons of using Tempera paint on the chalkboard, how you can apply the paint on the chalkboard, and what alternatives you can choose to paint the chalkboard. Let’s read on.

Tempera Paint On Chalkboards: Pros and Cons

As I mentioned earlier, you can use Tempera paint on the chalkboard, but you need to remember that this paint is not permanent. So, the paint will not last for a long time. But you can make Tempera paint permanent and enhance the durability of the paint to a certain extent.

You can make a painting of birds and butterflies or write some special words on chalkboards for your marriage anniversary or Birthday wish with tempera paint. If you don’t intend to wash the paint off, you can make the paint permanent, which will enhance the longevity of the paint on the chalkboard.

Now, have a look at the pros and cons of using Tempera paint on chalkboards.


  • The first advantage of using tempera paint is that it’s inexpensive and available in almost all paint shops.
  • Tempera paint is non-toxic, and a good choice for chalkboards as children may get in contact with the paint.
  • Tempera paint dries very fast. You can complete the painting quickly if you want to write a quick birthday wish or draw anything for your kids. 
  • This paint is water-soluble, making it super easy to wash off with water and soap. 


  • Tempera paint is not permanent. And it is less durable than other types of paint and may not last long on chalkboards. 
  • Craft tempera paint is prone to fading or discoloration over time. 
  • You will not get a smooth or even finish using Tempera paint, whereas acrylic or latex paint can provide you with a better finish. 
  • Tempera paint gives a matt finish. Give it a second thought if you expect a glossy finish on your chalkboard. 

How To Apply Tempera Paint To A Chalkboard

You now know the pros and cons of using Tempera paint on the chalkboard. And if you have decided to use Tempera paint on the chalkboard knowing the advantages and disadvantages, you need to know how to apply Tempera paint on the chalkboard.

To use Tempera paint on the chalkboard, you need to prepare the surface well. You can use a dry cloth or debris to remove any dirt or debris. If dirt or debris remains on the surface, your paint will not adhere to the surface. So, make sure you clean the surface nicely.

Cleaning chalkboard with dry cloth
Chalkboard cleaning

After the surface is prepared, now is the time for paint preparation. To prepare the paint, pour some paint on the palette. Add a little bit of water to the paint. You need to give the paint proper consistency for the paint to stick to the surface well.

If the paint is too thick, it won’t spread well. Whereas, if the paint is too thin, the paint will be runny and will drip off the surface. I prefer giving the paint the consistency of honey.

After you get the desired consistency, your paint is prepared to be used on the surface. Take a round paintbrush if you want to write something or draw some designs. The round 3 brush will help you write with the paint.

Remember, you shouldn’t use a roller unless you want to cover the whole surface with a single stroke without creating any design or writing in particular.

After your paint job is done, allow the paint to dry. Tempera paint dries fast. Sometimes it dries even on the palette. So, you need not wait for long to touch the paint.

Once the paint is dry, you can use a paper towel or dry cloth to remove any excess paint or drips.

What Alternative Paints Can You Use On Chalkboards?

There are some other paints that you can use on chalkboards instead of tempera paints. Let’s have a look at these paints and the advantages of using them on the chalkboard.

Acrylic Paints: The most common and popular paint in the world is acrylic paint. This water-based paint dries quickly, making it a good choice for painting chalkboards. This paint is easy to clean and comes in many colors.

However, some types of acrylic paints are pretty difficult to wash off. So when choosing the paint, choose one that meets your purpose, whether you want it to be washable or last longer. Moreover, you can turn tempera paint into acrylic if you don’t have acrylic paint available.

Latex Paint: Latex paint is another water-based paint that is more durable than acrylic. You can use latex paint on chalkboards.

Chalkboard Paints: This paint is particularly designed for using on chalkboards. This paint comes in a variety of colors and is also very durable. This paint is very durable, and you can apply it very easily, making sure to get a smooth finish.

Chalkboard painting with liquid chalk paint
Chalkboard painting with liquid chalk paint

Enamel Paints: It is an oil-based paint that is highly durable and can prevent wearing and scratching. This makes it the best choice on the chalkboard you will use frequently. However, this paint is not easy to clean up and usually takes longer to dry completely.

It is important to know that you need to use primer for applying some of these paints, and they may not adhere better to the surface. Always follow the manufacturer’s instructions.  

The Benefits Of Using These Paints On Chalkboards

Acrylic and latex paint are water-based paint, making them easy to clean. These paints are also non-toxic, making them a safe choice for school or home where children may get in contact with the paints.

Chalkboard paint is specifically designed to apply to the chalkboard. It will allow you to customize your choices as this paint comes in various colors.

The main advantage of using enamel paint on the chalkboard is that this paint can withstand harsh wearing and scratching. So, even if your kids or students in the school scratch the chalkboard, the paint will not easily peel off or fade over time.

It is important to note that each type of paint has its own properties. It is better to choose the paint that meets your needs and preferences.

If you want to write something or create some designs that you will remove after a certain period, you can use Tempera paint, chalkboard paint, or acrylic paint. On the other hand, if you want that your designs will last for a long time, then you should go for enamel paint because it provides durability and can withstand wearing and scratching.


You can use Tempera paint on the chalkboard. This type of paint is not permanent and will not last long. So, after some time, the paint will fade or peel off. You can also use other types of paint that are more durable than tempera paint and can withstand harsh conditions.

But if you want to use an inexpensive paint that is available and non-toxic, you should use tempera paint without much hesitation.