How to Prime Your Chalkboard? – A Detailed Guide

Written by Laura Walker / Fact checked by Leilani Carroll

how to prime your chalkboard

To use a new chalkboard, you need to prime it first. This step will ensure that your chalkboard is easy to write on and easy to wipe afterward. Not carrying out this task means your writing may leave smudges that are unsightly and hinder future use.

So, how to prime your chalkboard? There are four key steps to take. Read this article to find out what they are and other tips and tricks to facilitate the process.

How Do You Prime a Chalkboard? A Step-by-Step Guide

What You Will Need To Prime A Chalkboard

  • Traditional chalk or liquid chalk markers
  • Your chalkboard (Or a chalkboard surface)
  • Two cloths or some paper towels

Steps To Prime A Chalkboard

 01 For Traditional Chalk

Before writing or drawing on a new chalkboard, you must prime it. The term “prime” can sound a bit intimidating, like something that is very technical and difficult to do. However, in reality, it is fairly simple.

You are essentially just covering your entire chalkboard with chalk. Below, we will go through the steps and provide several tips and tricks to get the job done effectively.

Step 1: Prepare Your Chalkboard


This is a simple step but incredibly essential. Preparations include cleaning and drying the board. You can give it a shake to remove debris and chips, then go over it with a wet cloth.

Leave it to air dry or blot it with some paper towels afterward. Before moving on, ensure that the surface is totally cleared.

Step 2: Cover Your Chalkboard


Now, the chalk will enter the picture! Use it to rub all over the surface. It is best to go vertically first, then horizontally. If you place your chalk on its side, you will be able to cover a wider area in less time.

Step 3: “Dry-Erase” The Chalk

With a soft cloth or some paper towels, give your surface a wipe-down. But instead of skimming the board to remove what you have just chalked up, you’d want to press the chalk deeper into the surface’s pores.

In other words, you are working the dust into the chalkboard. Take the time to do this thoroughly, and switch to a new cloth or paper towel from time to time.

Step 4: “Wet-Erase” The Chalk


As you can probably guess, you will use a wet cloth or some wet paper towels for this step. If you opt for a cloth, make sure you get a soft, non-abrasive one.

If you use paper towels, you should fold two sheets together; it will be easier to hold and handle them this way.

An important thing to remember here is to avoid applying too much force. You do not want to agitate the surface so much that it is scratched or damaged.

 02 For Chalk Markers


The process for markers priming is pretty much the same as the one for traditional chalk. You follow the same basic steps:

    1. Clean and dry the chalkboard
    2. Cover the chalkboard with chalk
    3. Wipe the chalkboard with a dry cloth or paper towels
    4. Wipe the chalkboard with a wet cloth or paper towels

However, there are some different tips you can apply to make the task easier.

    • In step 2, you do not need to cover the entire board and not leave any spaces. You can just doodle all over it, getting an even spread.
    • After step 2, you need to take an extra step: wait. Leave the chalk ink to sit for 20 to 30 seconds, so they can get into the nooks of the board.

Other Tips to Keep in Mind


Tip #1 – Wear A Face Mask & Goggles

If you use traditional chalk for the priming process, you will surely be seeing a lot of dust. It can get into your eyes, nose, and mouth, leading to health consequences.

Therefore, it is essential that you wear a face mask and goggles while priming a chalkboard. It is even more necessary if you are priming a large surface, such as a chalkboard wall.

Tip #2 – Prime Your Chalkboard After Repainting

After repainting or refinishing your chalkboard, you’d want to prime it. This ensures that the pores on it remain closed, enabling you to write smoothly on it and wipe the markings off easily afterward.

Frequently Asked Questions


Why Is It Important To Prime A Chalkboard?

Why do we need to go through the hassle of filling in a board and then erasing it? Don’t worry, there is a good reason. You are not just doing this because other people do it.

Chalkboards have a porous surface, which means that they are filled with tiny pores. These can make it difficult for you to write smoothly. The chalk will also be trickier to remove because the chalk lodges into the pores. As a result, ghost marks will be left even after you have wiped down the chalkboard.

Priming the chalkboard solves these problems. You will no longer have to worry about patchy chalk results and stubborn marks once you have primed your writing surface.

By investing time and effort into the priming process, you can ease your future use and get your money’s worth! Rest assured that it will be worth it.

What Type of Chalk Can You Use To Prime A Chalkboard?

You can prime your board with traditional chalk or with liquid chalk. For either type, it is best to use a white one. A colored chalk can leave tints on your board.

How to prime a liquid chalkboard?

You can prime a liquid chalkboard the same way you season an ordinary chalkboard with traditional chalk. Simply write, wait, and wipe. You can scroll back up for the detailed instructions.

Can you prime a chalkboard without chalk?

No. Chalk is a material that cannot be left out. You need to have chalk for the priming. You can use traditional chalk or liquid chalk markers.

How to season a chalkboard?

“Season” is another term for “prime.” So, seasoning a chalkboard is the same as priming a chalkboard. You can follow the steps we have listed above to complete the task.

How to prime a chalkboard wall?

The same method above can be used for priming a chalkboard wall. But since a wall is much bigger than a board, be prepared to invest more time, effort, and chalk!

How to clean chalk dust after priming a chalkboard?

After priming your chalkboard, you will likely have to clean up a huge dust mess. Some methods to clean effectively are:

  • Doing wipe-downs with a soft cloth and a mixture of lukewarm water and vinegar. Use 4 cups of water and half a cup of vinegar.
  • Using up-and-down cleaning motions with an eraser, then going over the treated surface again with a lint-free cloth. Note that you may have to reapply paint after this.
  • Spraying the surface with a soapy solution and wiping it clean with a soft cloth. Use mild, non-oily soap and water.


Now, regardless of whether you are using a new chalkboard surface at home, school, or the office, you know how to prime your chalkboard and get it ready for use. There are only four steps you need to take! Applying the tips and tricks we have given you above will help you finish the task effectively and quickly.

We hope that this blog post has been helpful. Share any thoughts or questions you have in the comments!

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