How to make your own liquid chalk

Sign, sign, everywhere a sign.

Signs they are everywhere. Simple sayings of inspiration, love and life.  Vinyl applied lettering, or use of a stencil or if you are the exceptionally talented and have great patience to learn hand lettering.

I love the new hand lettering craze and if I can master it soon I will start implementing it on some of my wall décor, but until then I will use my shortcut using my vinyl cutter.

With that being said let me share with you how I do my chalkboard lettering style.


One blank board or metal

One can of Rustoleum black chalkboard spray

Vinyl cutter

Vinyl & transfer paper

Color Sidewalk Chalk (I use the Crayola Chalk) or Martha Stewart Erasable Liquid Chalk

Rubbing Alcohol

X-acto knife

Small paint brushes


First thing is prepare your blank if it is wood.  On the “Love you to the moon and back” above I used 1/4″ luan plywood.  For this project I’m using some blank metal signs I bought from HL a couple of years ago, and finally I decided what I wanted to do.

I sprayed two coats on the metal blanks with the Rust Oleum Chalkboard paint and let that dry for a week (it does not require a week, I was still deciding on which sayings I wanted to put on them).

After deciding on the sayings, I went to my Adobe Illustrator.  Figuring out what font to use and the layout always takes me a couple of days to pin down what I want. I used the picture of the already painted blank as my art board within illustrator. (This helps me stay within my borders so that I don’t extend my design pass the edges.)    I like my designs to fit my blank big and as close to the edges I can get. I want my sayings to be seen so they are usually bold and stand out.

I cut the vinyl, remove the lettering, apply the transfer tape and situate it on the blank.  Here’s a tip and the reason why I spray my blank before I create my design.  When you paint (spray or brush) an item, it is best to give the paint a day or up to a week to cure.  That way when removing the adhesive it is less likely it will pull your paint off.  Some people say sand your piece or clean it with tsp.  Those work fine sometimes but it still doesn’t work all the time.  Just take your time and let it dry.

Peel that transfer paper back and you have your stencil for your chalk application.


The one thing I don’t like about chalk sticks or chalk pens is the holidays it leaves when coloring in. So I found the Martha Stewart liquid chalk dauber applicator.  This white chalk goes on so smoothly and fills the area so cleanly.  I just wish it came in other colors besides white. I’M A COLOR PERSON!

Now for the liquid chalk making. So my quick remedy for this is to scrape my sidewalk chalk color crayons with my X-acto blade creating a powder.

I add a little drop of water and start mixing the colored powder, I then add a couple of drops of rubbing alcohol to the mix.  The rubbing alcohol evaporates the water allowing the chalk to dry quicker than it would with just water.  Now as long as the mixture doesn’t have a gritty appearance (if it does I use the end of a chopstick or the end of my bone folder).

Then I just brush it on.  After the chalk dries you may need to do another application to get the color to show.  Some areas I applied to much and others not enough. After it all dries you can take a dry brush and knock off the areas there may be to much.  Make sure you do this before removing your vinyl because you might need to add if you knock off to much.  Once you are satisfied of how your lettering is looking then you can peel back your vinyl.

On the God bless America sign I used the Martha Stewart Liquid Chalk for the word God and the stars.  I love how this product works with stencils.  The words bless and America were done using the Crayola Side Walk Chalk and rubbing alcohol.  When you peel the vinyl back you will get a little chalk debris but can easily be blown off with an air can.


About agritsblog2011

Hi this is Amy at A GRITS BLOG. I am married to a wonderful man, together we have four boys, young men. We live in Alabama and I love being Southern. I have many interests from outdoor activities to painting furniture and designing with vinyl. I craft, sew, organize (well at least I try too), repair things, just a gambet of task really. I believe I can do anything I set my mind too or convince my husband to do. I hope you enjoy many of the topics that I cover and discover.
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2 Responses to How to make your own liquid chalk

  1. Marsha Cooper says:

    Very good instructions…wish I could do vinyl. Your projects are great!

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