One container of chalkboard paint goes a long way and there are plenty of creative ways to use it for garden art, accessories, and decor including plant tags.
If you’re looking for a weather-resistant, no-fade outdoor marking pen see The Best Permanent (But Removable) Marker for Plant Tags here.
Creative Blackboard Paint Projects for the Garden
It’s been several years since the DIY chalkboard art craze swept the internet and countless home and garden ideas for using chalkboard paint appeared online. And, restaurant menu wall art went to a whole new level.
The photos here are from a bunch of test projects I tried several years ago to see how they would do in outdoor conditions.
To get started you’ll need chalkboard paint and chalkboard markers. Both products have improved over the years and the newer paints adhere (and mix) much better than my humble, old can of original chalkboard paint.
When you get your supplies, check the product label to confirm the surfaces your paint can cover. I used mine to paint wood, metal, stone, glass, and plastic without any issues (or primer).
The markers do very nicely but only if applied after the chalkboard paint has thoroughly cured. The label may recommend 24 hours to cure but I found it sometimes took longer if conditions were humid.
And, good news, the markers are erasable—whether they are sold as ‘waterproof’ or not—if applied to a smooth (non-porous) surface. How you remove it will depend on the product used. Some come off with water, a household degreaser, or a magic eraser sponge.
If you’re making something like plant markers where you want to change the wording each year, after a few uses you’ll probably want to freshen up the black paint. But, no problem—as mentioned, a little paint goes a long way so one can will last for years.
1Plant Markers and Tags
This all started when I got these chalkboard garden signs. I like using them for herbs growing in containers.
Whatever paint was originally used did not work with the chalkboard markers so I repainted them with fresh chalkboard paint.
As mentioned, so long as the surface is smooth, you can usually erase the marker and reuse them.
If not, you can always repaint the black and start over.
Double check that your chalkboard paint will work on a variety of surfaces.
Here (above) I painted old cutlery and wooden spoons to create more plant markers. It’s a good reuse for old wooden spoons that have burn marks or have seen better days.
In addition to listing plant names, I also use tags to mark date planted (or date seeds were sown) and the anticipated harvest date. This is particularly useful for new-to-me vegetable crops, prompting me to pay attention at harvest time.
This tag (above) is a canning jar lid attached to a clothes peg. This is a good reuse of single-use canning lids.
I painted the lid with chalkboard paint, wrote the plant name with a fine-tip chalkboard marking pen, and attached it to the clothes peg using my go-to outdoor adhesive GE Silicone II.
2Painted Tools & Decor
This idea is practical. I was always forgetting when I had added organic liquid fertilizer to the watering can so I drew a checkbox right on it! When I add fertilizer, I fill the checkbox in with a piece of chalk. Check!
The fruit basket was another test to see how the paint adhered. And yes indeed, it worked perfectly on the wood.
3Chalkboard Garden Signs
Look for old chalkboards at yard sales and turn them into unique garden signs.
Or, add a coat or two of chalkboard paint to a scrap piece of wood and you’re ready to get creative.
One year, I found an old Kindergarten chalkboard easel at a yard sale. It was perfect for garden signs, veggie garden notes, or garden party menus. You can see more ideas in the Garden Easel Idea Gallery.
25 Garden Art Projects & Ideas
by Melissa J. Will
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~Melissa the Empress of Dirt ♛