Chalkboard Paint Jars





Introduction: Chalkboard Paint Jars

About: I'm Mike and I make crazy things at Instructables HQ in San Francisco. Follow me and try a few of my projects for yourself!
Every mad scientist needs jars and those jars need labels, and since I like to reuse my jars the jar labels would need to be re-writable. Luckily, making re-writable labels for glass jars is easy with chalkboard paint.

All you need to make your own chalkboard paint jars is chalkboard paint, painter's tape, and chalk. Not only will your jars be quickly relabeled, you'll easily be able to distinguish between your coffee beans,marshmallows, dried monkey brains, and whatever else you have stored in your jars. You'll have the cutest jars for your lab this side of the Bride of Frankenstein.

Enough talk, let's make some chalkboard paint jars!

Step 1: Tools + Materials

  • foam paint brush
  • painters' / masking tape
  • straight-edged blade
  • clean glass jars
  • chalkboard paint

Step 2: Mask Area

Using painters tape or masking tape, masking off the area you want to make writable. Be creative with your area shape, it does not have to be a rectangle. You can just as easily make a circular or abstract pattern.

I made a few different rectangular shapes and one with two writable areas.

Step 3: Apply Chalkboard Paint

Dip your foam brush into the paint and apply a thin coat to the masked area of your jars. I found that brushing around the curve of the jar achieves a more uniform coating than brushing top to bottom. 

It's easy to apply too much paint when doing this, so start with just a light coat and work your way up. Stand jars upright and leave until dry to the touch, about 30 minutes.

Step 4: Remove Mask and Clean Edge

After your paint has dried for at least 30 minutes it should be safe to remove the masking tape. Removing the tape while the paint is slightly tacky allows for a cleaner edge at the masked edges.

Using a straight-edged blade, gently scrape away any places where the paint bled under the mask or any other places on your jars. Go slow and work the blade away from yourself when possible.

Step 5: Mark With Chalk

Your chalk paint may not be totally dry yet after removing the masking tape. Dry time will vary depending on how thick your coats were applied. Your paint should be completely dry to the touch and no dark or wet looking patches anywhere. Mine took about an hour to completely dry, if in doubt let dry for another hour.

Now, fill your jars with whatever you like and mark the jar's contents with chalk! The application and marking for your jars are endless.

Did you make your own chalkboard paint jars? I want to see it!

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29 Discussions

Recycled gallon glass olive jars from the local co-op cafe and old bulk spice jars. The chalkboard paint is amazing! Just waiting for the suggested 7 day cure time before labeling.

1 reply

Looks so good! I hope you can share a picture when it's cured! Enjoy the Pro Membership.

Hi! Great idea! In my opinion instead chalkboard paint can be used finely granular sandpaper.

My biggest issue is getting the original labels off.

It seems that the people who sell stuff in jars make removing the labels deliberately difficult - so we are not encouraged to reuse their jars for storage.

2 replies

I use boiling water to melt the glue. I fill the jar with boiling water and wait for couple minutes to melt the glue.

You know what works amazingly? WD40. Yes, that stuff removes all sticky labels and I have been using it to remove old glue spots on mason jars too. Just apply and let it soak for at least an hour. If doesn't work perfectly the first time, do it again, it really does the job!

Great idea! But, I would use Pebeo Porcelaine 150 Chalkboard Black paint. You cure it in the oven, and voila, microwave and dishwasher safe!

2 replies

If you're pressure canning your jars they get pretty close to that hot, so I would expect so. It would be safest, however, to turn the oven off and let it cool before opening the door to remove them since a cold draft of air might cool them unevenly enough to shatter them.

What an excellent idea! I never would have thought of this. I keep putting labels on my jars, then trying to peel them off and never getting the labels off.

I just tried this with the spray paint version and substituted masking tape with electrical tape (all I had) and it came out pretty well. Actual paint probably works a lot better, but it was easy and came out nicely! I never would have thought of this!

interesting use for this stuff. does it survive washing?

Genius! Love it! This simple idea can be used in many different applications using glass.

Great idea and they look good ...but how well does the chalk hold up to repeated use?...I would assume it would wear off or smear when handled.

Great idea. Have you had any problems with the paint adhering to the glass? I wouldn't have thought it would but your pictures demonstrate otherwise! How's it stood up to the test of time?

In the past, I've made chalkboard paint from normal emulsion and tile grout, as suggested here: - Works great on wood, don't if it would work for this.

2 replies

No problems with it adhering to glass. I thought the same thing before I started, but it worked really well. I've even hand washed the jars a few time and it's still stuck on there!

A single stoke with a wide brush works really well with making a uniform coat.

Those look great! I was at the home depot the other day, every time I visit the paint section I think about this stuff, the dry erase paint, and the magnetic primer. This is a great use of the chalkboard paint.

1 reply