DIY: Colored Chalkboard Vases

By Kate Riley March 21, 2011

Greetings, I hope you had a lovely weekend!  I spent mine mostly indoors with big rainstorms hitting our area, so I had a little fun inside doing some crafting.   

I had two quarts of tinted chalkboard paint sitting in my garage, waiting for some projects I plan to get to in the near future.  I couldn’t resist the idea of ‘sampling’ the colors this past weekend making some colored chalkboard vases.  Fun fun fun!  Something about the notion of leaving sentimental or seasonal notes on glass appealed to me, so I tinkered around creating a few versions around the house.  

Every time I bring home fresh flowers, whether from the grocery store or farmer’s market, my 7 year old asks me for a single stem for her room.  Love that!  I thought it would be sweet to make a little chalkboard vase for her in a bright colored paint , one where I could write little encouraging notes or endearing sentiments. 

This bud vase was created with Rust-Oleum’s ‘Raspberry’ shade. 

cg pink chalkboard final


And this gray label with Hudson Paint’s ‘So Stone’ tint:

cg spring gray chalkboard vase


This is such a fun way to personalize vases, whether for you, or for a housewarming gift, or perhaps someone recovering from illness.  These make a great gift for friends too! 

How to Make Colored Chalkboard Vases, Supplies You’ll Need:

Clear glass vase of choice

Tinted chalkboard paint (both Rust-Oleum and Hudson have great colors)

Frosted glass spray paint

Packaging tape

X-Acto knife or box cutter


Chalk or chalk ink markers (found at craft stores)




Begin by taping off any sections of your glass vase you do not wish  to coat with tinted chalkboard paint.  Both of these tinted chalkboard paints are water based, so to give them the very best adhesion to glass, I used a frosted glass spray paint to act as a primer.  Frosted glass spray paint is designed to adhere to glass, and it dries quickly (in less than 10 minutes!) so it makes the perfect ‘primer’ for giving your tinted chalkboard paint staying power.  Give your vase two good coats.

Next, apply two to three layers of the colored chalkboard paint to the vase, directly on top of the frosted glass spray paint.  Allow it to dry between coats. 

tape and paint

If you wish to carve out any pattern on the glass, like with the gray label version seen above, use the X-acto knife or box cutter to do so.  A Silhouette craft cutter would also do the job just as nicely. 

xacto knife


After your paint layers are dry, carefully peel off your packaging tape.  Any rough edges can be carefully corrected with a small flat head screwdriver.

smooth edges


After a few coats of paint, you have a perfectly fantastic surface for writing notes with chalk. 

cg i love you pink chalkboard vase


Or if you’ve discovered the wonder of chalk ink pens, you can leave your sentiments in different colors.   Whoever invented chalk ink pens is a complete genius !! 

cg sweet dreams pink chalkboard vase


I created this second version for me, for welcoming in the seasons.

I just love it!

cg spring gray chalkboard vase 2


cg pink tulips chalkboard vase


And another fun use of that chalk ink . . . I’m completely addicted. 

Please send help right away.


cg i love summer chalkboard vase


After experimenting with the two tinted paints from Rust-Oleum and Hudson, I got curious and concocted my own shade in this chalkboard paint color.

Oh yes you can make your very own colored chalkboard paint!

cg chalkboard toothbrush holder


More on how I made this version later this week.

(Spoiler alert: I am not the first!)


Have you discovered the wonders of colored chalkboard paint?  Is it possible you are as addicted as I am ?   Leave a link to your project in a comment, I’d sure love to see it ! 






  1. I guess I am really behind the times but I had no idea that you could get chalk board paint in colors other than black and green…how exciting!

  2. LOVE the shot with the “Summer is Here” quote. Beautiful! I’ve used chalkboard paint once, and it was very easy to work with. I have not been able to find the chalk markers, but now that I know what I’m looking for, it might be a bit easier. The vase you embellished for your daughter is precious! I really like the tinted look. :)

    Here’s a link to the quote tray I did last year:

  3. What a Fab idea! I also had no idea that chalkboard paint came in great colors! This will be on my must do list, for sure. Lovely as a hostess or teacher gift! This would also be a fantastic way to make an erasable note place on my doorside window – thank you notes for delivery guys or what have you. Wow. I feel like I need to run out today and get supplies!! Thanks for the huge inspiration! :-)

  4. SUCH a good idea…I have yet to get into the chalkboard paints but I was thinking of a good project just the other day that would require it. Now that i know can tint my own I am in!! Happy to be your newest follower! :)

  5. Instead of working with packaging tape, you might want to try contact paper. I usually have a roll of clear on hand to use when I want to do glass etching, which you prep for basically the same way as you did here, but the contact paper is sooooo much easier to use than something like packaging tape!

  6. ooh you have inspired me!! now i want chalk message places EVERYWHERE! thinking i might do sections on the dressers for the kids so they can label what goes in each drawer haha! (or maybe my husband as he seems to forget to actually put things IN the drawers haha)

  7. I love that idea for your daughter’s room. I have a feeling it will be one of those memories she keeps with her forever!

  8. So cute! Courtney (A Thoughtful Place) has a chalkboard vase she keeps on her mantle and I love it!! Our youngest has an entire wall in her new room. Will have to give this a try.

  9. I just love these new colors for the chalkboard paints and can’t wait to try them next. I’ve always loved chalkboard paint and now these markers are just the best. At Christmas time I went a little wild with both…lol Here are my two blog posts showcasing my addition to chalkboard labels ;)

  10. Love this idea! I have some plain vases done up with black chalkboard paint, but raspberry is so much better! I love it! I keep injecting bits of pink into my home. Fingers crossed Jon doesn’t start to realize it. :)

  11. Where do you get these Chalk Ink Pens from??? My hubby doesn’t want me to do a chalkboard in the kitchen ‘cuz he says chalk is messy…but PENS would work so much better!!

  12. This is so neat, I am already planning to do this with some friends for a diy party this weekend. Thank you!

  13. I LOVE LOVE LOVE it!!! What a fabulous idea! My 7 & 8 year old would be thrilled for one also! Thank you for the idea!!!

  14. Kate,

    Love the idea and finished projects! They look amazing. Thank you so much for continuing to use Rust-Oleum. We appreciate it and are constantly impressed with your work.

    – Rust-Oleum Scott

  15. What a great project and they turned out wonderfully. I especially love the “I heat summer” one but maybe I am just partial to that one because I as SO ready for summer to begin! :)

  16. Love this idea! But equally love the dish in the photo of tulips with “Spring is Here”. Please do share the manafacturer and pattern. Reminds me so much of Gracious Goods but more delicate.

  17. Beautiful! I design doodles I don’t want to get paint on with a white crayon or candle and then just simply rub off.

  18. This looks like so much fun! I love what you’ve done and thanks for introducing me to these great products. I think I’ll have to try a few little projects of my own. Happy Spring!

  19. Thank you so much for this fantastic idea! Brillant and adorable…I had no idea chalkboard paint came in colors or could be applied to glass!!! Happy Spring, love your blog!

  20. I haven’t used the colored stuff yet, but I’m totally itching to – and this post just sent me over the edge! So fun and cute!

  21. I love those, Kate! Very fun! My husband just got out of the hospital and we have several glass vases from flowers that he received, so I think I will get some chalkboard paint and give it a try. The raspberry color is very pretty. Your I Love Summer photo is gorgeous. After all of this rain we’ve had it’s nice to see that sunny yellow! Are those Nancy Drew books I see in that first photo?

  22. I love this idea SO much. It’s so “us”. I’m going to give it a go this weekend and report back on my blog. i’ll be sure to share the link with you! Thank you for the genius idea!!

  23. We bought some chalkboard paint to add rectangles on the side of some $1 stemless wine glasses that we picked up for parties. Guests can literally label their glasses so they can keep track of their drink. The frosted spray paint is such a brillant idea! I was worried about our paint sticking. Thanks!!

  24. I was inspired. I took 3 glass jars left from spagetti night. Painted one side. Now my daughter has a spot for flowers, hair ties, and her pez collection. Thanks for the inspiration!

  25. I love chalkboard labels and wanted to make some for the pantry. However, chalk rubs off easily & is difficult for writing small letters. I love the chalk ink for items that are handled frequently and for small writing (Chalk ink is not available in Canada but I found paint markers work the same way- get the type that wipes off with alcohol)
    To make my labels I found simple (and cleaner) & inexpensive way was with chalkboard contact paper (black only though) from the dollar store. I used it to wrap old CD & DVDs to make round labels to attach to my baskets- I love them. Simple and cute!

  26. Good morning:
    Great your ideas for chalkboard paint!
    I would like to know where can I buy on-line the chalk-ink and also ask if you can wipe it off with water or if it is necessary another product.
    Thanks for your inspiration.

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