Remember Harold and the Purple Crayon, the book about the kid who liked to draw on walls? You don't have to be a fan of the book—or even be a kid—to share Harold's compulsion to scribble anywhere you like. Luckily, with the right surface and writing tool, you can erase your scribbles and do it again.
Chalkboard paint isn't new, but creative minds keep coming up with new ways to use it. Consider the dramatic wall calendar shown here. It began with a floor-to-ceiling coat of standard gray chalkboard paint. With the help of a yardstick, squares were drawn in pencil, then taped off. Three-fourths were filled in with different shades of light and medium gray, leaving the remaining squares the same color as the wall.
The hardest part is coordinating the taping: After you paint the first set of squares, pull up the tape, wait a day, and put down a new line of tape to do the next set.
Once it's had a couple of days to cure, the chalkboard should last years. It's the kind of project that might inspire a Harold wannabe to paint erasable surfaces almost anywhere, including tabletops and canisters. Can't quite picture it? Click "Next."
Shown:Most chalkboard paint comes in a classic deep gray. A paint store can lighten a quart by adding white colorant. Back home, dark and light can be blended to get a couple of different shades in between.