DIY: Chalkboard Cheese Plate

I’m going to admit defeat and tell you that this DIY project didn’t turn out quite as I had hoped.  I fell victim to literally ‘watching paint dry.’  I got bored and impatient, and I moved on to the next step a wee bit too soon. However, I learned from my attempt and can now share with you fine folks how not to eff this up.  Here we go…

I love cheese, but when I’m at a party or gathering, I don’t love asking, “What’s this one? And this one? What’s this?”–because then I’m annoying.  So I guess I should have originally said, I love labeled cheese.  This project is extremely easy [when done correctly] and will ensure that your guests, or your hostess’ guests, will know exactly what kind of dairy they’re dining on.



  • Ceramic serving tray  [I found a set of 2 for $19.99 at Garden Ridge]
  • Chalkboard paint for glass
  • Painter’s tape
  • Sponge brush [a regular paint brush didn’t give a smooth finish, so it’s best to use a sponge brush]
  • Chalk


First, like the coffee mug, I wiped down the tray with rubbing alcohol to get a good, clean surface.  Then I taped off the edges so I had a perfectly rectangular workspace. Make sure that the tape is pressed firmly to the tray to prevent bleeding [this is where I screwed up.]

Using your sponge brush, apply the first coat of chalkboard paint. Let this dry. Extremely well, like maybe for a full day. [this is also where I screwed up.] Once the first coat has really dried, apply your second coat.  If the first coat hasn’t dried enough, the pressure of your sponge brush will pull it from the tray, creating lumps of paint and empty white spots on your tray.  And then you will be sad–like I was.

The instructions on the paint bottle said to let the final coat of paint dry for four full days.  To me, it might as well have said “Wait until February 2014…” So I didn’t do that. I held out for a full two and half days, and then baked the tray in a non-preheated oven at 325 degrees for 30 minutes.  I then let the tray cool in the oven with the door open.  Since I failed at taping off properly and failed at getting a smooth surface, I’m considering my cheese plate to be on the more ‘rustic’ side.

Once the tray has cooled, rub chalk over it to ‘cure’ it, you can then wipe that off with a damp cloth.

Here’s the damn kicker. Chalkboard paint is not food safe. What the…?! After ALL this, I can’t eat off of it?!  To remedy this blaspheme, I put small pieces of parchment paper [you could also use plastic wrap] under each block of cheese and wrote what type of cheese it was next to it. Easy fix! If you’re super conscious about direct contact, you could place the cheese on small saucers.

Moral of the story: This is a really cute idea, but might be all for naught if the paint’s not food safe. Regardless, I took the time to test it out, and wanted to share with y’all my adventures–and misadventures–in DIY’ing. Have a wonderful weekend!


Filed In: DIY , Entertaining

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *