Would You Rather: Green or Black Chalkboards?

September 8, 2014

We believe we should all love where we live.

We’re a couple of homebodies, working to uncover the home our home wants to be. And we’re so happy to have you here. 




We're Chris + Julia

read more

What we're                   right now


browse the shop

Befores, afters, mood boards, plans, failures, wins. We’ve done a lot of projects, and they’re all here. 

We have a long-standing relationship with DIY, and love rolling our sleeves up and making it happen. 

Even when you don’t want to rip down a wall, you can make that space in your home better. Right now.

browse all

browse all

browse all




Popular Posts




Top Categories

I am working on a chalkboard for Greta’s room this week! I really wanted something that we can hang on the wall rather than painting the wall directly. Chalkboard walls in interiors have been around for a decade or more in the design world and they have come a long way, but chalkboards have been around, well, a lot longer. While you can now make chalkboard paint in, literally, any color you want (whether you make it yourself or buy it), for Greta’s room I want to stick with the classics: black or green.

This weekend, I found inspiration in such a funny place. We were in Utah for a wedding and reunion with my dear friend and stopped at Cubby’s for lunch (get the Tri-tip sandwich–cali style!) and I found myself completely enamored with the decor, especially the green chalkboard walls. It felt so fresh!


So now I am leaning toward a green chalkboard for her room–and feeling really excited about the layer of color it will add. I’ll definitely be back with those details soon.



I was telling my mom that I leaning toward a vintage green chalkboard look and she adamant that the real vintage would be black. Haha! The internal battle of which really feels more classic: green or black chalkboards continues to stump me. I like both looks! I suppose real slate blackboards were the original, right? But green has that vintage charm. What say ye? Which is more classic looking and would you hang a black or green chalkboard in your casa?

Ps. More would you rathers here and here.

Photo credit: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.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

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

What do you think?

  1. waverly says:

    I painted the chalkboards in my kindergarten classroom black. It was shiny and beautiful. Then I seasoned it, and now it is grey and dingy looking. Is there a way to get the shiny black look to stay????

  2. Janet says:

    I love the green. I got a BA in math, my green board was my work it out board before it went on paper. I got this board before High School so it was before 1990. It was something out of a classroom which switched to blackboards. Mine had no lines on it though. It only had the lines which were in my mind.

  3. Ellen says:

    I know I am late commenting, but the green feels fresh again. And the green and pink combo remind me of that incredible room that Mandy did for her niece…
    I’m sure whatever you decide will be awesome. Keep up the great work :)

  4. Alex says:

    Now, as a follow up question: Would you rather a blackboard or a whiteboard?
    spoiler alert: 76% prefer whiteboards to blackboards.

  5. Angi says:

    I kinda love the pic of the collage of them, i think there is 4 or 5 in pic, maybe you could do that and have black and green ones!!! Its a win win!!:-)

  6. Julie says:

    Go with the green! It will provide some interest and depth to the pink walls in Greta’s room!!!

  7. Kathy says:

    When my kids were small I scored a large green vintage chalkboard from a school. Loved the color! Then years later I painted one side black. I now have the best of both options. P.S. my kids are grown now an on the “green” side I still have their writing of when they were little. I will never erase, an treasure it that much more:)

  8. Jordan says:

    I like green! It seems like a mixed bag on the comments, but to me green seems so vintage! Maybe because so many people do black now? Also, I think I remember there being a hint if some green in her duvet? I feel like black might just be a bit too much for this room… I’m green all the way!

  9. Amanda says:

    What color was Greta want? I’d go with whatever looks best in her room. I prefer the black though!

  10. Tarynkay says:

    Which does Greta prefer? I would leave it up to her. If you offer her a choice between just green or black you already know you like both of those options.

    My husband designed a new science center at a university a few years ago. Interestingly, the upper level math and science professors all hated the idea of installing smart boards or other modern replacements for chalkboards. They insisted on actual slate chalkboards, which are very expensive, hard to find, and extremely heavy. But they were all adamant that these were essential to their work.

    • Julia says:

      Haha. We get that a lot. “Let Greta pick.” Greta is kind of at the age where if you said, “Do you want Black or Green?” She’s say “uhh, green.” And then 5 seconds later if you asked the same question, but in the reversed order, she’d say black. She did really want pink walls and so far she is loving how things are coming together, so I better just trust my gut.

  11. Lauren says:

    I think either one will be great. And if you hate it? Paint over it with the other color!

  12. Crystal says:

    I don’t personally like the shade of green used for chalkboards, my vote is black all the way but obviously choose what you love and I have a feeling you will love the greenboard.

  13. Harlie says:

    I think your mom is right that black is more “authentic”…consider the term “blackboard”. I think the original boards used in early schoolrooms were actually small tablets made of dark slate framed in wood (to cover the sharp edges). I was under the impression that green chalkboards didn’t really start being produced until about the 60s, except that someone above mentioned they have some from the 20s. It makes me wonder if the chalkboard insert part was original to the tablet. I love antiques and wish I could take a look at them!

    Anyhow, I still think that black=authentic vintage and green=retro vintage.

    I personally prefer the look of blackboards–I like the contrast with the chalk and how colored chalk really pops on the dark background. Plus, it works no matter what your color scheme. Still, for a kids room, I think you can’t go wrong with a brighter color. I think green would look great as well. Some people are mentioning it might clash with the pink, but it just makes me think of how you never consider a pink flower clashing with itself or the surrounding grasses/bushes. If you like green, go for it.

  14. Haley says:

    I love them both. I normally prefer black in any “what color?” scenario, but the green looks great too. You always see black chalkboards around people’s houses so I think the green would be unexpected.

  15. Linda says:

    Black. Most definitely black. The chalkboards I grew up with were all black and I agree that it allows for more color coordination in the room, but aside from that black is what is classic for me. Good luck with this decision!

  16. Summer says:

    My mother was a school teacher and once was offered a ton of antiques from an attic of an old school in Salt Lake City they were tearing down. She took a bunch of old chairs, desks, and green slate boards that have dates on the back from the 1910’s-20’s. Because of my memories drawing on those slate boards with chalk, I see green as old and antique. I don’t think you can go wrong either way, but I do like the idea of green with pink!

  17. Jackie says:

    Dark green with light pink and gold touches? That’s like the cutest and preppiest combo ever. Definitely go with green!

  18. Evelina says:

    I vote black! I think it’ll be easier to layer other pieces in the room with aaaand non-white chalk colours would show better :)

  19. Debbie says:

    I would choose black. That shade of green doesn’t go with the pink walls.

  20. Lindsay says:

    Pick green! I think it goes with the “school room” feel and of course as others have mention, green + pink = adorable!

  21. Jeanna says:

    I love the old classic black :) All the chalk colors would show up better.

  22. From a design standpoint, I’d go with black. It offers more flexibility with color coordination elsewhere in the room. But I remember fondly the green chalkboards of my school days!

  23. Shellie says:

    I’m feeling the green for sure

  24. Gillian says:

    Totally the green, I have a small black one in my daughter’s room and it is a sucker of light! Plus in mean who doesn’t love pink and green :)

  25. Cassie A. says:

    I would go with the classic black! I think that colored chalk would show up better on the black background. All of i the chalkboards in my old grade school were green though!

  26. Meagan Briggs says:

    Can’t get over the tall green chalkboard in that brown wood frame!

    Cubby’s….I miss you. and I miss YOU too!

  27. Laura B. says:

    I would usually say black, but I think green would work so beautifully in Greta’s room!

  28. Lori Moore says:

    I love the “they make them green now…” comment.

  29. Lori Moore says:

    Oh, I prefer black generally, but green with pink? Unbeatable.

  30. Black is the old old classic, back when we had to visit the school days all dressed up in period clothing and everything, I remember the chalkboards being black. In fact they were called “Blackboards”. They make them green now because supposedly it’s easier on the eyes.

all the latest

We believe we should all love where we live.

We’re a couple of homebodies, working to uncover the home our home wants to be. And we’re so happy to have you here. 

HI! We're Chris + Julia

read more

Load More

Reader Faves

SHop all

What We're                     Right Now

What We're                 Right Now

Looking for our favorite things? A place to shop our home room by room, or just catch up on what Julia's wearing / loving right now? Browse the CLJ shop. 


looking for inspiration? 

There was a 10-year-period where everyone (including me) was doing black or almost-black rooms or walls. These days, we want something moody and romantic, but we want warmth back in our lives. We want the “grown-up” version of that look. If you are craving a rich, moody paint color that’s a warm, inviting neutral, then […]

Can We Send You Our Love Letter?

Another way for us to stay in touch! Joining our weekly newsletter gives you access to exclusive content, never-before-seen photos, your questions answered, and our favorite DIYs. Sign up below!

Follow Along on Instagram

Welcome to our online community where we've posted home, DIY, style, renovations, and family since '09. Renovating our #cljmoderncottage in Idaho and headed for new adventures in Raleigh, NC. #cljfam #cljtransformations