Can You Paint Corkboard With Any Paint? (Find Out Now!)

Ossiana Tepfenhart
by Ossiana Tepfenhart

Take a quick look at Urban Outfitters, and you’ll notice a ton of home goods that involve corkboard. Cork is used in wall decor, in decorative trays, and so much more. Regular cork is already stylish in that “devil may care” way, but sometimes, you might want to add a little extra splash of color to your cork. But, cork is water-repellent. So is that actually doable?

To paint a corkboard, you need to use only certain type of paints since it absorbs liquid quickly. The best type of paint to use for your corkboard is an interior acrylic latex paint, as it dries quickly. Make sure you prime your corkboard first for the best results possible.

Getting cork painted sounds like a hassle, but it’s really not. It’s one of many ways o dress up that message board you have in the best way possible. Here’s what you need to know…

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Why Would You Paint Corkboard?

If you have a corkboard in your home, chances are that it’s being used to pin stickers and memos to it. However, cork is not exactly the most aesthetic color, especially if your room is mostly done up in blue or grey. Sometimes, you just want to dress up the cork you have for one reason or another. With that said, most people paint their cork boards for one of the following reasons:

  • They want the corkboard to match the room’s decor. This is a big one. Cork can clash with certain colors or just stand out in a room that is very heavily matched up. A coat of paint (or three) can work wonders on the overall look of the home.
  • Someone used a marker on the board and now it looks gross. Paint can fix that up.
  • They wanted to give the corkboard a new look. Sometimes, it’s just about giving the board personality.

What Other Options Can Jazz Up A Corkboard?

Of course! Another popular option that people have started to use is to wrap up the corkboard with fabric, using staples, glue, or small pins to secure it in place. The good part about using fabric is that it gives the board a nice, touchable surface that’s welcoming and also happens to be resilient against pinning.

If you have leftover fabric that would work well with your home, this is a great project to try out.

Can You Buy A Pre-Painted Corkboard?

Though this once was considered to be a little “extra,” companies are now starting to pop up that make a living off cork boards that are pre-painted or otherwise decorated. However, they can be a little expensive and there’s no guarantee that you’ll be able to get that absolutely perfect look catered to your home.

Among DIYers, there’s a saying: if you want it done right, you need to do it yourself. It’s food for thought.

How To Paint Corkboard

Believe it or not, there are several ways to paint a corkboard. We’re going to go through the different methods, and let you pick which one would work best for you.

The Easiest Method

The fastest method is also the easiest. For this, you will need spray paint. Here’s how to do it:

  • Prep the corkboard by removing it from the framing. You can also use painter’s tape to keep the framing paint-free. It’s up to you.
  • Grab the spray can and start spraying down the corkboard. Make sure to give it an even look and to give a little bit for the cork to absorb any moisture that you may have from the paint.
  • Give the spray paint time to dry. Usually, this will take a couple of hours. Refer to the can to determine how long you need to wait.
  • Add at least one more coat of spray paint. As time passes, you might notice that the cork doesn’t take evenly. A second or third coat will fix that.
  • If you want to, add some sealant. This is not necessary.

The Totally Flat Surface Look

Do you like the idea of having a corkboard that doesn’t look like a corkboard? If you’ve ever wanted to get the flat surface of a cement slate for your corkboard, follow these steps.

  • Prep your corkboard by removing (or taping) the frame, then adding a coat of primer. You want to use a primer that works best with acrylic or acrylic latex paint. You can get a good one from Benjamin Moor or Sherwin Williams.
  • Let the primer dry for at least two hours, then add another layer. Much like with actual paint, some cork boards will be able to trap primer in odd ways. Thankfully, most primers will be fairly good at keeping things uniform.
  • Grab a sponge brush and paint the corkboard. This will help prevent brush streaking while you get the even, matte look that you want.
  • Let the paint dry, and then top with a sealant if you want. It is not necessary, but it is a highly recommended part.

The Patterned Look

Are you a growing Picasso who wants to add flair to your home? Then you might not want to go for a single color. Thankfully, there are several ways you can turn your corkboard into a painting with extra function. Here’s the gist.

  • Prep the corkboard by taping the frame or removing the frame. Yes, we’re doing that again.
  • If you want to have the smooth, un-corky look of a matte chalkboard, then you can add a layer of primer that’s suitable for acrylic paint. This is not mandatory, since this is a project that’s mostly up to you to choose.
  • Grab a paintbrush (sponge, if you want to remain streak-free) and start painting your corkboard using acrylic paints. You can get artsy with it. Tulips? Cool. Zebra stripe? Awesome. Most acrylic paints can be layered if you give them time to dry, just so you know.
  • Let the paint dry entirely, then add sealant. Sealant is a good idea if you want to keep a pattern intact, especially if you have details that you want to avoid harming.

The Glitter Spray Look

Love the idea of painting your corkboard, but don’t actually want to go whole hog? Sometimes, a little glitter is all you need to add some sizzle to get a cork board looking fresh. This is a particularly good choice for people who have kids and want to get their kiddos excited about doing homework.

Getting this done is a cinch. Just tape off the frame of the corkboard, get some glitter spray in a can, and spritz away. Glitter spray is remarkably well-glued, so you won’t have an issue keeping the glitter tacked onto the board. To add an extra twist on this concept, grab two cans of glitter spray that have different colors of glitter.

To make sure that the glitter sticks, you may have to add sealant. However, this isn’t always necessary if you get high-quality stuff.

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Related Questions

What can you attach to a corkboard?

There are so many ways you can use a corkboard, it’s actually incredible. Corkboards can be used by using thumbtacks and pins to post photos, business cards, or even calendars to them. If you want to get a little more artsy, glue clothespins to the tacks for a way to clip things to your board.

There’s really no limit to what you can or cannot put on your board. It’s up to you to decide how you want to jazz up a corkboard.

How do you refurbish a corkboard?

If you want to refurbish your board, add a wood filler to the areas that have serious gaps and holes. Let the filler dry, then sand down the area with the filler. If you want to restore the color, just paint the corkboard a corky color, and you should be good to go.

While it’s always wise to choose to recycle your cork, the truth is that you can probably just get a new corkboard in a pinch. It’s up to you to determine whether refurbishing is even a worthwhile option in terms of time and money.

Can you sanitize cork?

Believe it or not, corks are pretty easy to sanitize. To do this, get the cork that you want to sanitize and drop it in boiling water. Let it boil for approximately 10 minutes, then remove them from the water using tongs. If the cork was particularly soaked through, boil it for five minutes more.

Once the cork has cooled down and dried, you will be able to use the cork again without worry of infections or flavor contamination. This includes being able to use the corks for homemade wine, in-home vinegar, and other edible foods that need to be corked in.

Ossiana Tepfenhart
Ossiana Tepfenhart

Ossiana Tepfenhart is an expert writer, focusing on interior design and general home tips. Writing is her life, and it's what she does best. Her interests include art and real estate investments.

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