My goal was to figure out the simplest and most inexpensive recipe to make your own scratch boards. This will probably not hold up to the professional grade ones, to those veterans out there, but it does give you a pretty decent result for a fraction of the cost. Also this recipe does not contain animal products like most high-grade art materials do. Please enjoy, experiment and share this concoction.

Project Steps

Mix glue and water.

Gather your ingredients.

First, and as always, protect your work area. In a mixing container, combine 3 parts glue and 1 part water. Mix with fork until glue is completely disolved in water. Water should be white.

Mix in plaster of Paris.

Add in 3 parts plaster of Paris.

Mix very well until there is no more dry plaster and mixture is a similar consistancy to pancake batter.

Apply thin coat.

Apply one thin coat to wood board using a brush to act as a binding agent and wait a few minutes to dry.

Apply thick coat #1.

Apply a thick layer going in one direction and wait about 10 minutes to dry.

Apply thick coat #2.

Apply another thick layer going the other way and let sit to dry completely for 4-8 hours depending on how thick your coats are. If the batter’s consistancy was right, it should paint on pretty smooth but expect to see some grooves from the brush strokes.


Once dry, sand down the plaster until smooth, using a medium-grit sandpaper (electric sanders work the best), and brush off all loose dust.

Apply black mixture.

Mix together 3 parts black acrylic paint and 1 part dishsoap.

Apply paint/soap mixture using a foam roll brush or just a foam brush. You can use black ink instead but the paint mixture seems to scrape off the easiest.

Let dry for 8–24 hours before trying to scratch. The paint will moisten the plaster a little so it will take a long time to dry.