No need to build or buy a huge chalkboard when you can make one from a thrifted print and a few craft supplies!
When I saw this beauty in one of my favorite thrift stores, I knew she needed a makeover. I had been searching for the perfect framed picture to remake into a chalkboard for my kitchen, and this one fit the bill perfectly.
Why? Because it’s not actually a painting. If you want to try this project for yourself (and save LOTS of money on a large chalkboard), look for a framed print with no glass. I know that’s kind of specific, but the reason is that the chalkboard paint will adhere better to a paper print than to glass, and you don’t want any brushstrokes from an actual painting raising lines on your chalkboard.
(Also, the painter in me hates to desecrate anyone else’s painting like that. But mass-produced prints are fair game.)
There’s a certain amount of satisfaction in taking something old and…ahem…ugly, and turning it into something beautiful and useful. I like to think it’s a metaphor for life, but I may be overthinking it just a tad. Maybe it’s just because I love a good bargain.
Anyway, here’s how to make your own DIY Chalkboard from an Old Framed Print.
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- Large framed print or picture (I always keep an eye out for these when I’m browsing thrift shops)
- Chalkboard paint (this time I used Valspar’s chalkboard paint, but I also like DecoArt and Rustoleum.)
- 4″ Paint roller
- Paint brush
- Chalk paint and finishing wax for the frame, if you’re redoing the frame as well.
- Remove the print from the frame if possible. (I didn’t do this, and it definitely made the process harder when it came to painting the edges between the print and the frame.)
- Use the roller to cover the print with chalkboard paint. (Then use a brush to fill in the edges, if it’s still attached to the frame.)
- While that’s drying, you can paint the frame with the first layer of chalk paint.
- After plenty of drying time (I waited a day in between), repeat steps 2 and 3. (You may even need a third coat of chalkboard paint. You want to make sure the whole surface is covered really well.)
- If you’re redoing the frame, lightly sand the edges for a weathered look (I love how the gold shows through on mine!) and follow with a light coat of finishing wax.
- After the wax has dried for about 1/2 an hour, buff with a clean soft cloth to get a nice sheen.
- Finally, season your chalkboard by rubbing a piece of chalk all over it. (I used sidewalk chalk because it covered more area in less time.) Run the side of the chalk all over the board and wipe it off with an eraser or dry paper towel. This step is important, otherwise the first thing you write will never come off!
- Now your chalkboard is ready to use.
Not until I finished this whole project did I realize that my chalkboard handwriting is terrible! I’ve never been a teacher, so I failed to pick up that skill. I’ll work on my chalkboard lettering game, but in the meantime my 9-year-old daughter has taken over.
Luckily, I’ve met some really talented bloggers who can help. While you’re getting your own chalkboard ready to go, take a look at some of their tips and tricks for getting those beautiful chalkboard designs…
Now I’m off to practice my lettering skills, so I can start using my new chalkboard, but let me know if you have any questions about how to make your own re-fabbed chalkboard! (Or tips on what to do with it once you’ve made it!)