How To Make A Framed Chalkboard

I was cruising through a fancy pants stationary store recently and spotted an adorable chalk board in an elaborate frame. My dreams of hanging it in our kitchen and jotting our (nonexistent) weekly menu or shopping list were dashed when I noticed the price tag: $40.

$40?! Get the heck outta town.

True to form, I scoffed and left the store muttering to myself about highway robbery and the nerve of trendy stationary store snobbery. Homemade chalk boards are all over Pinterest so I decided to give it a shot myself.

I swung by a craft supply store and found some chalkboard paint (for $7.25 after a coupon) and spent a week or two keeping an eye out for any interesting frames or mirrors that I could use for a chalkboard. I hit up the clearance section at Target and discount stores like TJ Maxx and Marshalls with a few criteria in mind:

1) It had to be cheap – preferably less than $10
2) It had to have an interesting or intricate frame
3) It had to be big enough to fit a charming dinner menu – so at least 8×10 inches

I found one that met all of those criteria at TJ Maxx this past weekend.

I liked the weathered look of the wood and thought that it would look really nice next to the black chalkboard paint and bright white chalk. I popped the glass out of the frame and got to work painting it.

I would probably recommend using a paint roller for a smooth finish, but all I had was a brush and I didn’t feel like trekking over to Home Depot, so a brush it was! I was nervous at first that the glass would be too slick and the paint wouldn’t stick, but it worked out fine – it just needed a few extra coats.

after 1 coat

When all was said and done, it probably needed about 5 coats of the chalkboard paint, but you might find that you need less if you use a roller.

Once the painting was done, I let it cure for 24 hours (as stated on the chalkboard paint directions) and then ran the side of a piece of chalk over the whole thing and erased it to condition the surface (apparently this leaves a coat of chalk dust that makes for the best erasability in the long run).

I popped the glass back in the frame and voila! A charming homemade chalkboard.

Justin suggested that the next time we host a dinner bash, we write the menu on the board for guests. I can see it now…

The whole project set me back $18.44 plus tax ($9.99 for the frame, $7.25 for the paint, and $1.20 for the chalk) and since I have leftover paint, I’m trying to figure out what to chalkboardify next. A storage container? Brody’s food bowl? Justin’s car? The possibilities are endless. I’ll keep you updated.

Edited to add: I jazzed up a couple of IKEA storage jars using the leftover paint…read more here!


10 thoughts on “How To Make A Framed Chalkboard

  1. Justin’s car sounds like a great idea. Make sure to leave chalk and string just in case any passer-by wants to write great words of wisdom!

  2. Pingback: More Chalkboard Paint? Don’t Mind If I Do | The Wily Hound

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