Wednesday, November 14, 2012

How to make a Framed Chalkboard

Want a chalkboard wall but live in an apartment and can't paint the wall? Or maybe you just don't want to make the commitment to a fad like the chalkboard wall. Well there is a simple alternative to get the chalkboard wall look without the commitment: a chalkboard in a frame.  I made a couple for my wedding and now I'm going to hang them on my walls at my house.  Here's a step by step guide on how to make them!      
Start with an old picture frame - or a new one if you want a more modern look. I found these frames in my garage.  They had old paintings in them that I was never going to hang.  If you are looking for frames check Craigslist or your local thrift shop.

Make an antique frame into a chalkboard
I primed them first, so the paint would adhere better to the frames and to resist chipping. Then I painted them with two coats of paint.  Either use paint you already have, or get a sample size because you don't need much.
A perfect way to bring an old frame back to life:)
I chose white paint but it would look great in a
bright colour against a white wall
For the chalkboard insert I used particle board painted with chalkboard paint.  I measured the dimensions of the inside of the frame to know what size to get the particle board cut to.  I found a large piece of 1/8th inch thick particle board at the hardware store for under $10.  Most hardware stores have cutting shops, so if you don't have a saw, no worries! I only needed three pieces cut so there was no extra charge for cutting it.  However, if you get several cuts made they may charge you extra for each additional cut.
chalkboard particle board
1/8" particle board is the perfect material for your chalkboard.
  Chalkboard paint can be found at most hardware stores or paint shops.
Home depot
LOVING the chalkboard paint!!!
Ok, now to paint the particle board with chalkboard paint.  Do at least three coats, using a paint roller, this way there will be no streaks of paint.  Let it fully dry after each coat.  I did three coats because the more you use the chalkboard the more wear and tear on the chalkboard paint, so the more coats the more durable it will be.
two coats of chalkboard paint
Make sure to let dry at least an hour after each coat
And that's it! Just secure the chalkboard behind the frame, as you would with a painting and hang wherever you desire!  
This one is from my wedding, but would look neat in a kitchen with all the drink specials!
DIY Chalkboard
DIY Chalkboard frame-sorry not the best picture but 
the only one I have:(
And placemats.....can use these for dinner parties or just for everyday.  I used the same 1/8th inch thick particle board, and had them cut into smaller pieces, then I just lightly sanded the edges with a foam sanding pad. 
DIY placemat
Chalkboard placemat

Just a little tip that my friend told me...... if you don't want the writing on the chalkboard to smudge spray the chalkboard with hair spray.  Yes, that's right any hair spray from your vanity cabinet.  This way the writing will not smudge, but you will still have the flexibility of changing the words in the future with a quick wipe with soapy water.  It works!


  1. I love your idea!!! I think I'll paint my wall in my dining room and do it up that way. Thanks so much!!!

  2. Good work Little T, didn't know you were such the blogger! xx miss you ~ Ems


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