Old Frame to Shabby Chic Chalkboard

Back when the hubby was doing his storage wars, we ended up with a ton of old frames and mirrors.
I up-cycled a lot of these and made chalkboards out of the frames. I took the time to paint chalkboard paint over and over, then season the chalkboards (where you rub chalk all over the board before you write on it, let it sit, then erase it all). One thing that always bothered me about the chalkboard paint is that you can't use the chalkboard markers and the finish on the boards is ALWAYS bumpy.

Then I found these panels at a local big box store!
They are pre-made, come in a 2 ft by 4 ft sheet, AND you can use regular chalk or the chalkboard markers on them. They are more expensive...but when you factor in the time it takes to paint the chalkboard paint, let it dry, the repeat 3 more times...it's totally worth it. You can see the cost breakdown below.

Here's what you'll need:

*An old ugly frame (I like ornate frames, they really bump up the shabby chic-ness of the chalkboard). Check out Goodwill, the Salvation Army Store or thrift shops for these. I typically don't pay more than $5-$10 for the frame. The one I used was $3 from Goodwill, not as ornate as I'd like... but it will do.

*Chalkboard panel - $9.97. Typically I'll get AT LEAST 2 chalkboards out of one panel (FYI, the bigger the chalkboard, the more you can sell it for).

*Chalk Paint - I had this on hand, I like using the cheaper FolkArt paint for my frames, it's thick and covers well... plus I save my Annie Sloan paint for furniture projects. :) (I had this on hand).

*Wax to seal the paint


Let's get started!

1. You'll want to clean your frame first and let it dry.
2. Pour out some paint and paint the frame. Since I was using chalk paint, I used the special chalk paint brush. It allows you to mash and cram paint in all the corners and grooves.
3. Let it dry. This is when I go and cut my chalkboard panel to size. That way it's ready to go when the frame is finally sealed and dry. You may need to put on a 2nd coat, or if you are going to distress the frame, you can do it once the paint is dry. I wanted to use dark wax to make the frame look worn, so I only used one coat of paint.

4. Seal it with wax - I used a lint free rag and rubbed my clear wax on first. This is very important! If you are going to use dark wax to distress, you MUST use the clear wax first. This gives the paint protection from the color pigment of the dark wax and allows you to fix mistakes. If you just rub dark wax on chalk paint, you can not fix and it looks like you just put mud all over your masterpiece.

5. After I clear waxed, I used Annie Sloan dark wax.
6. Next, you'll put the chalkboard panel in place.
7. My frame didn't have anything to secure the chalkboard to the frame, so I used my point driver (I got mine at Michaels with one of their 50% off coupons). If you follow me on Facebook, you may have seen the time-lapsed video of me driving the points into the frame as a teaser to this post. It's as easy as using a stapler!
Here's another chalkboard I created with a much more detailed frame
To see all of the steps and additional photos, click on the link below!
Karrah @ Mrs Do It Herself
Want more details about this and other DIY projects? Check out my blog post!
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  • Hannah V Hannah V on Oct 30, 2015
    I so need to do this!

  • Linda Abate Linda Abate on Jan 06, 2018
    Love this chalk board made with an ornate frame. What a nice place to leave a note for a family member or a note to remind you of a certain event or birthday. Very pretty frame.