Chalkboard paint has been such a huge thing for a while and honestly, I think it’s going to stay “in” for a while. It’s just so versatile and fun to use!
While I haven’t been brave enough to paint an entire wall in chalkboard paint (yet) I absolutely LOVE the look – and this *grey* chalkboard wall from Bre over at Rooms for Rent has me all googley-eyed. I may have to put my big girl pants on one of these days and give it a go.
However, in the meantime, I AM comfortable doing smaller projects with chalkboard paint. And if I can make something fun and useful for under $10?? Even better!
DIY Chalkboard Two Ways
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Chalkboard With Glass
I found an abandoned frame sitting out on a curb and loved the size of it. It was a nice size – 17.5 x 21.5 – perfect for a chalkboard menu, I thought!
~Sidenote: my boys just *love* it when I “curb shop”. Lol!~
Anyway…So I brought this frame home, dusted it off and (being impatient me) couldn’t be bothered to prime anything – so I just dove right in and slapped some grey paint on the frame and chalkboard paint straight onto the glass.
*Note: don’t do this. Really….don’t do it. Take the little bit of extra time it requires to prime. At least prime the glass. It’ll hold up so much better. Because of my impatience, my chalkboard paint got a couple “wrinkles” – that’s the best way I know to describe it – in the chalkboard paint on the glass and the paint has come off. It’s not terrible yet, but I switch out our menu every week and I’ll need to re-do the glass at some point. See…this is why I share these things…..do as I say, not as I do and PRIME your glass – trust me. It’s worth the little bit of extra time.
Ironically, the paint on the frame has held up really well – despite the fact that I didn’t prime. I even just used a little tube of regular old craft paint – nothing special. And even after being moved, put in storage, and moved again when we finally closed on our house. It still looks great.
After the paint on the frame dried, I took a small piece of fine grit sandpaper and ran it over a few places around the edges for a little distressing. You could do that too, if you’re into that sort of thing. (I obviously am – for some things.)
Once the frame was just how I liked it, I flipped it over and installed a couple saw tooth hangers on the back. One on the short side; one on the long side. This way, I’m never limited to hanging it only one way. I love to be able to switch things up at the last minute and if I could only hang it long ways, that would just be annoying. Saw tooth hangers are cheap and easy to install, so I suggest using one on the top and one on the side if you want the freedom to use your chalkboard anywhere.
I am currently using mine as a menu board, but in the past, I’ve hung it on a gallery wall in my living room and have even just propped it up on a sideboard. It could be used for a market list, a to-do list, a calendar, an appointment reminder, school events, or even just display a cute seasonal quote or lyric. The options are endless.
Chalkboard With Old Canvas
THEN, not so long ago, I came across this brilliant post from my friend Lisa over at The Purple Hydrangea. She painted an old thrift store canvas!!! Genius! You know those ugly canvas paintings you see all over thrift stores? well….after I read her post, I decided I’d keep my eyes open for such a frame. And lo and behold, several weeks ago I was in a local thrift store and saw this *huge* kinda-cool frame with an ugly painting inside – and I knew it would be perfect! So I brought it home with me. It’s going to be so happy here.
Once the primer dried (ok, I’ll be honest – it sat in my basement workshop for a couple weeks as I got majorly sidetracked with my kitchen makeover)- but once I got around to working on the chalkboard again, it was more than ready for it’s paint. Such fun!! I applied two coats of chalkboard paint. (Are you sick of me saying chalkboard paint yet?)
After your chalkboard is completely dry and has sat overnight, lay a piece of chalk on it’s side and “season” your new chalkboard. This just means you’re going to cover the entire chalkboard in chalk, then wipe it off either with a dry rag or a damp rag, depending on how much “seasoning” you want leftover.
If you don’t season your chalkboard, whatever you write on it the first time will be almost “etched” into the paint and you’ll have a hard time getting those first marks to go away – even after a damp rag. So take a few extra minutes and season your board.
I like mine pretty seasoned – it looks older that way.
And if you are blessed to have eager little helpers around who think this looks like tons of fun? By all means, pass out the chalk pieces and let them go to town. Three of my four boys thought this was a grand old time.
See how fun it turned out? I’ve got it hanging in our dining room now.
It’s pretty big, so my available spaces are a little limited…which is ironic, in a house this size, but I’ll happily deal with it. Lots of windows = less space to hang things….and I’m totally ok with that. This girl NEEDS her sunshine. *smile*
This is a large piece, but oh, the possibilities are endless!
Don’t forget to pin for later-
Do you have a chalkboard in your home?
How do you use yours? I’d love to hear in the comments below…