Wednesday, September 1, 2010

chalkboard tutorial

I have five chalkboards in my house (each in a different room). Each is unique.

This one is in my daughter's room.  It was free from a garage sale.  When I picked it up, the frame was unpainted wood and I knew I wanted to paint it a fun color.  So I pulled out my 2 oz. craft paints and decided to paint it my favorite green color "459 Hauser Green Light" by Folkart.

When we moved into this house, the back of the kitchen cabinets faced the breakfast nook.  This is what it looked like...

It bothered me that there was this huge blank, plain, area.  So I started thinking about how I could cover it up with something fun.  I looked through my stash of old open back frames until I found one that I had purchased at an antique store.  I couldn't believe it when I measured it.  It was the exact dimensions of the back of the cabinet.  I decided to make it into a chalkboard. 

(You can do this with any frame.  Just remove the glass and backing.)  So I went to Home Depot and bought a 2'x4' piece of "hardboard" that was 1/8" thick.  It comes in different thicknesses but 1/8" is sturdy enough for most chalkboards.  Hardboard is very smooth on one side which is perfect for chalkboards.  I was very excited because  it only cost $7!  If you have a smaller frame, Home Depot will cut your hardboard to the dimensions that the glass was in your frame if you ask them to-and they won't charge you.  Be sure to save the extra piece for other projects!

Once I had my hardboard, I bought chalkboard paint for $9 and an ultra smooth paint roller for just under $3 from walmart.

Lay your hardboard on a dropcloth or newspaper, then paint it by following the directions on the paint can.  You won't need much paint.  You will have plenty left over for other projects (such as the garden basket tutorial).  You will want to let the paint dry in between coats.  2-3 coats is plenty.  Also, in between coats, just wrap your foam roller in a plastic bag to keep it from drying out. 
When your board has dried completely, put it in your frame and reattach whatever had been previously holding the glass and backing in place. (such as staples or nails).

Here is what my breakfast nook looks like now.  I usually write holiday or seasonal quotes on it.  I also write poetry such as Shel Silverstein, as well as scriptures.  It is amazing how my children easily absorb whatever is written up there and memorize it almost subconsiously.  I should consider writing, "Cleaning your room will bring you and your mother much happiness" :)


  1. This is such a great idea! I thought of 3 places already I would love to put one. Where do you suggest looking for large frames?

  2. Robyn. I love the blog. I am so glad you have started it. You are so talented in everything you do. I am going to have to learn how to decorate my home from your blog:) I am so grateful for your friendship. I am going to miss you so much. I am so glad I have had the opportunity to get to know you over the past few years. What a treasure for me it has been to have you as a friend. Sorry I am feeling sad about leaving all my friends right now so sorry if this is too sappy:)

  3. Robyn! I've been hoping you would do a blog like this because you have such an eye for home decorating. Love the chalk board! I needed one so I sanded a wall in our tiny house and painted it directly with chalkboard paint. I think that is one of the greatest products invented. Can't wait to check back every day and puruse your blog. I'm sending my friends here! Love you!!

  4. Oooooo, look at you, all kinds of crafty! So, yeah, you're pretty much my hero and I'll be checking this blog all the time for fun ideas :) Thanks!

  5. Tricia, I think the best place to find large frames is at garage sales (you have to look past the ugly art in them sometimes because you will be taking it out of the frame anyway! Next stop would be thrift stores, then maybe antique stores or Hobby Lobby when they have their open back frames 50% off. Hope that helps!

  6. Love it! I made a big chalkboard by painting over the picture in the frame. It is a similar frame to yours, but I painted it red! Fun...


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