Upcycled Furniture

Project DIY: Chalkboard Frenzy

We love a good DIY project! Not only is it fun to give new life to old things, it is a great way to keep items out of the landfill. Part of a sustainability mindset is finding ways to use what we already have and therefore purchase less.

The DIY Project: Transforming old, beat up picture frames into stylish, new chalkboards

Why I Love It

It was a match made in heaven–chalkboard paint on clearance and a load of picture frames found on Craigslist. I loved that each of these frames had their own style and character to them–from a solid, chunky wooden frame to an intricately detailed molded one. These picture frames were perfect to repurpose as chalkboards.

The Plan

I planned to paint each frame a different colour, hoping to choose a colour that would fit with its style and size. I sourced a hard wood backing for the frames that I could paint with the chalkboard paint and have a smooth finish. Home Depot has a 2 ft by 2 ft board that they will cut for free with purchase of the board. It is 1/8″ thick and the size was the perfect solution to my needs.

Supplies List

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Paint in a variety of colours
Paint Brushes
Wax sealant if using chalk paint
Chalkboard Paint
Chalk
– Sandpaper
– Rags
– Smooth wood backing for frame
– Measuring Tape
– Staple Gun/Nails and Hammer

The Process

The process for each frame turned chalkboard was essentially the same. The first step was to wash the frames and sand and rough edges. Next came painting the frame. I find that three coats of paint gives a nice, rich finish to the colour.

For the chalkboard portion of the project, I measured the inside of the frame where the board would be resting and took those measurements to Home Depot to get the wood cut to size.

I rested the pre-cut hardwood on an old margarine container. This propped it up off of the floor and easily allowed me to paint right to the edges without wasting paint on the drop cloth. The instructions on the chalkboard paint container said that two coats would be enough, but I actually found four to be more realistic.

After getting the desired thickness of the chalkboard paint and allowing the paint to dry for 24 hours, I conditioned the chalkboard by rubbing a piece of chalk over it, then wiping the chalk off with a soft rag.

Since each frame was a different size, I used either staples or nails to attach the board to the frame.

The Finished Product

What are your thoughts? Let us know in the comments!

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