Today’s DIY: make a simple chalk board frame!
I’ll admit, I’m a bit obsessed with chalkboards. I don’t care if they’re trendy or not in the home decor world, I love them. (are they still trendy? I’m so behind!) I love the idea of painting an entire wall or the inside of a door with chalk, with a little cup of chalk nearby for random doodling. How fun is that?
About 5 years ago I painted the inside of my pantry door with chalk, and have loved it every minute. I use the chalkboard door as both a place to jot down a grocery list and to post a weekly menu, and my kids use the bottom half to chalk funny quotes only they understand, or the occasional drawing of a farm animal. Just the usual stuff around here, I tell you.
But I’m also super enthused about the idea of a portable chalk board wall. And the most inexpensive way for me to do that was to paint a framed piece of glass with chalk board paint and hang the frame anywhere I want. Whenever I want. (we’re big on making our own choices at my house) So I went to my local antique store and bought an old barn window for $10 and I was off to the races! (not really. unless getting simple DIY projects done in time to make dinner and head off swim team practice counts! hint: it doesn’t)
Do you want to see how I did it? It was so easy, and I love how it turned out!
First things first: paint on old newspaper or a drop cloth. I’m sure chalk board paint comes out of the brand new blonde hardwood in your master bedroom, but just in case it doesn’t, *ahem* use a drop cloth.
Here’s a tip: save an old shower curtain for this, or any craft project. The drop cloth I used is actually the old shower curtain from my kids’ bathroom! I love recycling and reusing old things for new purposes. It’s the hippie in me, I can’t help it. Plus, you can use all the cash you saved for a pedicure.
Anyway. Let’s get on to the nuts and bolts of the project, shall we?
DIY Make A Simple Chalk Board Frame
- drop cloth
- old window frame or plain glassed-in frame of any kind
- chalk board paint from a home improvement or craft store
- paint stir stick
- good quality wide bristle paint brush
- heavy duty painters tape (I used ScotchBlue tape, the same stuff I used for this DIY Make a Custom Welcome Mat + for my Laundry Room Make-Over. The tape is amazing.)
- Step 1: Before you start any craft project, make sure you’re painting somewhere with lots of ventilation. Got it? Good. Now crank up the tunes and let’s get started!
- Step 2: Tape the edges of the frame around the glass very, very carefully. Make sure to press down with your fingers and run a seam around the tape as you apply it to the frame to get any bubbles out and really seal the tape. You don’t want any bits of chalk up on your actual frame.
- Step 3: Paint! Give the entire window, or glass one entire coat of chalk board paint. Make sure to paint in the same direction so the tiny grooves of paint stay smooth as they dry.
- Step 4: Leave the chalk board somewhere to dry for an hour and go check Facebook. Or watch one of your favorite stories on TV. Put your feet up. Whatever makes you happy. After about an hour come back and give the chalk board another layer of paint, again painting in the same direction as you did the first time.
- Step 5: Repeat steps 3 + 4 until your window is totally opaque and you’re satisfied with the depth of color. For me that was 4 coats of paint, but you do you. I trust you know what you’re doing.
- Step 6: Put the chalk board somewhere dry and safe until it is completely and totally dry. I left mine 100% untouched for 48 hours.
- Step 7: Peel off the tape and start chalking!
Now here’s a cool trick: I painted one side of the old barn window with chalk, but the back side is still plain glass. I bought some chalk markers on Amazon to use on the glass side in case I want to get more precise with writing words or detailed art. Cool, right? The white is a Michael J. Fox quote written in actual chalk on the painted side . . .
. . . and on the back side, the yellow is written in chalk marker!
It’s so awesome I can’t even handle it. Best of both worlds!
The chalk board is currently propped up in a nook in my home and I change the quotes out regularly depending on my mood. And the weather. I’m also regularly using it to write obscure SAT prep vocabulary words and definitions to torture my teenager. I’m totally not kidding.