Happy Holidays Chalkboard

Morning everybody!  We’re in the middle of our first snowfall of the year here in Northwest Arkansas, and I’m loving it!  Right now about half of the grass in our yard is covered and the snow’s still slowly coming down.  We don’t expect anything like the 20+ inches of snow we had in February last year, but I’ll take snow any way we can get it!

Today I wanted to share a chalkboard I made just in time for the holidays.  I’ve been wanting to make my own chalkboard for a long time.  I guess it was a combination of cost and laziness that has kept me from making one, but the other night I realized I already had all the supplies around the house.

It started with this huge frame I had leftover from our wedding.  We’re not ones to hang huge (like 2′ x 3′) portraits of ourselves in our home, so after we used this bridal portrait of mine at our wedding reception, we really didn’t know what to do with it.

Bridal Portrait Scratched Photo

I thought I could preserve the frame to use later on, but somewhere along the line the glass was broken and the photo was scratched.  Printing a new photo and getting new glass cut was going to be too expensive, so this frame has lived under our guest bed for the past 3 years.


In a moment of inspiration, it dawned on me.  Chalkboards can be big.  Chalkboards don’t need glass.  There was already a nice smooth board being used as the frame’s backing. This frame was going to become a chalkboard!

Back of Frame

I had a can of chalkboard paint in our paint stash that had never been opened (intended for another project).  I kind of broke the rules when I applied the paint but I was impatient and wanted to get this baby done!  The can said to apply the paint between 50-80 degrees, to make sure you apply it with good ventilation, and to wait 6 hours between coats and 24 hours before first use.

I applied the first coat in the house (sorry for the fumes, Stephen) and the second about 4 hours later in our garage (where the temp was definitely NOT 50 degrees).  I let the board dry overnight and got right to work the next morning.  It could have been a disaster, but it actually turned out fine!

Chalkboard Paint

The next step if you’ve ever used chalkboard paint is to condition the board.  You do this by rubbing the long side of a piece of chalk all over the surface of the board.


Then, using a felt eraser (or just a piece of felt!), you wipe off the chalk till you get a nice smooth finish.

Felt Eraser

Conditioning the board like this makes erasing future designs a lot easier.


After that, I just popped the board back in my frame!


The design I drew on my chalkboard was 100% inspired by this one I found (and pinned) via the blog Hope Heals.

I loved the design they used so much, I pretty much just replicated it and changed the phrase.  What do you think?

Holidays Sign

Since our living room got taken over by our Christmas tree, we had to do some rearranging.  Our little leather loveseat and two slipper chairs ended up on the back wall of the room.  We really needed some art above the loveseat, and the chalkboard works perfectly!

Left Side Loveseat

I can’t hide that peacock pillow away in our guest room for long.  I love it and want to stare at it all day long!

Closeup Loveseat

I picked up that globe at a thrift store for $5.  The colors are almost identical to the ones in our leafy curtains.

Right Side Loveseat

So what do you think of our new chalkboard?  Have you ever experimented with chalkboard paint before?

Tall Right Side

I’ve got to say, I’m pretty much addicted to drawing on ours now!  Hmm… what else can I turn into a chalkboard?

Thanks for reading!

Linking up:
Dare to DIY The DIY Show Off

Pinterest-a-thon at Inspired Honey Bee

This entry was posted in art, Before and After, Holidays, living room and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

16 Responses to Happy Holidays Chalkboard

  1. Morgan says:

    I have not used chalkboard paint before. I have been wanting to give it a try, I just don’t know what I would like to do yet. =) Your chalkboard looks so good! And it’s the perfect size for that back wall.

  2. Rachel says:

    Ooo…this post came just in time! I’m planning to create a chalkboard menu board for our kitchen, and I was wondering what the process was. I have the perfect frame, but mine doesn’t have the board along with it…do you think I could just buy some at the store?

    • Meredith says:

      Hey Rachel,
      I bet you could either buy a thin sheet of wood at the home improvement store and have them cut it to the right size for you, or you could try foam board (I know Hobby Lobby sells it and will cut it for you). Since you’re going to be painting it anyway, all you need is a hard and smooth surface.
      Good luck!

      • Jenny B. says:

        Here’s the tutorial I used to make mine.

        I bought a sheet of 4′ x 8′ fiber board (just like peg board, but without the holes) at Lowe’s. There was a sheet sitting out with a broken corner, so I asked if they would give me a discount. They took half off, so I only paid about $4.00 for it. They cut it down to size for my frame (and also so it would fit in my car), but the cuts weren’t exactly straight, so I had to have my husband cut a new piece from the extra. Thankfully, with a 4′ x 8′ sheet, we had plenty. 🙂

  3. Kassie says:

    I recently used chalkboard paint for the first time and now feel the same as you – I look around the house every day trying to think of what I can transform next 🙂

    I used chalkboard paint and painted an empty wine bottle, put fresh flowers in it, wrote a message on the bottle, and used it as a hostess gift…she loved it!

  4. Julia says:

    !!!! I have chalkboard paint in the garage! I used it on the walls beneath the chair rail in my son’s bedroom, which my uber-artistic mother-in-law helped me to paint. Thanks to her help, it turned out great. I’ve been too intimidated, however, to try any projects on my own – until now. No time to talk – I’m going basement-diving to find a frame!
    Thanks for the non-frightening idea.

  5. cassie says:

    i love it, meredith! you did a great job with the writing!

  6. Jen Y says:

    I love this! I really like how chalk boards are used in decor.

    I made a couple of small chalkboards for door prizes at a recycling event my church held last fall. I didn’t want to spend the money on chalk board paint so I used what I had, deciding it was worth a try & I could repaint with the real stuff if it didn’t work. It did! I used metal trays I picked up for pennies at Salvation Army. I used brush on enamel paint I had on hand using thin coats & sanding between each one. Then I conditioned them just like you did.

    They turned out very nice & one of the trays was metal so it became a magnetic chalkboard. Now, I just need to get around to making one for myself!

  7. Jenny B. says:

    It looks great! I did one this summer. Mine ended up with a lot of brush strokes and doesn’t erase well at all. I have to wash it and re-condition the whole thing with chalk every time I want to change the message. I’ve thought about sanding it down and trying again with one of those little door rollers. What did you use?

  8. Robyn says:

    This is such a great idea and so cute too! I made a huge one for our playroom…I could do something similar with mine, although with my handwriting it would never look as fabulous as yours!!

  9. That looks great! I love how the “conditioning” makes it look broken in!

  10. This is such a wonderful repurpose! I love it! And I especially dig it with the gold frame. So chic. Thanks for linking up!

    Also, I never knew I was supposed to “condition” my chalkboard. Chalkboard novice over here. I’m wondering if I can still do it now. I’m sure that’s why some of my old chalkings still remain….

    (PS – We drive right through NW Arkansas on the way to Memphis for Thanksgiving. Never knew you were in that neck of the woods.)

  11. I always will love a good chalkboard! Your hand writing is awesome. Stopping by from Newlywoodwards.

  12. Keri says:

    I love your chalkboard! And your handwriting looks great!

  13. Nichole K says:

    Boy, I feel silly…I didn’t know you need to condition chalkboard paint. Now I understand why my board doesn’t look quite as nice as others.
    Do you think that if I condition it now, I can expect it to preform well from here on out?

  14. Pingback: Did you dare? (Dare to ... deck the halls!) - NewlyWoodwards

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