Tutorial: DIY Framed Chalkboard

chalkboardsign

I thought I’d jump right into a “tutorial” because why not??

One of the hottest trends in the last few years is chalkboards.  Chalkboard mania!  I love chalkboards!  I currently only have one hanging up, but I could easily put one in every room.  School started last week for my 4 yr old daughter and as per usual around here I decided last minute I wanted to make a chalkboard sign for her first day of school picture.

My first stop was my favorite place to get diy materials: the dollar store.  There were plenty of options for this project.  I decided to get the biggest frame I could find which was made for certificates.

framebefore

How could you go wrong for just a dollar?

After figuring out my frame and getting it home (which is a feat in itself with two kids), I had to find my chalkboard paint and my can of turquoise paint that I wanted the frame to be.  They were tucked away in a far off corner of the garage covered in cobwebs.  I was displeased.

chalkboardpaint

I waited until the kids were in bed and I got out my fanciest drop cloth (supermarket circular) and laid it out on my counter.  We’ve had this chalkboard paint for years and the last person (ahem me) who used it did not store it properly.

lumpypaint

It was rusty and drying where I opened it, and lumpy and gloopy where the paint was.  Yes, gloopy is the scientific word for it.  To remedy this, I added small amounts of water to the paint and stirred until the consistency was better-still not right, but better.  I used a bamboo skewer because I couldn’t find any paint sticks.  This probably didn’t help matters.

paintedglass

I took the frame apart, removing the glass or “glass” I’m not sure if it is real glass or not.  I started painting and it was going on smooth enough and I was ok with it.  I let it dry for a couple of hours per the instructions on the paint can and did a second coat.  At this point it wont be ready to use for 3 days because it needs to cure.  Pretty much I think it just needs to set longer so that you don’t “burn” in the first letters you write on it.

paintedframe

Next I got going on the frame.  We had leftover turquoise paint from when my husband made shelves for a bookcase in my daughters room.  I thought this would give the chalkboard a much needed pop.  Two coats of that and it was done.

finishedboardbefore

Three days later.

Don’t get too attached to this fresh pure black board. You have to condition it.

conditionboard

Which is rubbing a side of light colored chalk horizontally and vertically until you cover the entire board.

finishedboardafter

Just erase and you’re ready to use!

Screenshot_20160822-173148

Since I forgot about the three day curing time, I actually missed the chance to write on this board for my daughters picture.  I ended up using the frame and then went back in PicMonkey, a photo editing app and “wrote” in the words that way.  It actually came out better looking than if I had written it myself!

 

I hope this was helpful to anyone that wanted a cheap and relatively fast way to get a framed chalkboard.  Perfection not needed.

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