Today's tutorial is how to make a large chalkboard using an old furniture mirror frame. The project started with a vintage wood frame I found at my favorite junk shop and the project came together without a hitch. That doesn't happen very often. The project looks a lot more complicated than it is. There are just a bunch of pieces and parts to deal with. As a bonus I added a second reclaimed chalkboard project tutorial to the bottom of this post.
How To Make A Large Chalkboard
The new chalkboard is actually a two-in-one. I added pretty furniture knobs to hang necklaces or maybe tea towels if the chalkboard is hanging in the kitchen area.
The kitchen might be the perfect spot. Use the chalkboard to write the dinner menu.
Find A Large Wood Frame
The vintage wood mirror holder came from my favorite junk shop. I think I paid $5 for it but not sure. I found several pieces of scrap lumber and a piece of leftover chalkboard panel as options to fill the frame. The frame was a dingy white but a little work took care of that. No painting required.
For the past two months every time the JTS walked into the workshop and spotted the frame and wood he wanted to work on the project…..and every time I would say no, I wasn’t ready yet.
We went through this same scenario at least 10 times. Last week the JTS came in the house and told me he cut the chalkboard panel to fit the frame. See, we got some new tools and he just couldn’t wait to try them out.
Products used in this project:
Cut Chalkboard Panel
The reason I asked him to wait on project tasks is because I like to get photos of everything. If other projects are in progress I’m not always prepared to take photos.
Guess what he said about cutting the chalkboard without me? “I can pretend I’m cutting the board and you can take a picture”. So the above photo is the JTS pretending he’s cutting the board. “Full Disclosure”, lol.
Did you know you can buy chalkboard panels....all ready to go....no need to buy chalkboard paint? Isn't that a great idea. Our chalkboard panel came from The Home Depot.
The photos of steps 1-12 are of actual work in progress. There were a ton of photos so I made collages out of them.
Make Repairs If Needed
1 and 2. The holes for the screws holding the swivel key to the frame were all wallowed out so we replaced the original screws with bigger screws.
3. Next we removed the blocks for holding the frame to the dresser on the back of the wood frame.
4. Me trying to saw off the two end pieces of the bottom frame but my little saw didn’t work too well. I would have been sawing on that thing forever.
5. The JTS did the job in about 2 minutes using a Ryobi Reciprocating Saw.
Clean And Distress The Frame
6. I distressed the original paint. It was already a little beat up. The white paint was yellowed in places and sanding the frame took off most of the yellow.
7. I cleaned all the dust and grime off with Simple Green.
Add Knobs For Hangers
8. The bottom board on the frame is the perfect place to add furniture knobs. Great for hanging jewelry, towels, anything. I measured and marked for spacing of the knobs.
9. I drilled holes for four knobs and screwed them to the frame.
Insert The Chalkboard Panel
10. Last piece is the chalkboard panel. I inserted it in the backside of the frame and nailed it in place using a nail gun connected to an air compressor.
11. Add foam pads to the back of the frame to protect the wall.
Season The Chalkboard
12. Last step is to season or prime the chalkboard by rubbing chalk all over the board using the flat edge of the chalk.
Next rub the chalk into the board with a rag or paper towel then wipe it off with a damp rag. The chalkboard is now ready to use.
Just for fun I used Martha Stewart Erasable Liquid Chalk and a FolkArt stencil to pretty up the board. My handwriting is atrocious and the stencils are pretty. The liquid chalk wipes off with a wet rag.
I staged the photo using some of my favorite junk finds. The small handmade bench is from an auction at my brother’s business in Arkansas. The flowers and vase were a steal at $1.50 from Goodwill. You might remember the table from the junk shop video of my favorite finds including prices. The tassels hanging from the knob are my high school graduation tassel (1972) and my college graduation tassel (2016).
The white knobs with the painted blue flowers have been in my stash for a long time. They probably came off of a furniture purchase.
And that is it for chalkboard number one. Moving on to the second reclaimed chalkboard project.
The mirror was missing on this reclaimed piece and all we had to do was cut a wood panel to replace the missing mirror. Then paint it with chalkboard paint.
You can’t go wrong with Turquoise. I mean, turquoise goes with just about everything. I painted the wood frame before adding the chalkboard panel.
This vintage mirror dresser topper came from My Favorite Junk Shop. It had the cardboard backing but the mirror was gone. You see that a lot with these old pieces.
The JTS (aka hubby, aka The Junktion Technical Specialist) cut a piece of board to replace the mirror and he also cut the two long ends off the mirror stand. They were a little much for the frame turned chalkboard.
I distressed the turquoise frame using the wet distress method. I used wet shop towels like you buy in the canister at home improvement stores and rubbed the paint off. You have to do this just after the paint dries. Don’t wait too long.
The turquoise chalkboard is hanging in the granddaughters bedroom at our house. Looks great with those cute little necklaces hanging from the knobs. The little knobs I used for hangers came from Hobby Lobby. I drilled holes in the frame for the knobs. Easy.
That’s it! How do you like the chalkboards? Which is your favorite? Leave a note if you have time. Thanks for being here, Kathy
Author: Kathy Owen
Kathy Owen is the founder of the home decor blog Petticoat Junktion where she shares tutorials on painting furniture and upcycling thrifty finds into unique home décor. Her DIY projects have been featured on the Home Depot Blog, Plaid Crafts, Behr Designer Series, and in numerous magazines. Kathy’s newest website is HappyHomeDIY.com