With the availability of thrift stores and flea markets these days, it's easy to get great items…
How to Make Chalkboard Picture Frames
Thanks for all of the positive feedback on my new partnership with Goodwill Industries! We look forward to showing you how to turn items from their stores into treasures for your home and today is our first project. One item you can finds lots of at Goodwill is picture frames in many sizes and they are really affordable. Now you can look past the dated pictures inside and turn one into a useful chalkboard. Here is how to make chalkboard picture frames.
All of the below materials can be found at your local Home Depot. Although this list is long, most of the items are under $10. The numbers to the right of each item are the SKU. Go to HomeDepot.com and enter the SKU to find the item.
Box Cutter 377-784
Flathead Screwdriver 248-887
Husky 14-in-1 Painter’s Tool 482-526
3M 4-1/2 in. x 2-1/2 in. x 1 in. Medium Sanding Sponge 348-382
Glass cleaner 166-586
Paper towels 239-084
Plastic gloves 666-588
3M Tekk Protection Household Multi-Purpose Respirator 332-724
TSP Cleaner 727-068
Window Glazing Points 550-493
Gorilla Glue 2.88 in. x 30 yds. Tough and Wide Tape 609-077
Picture frames in any size you would like from your local Goodwill. Many are under $5 and they come in all different shapes.
Zinsser Bulls Eye 1-2-3 1-Gal. Water-Based White Primer/Sealer 389-749
Rust-Oleum Specialty 30-oz. Flat Black Chalkboard Paint 125-652
Paint tray 946-441
Foam roller 271-492
Paint brush 243-298
Assorted spray paint in various colors White is 619-158
Here are the frames I picked up at my local Goodwill. These were about 18×20 or larger, which makes a good size for a chalkboard if you are going to use it for lists or a sign. Select some frames you like, there are always lots to choose from and these were only $5 each.
Take Apart the Picture Frame
To start painting the frames and glass you’ll actually take it apart. Now this seems nerve wracking to take it all apart, but don’t worry you can put it all back together and I’ll show you how.
Most backs of frames have a thin cardboard or brown kraft paper glued to the back. Use your box cutter to cut off the paper/cardboard carefully, knowing you’ll probably hit some staples in there.
After you take off the backing, use a flat head screwdriver and pliers to pull out the staples that will be holding the glass, photo/art and backing (probably cardboard) and throw them away. Then you just take out the cardboard, photo/art (which you can keep if you’d like – it keeps the shape of the frame) and the glass carefully.
Sand the Frame + Clean the Glass
Once the frame is apart from the glass, you can lightly sand the frame with the sanding block and wipe it down with the TSP cleaner. This de-glosses the frame so the new paint will stick better to it. Clean the glass with the glass cleaner.
Then you start the painting!
Paint the Glass + Frame
Prepping the glass is important for this project. You need to use a water-based primer that will stick to the glass. This will be primer for glossy surfaces. Use a paint brush or roller to apply the primer.
After the primer dries, which is usually 2 hours, paint the chalkboard paint onto the primer. This will take 2 or 3 coats, so wait for it to dry in between coats.
While that is drying you can paint the frame if you’d like. I used different colors of spray paint on mine and some leftover paint from different projects. Select your favorite color and be creative. When spray painting, ALWAYS use a respirator and plastic gloves so you don’t get the paint on your hands or in your lungs. Safety is important in DIY 🙂
Put the Frames Together
Once the chalkboard paint and frames are dry, you’ll put all of it back together. Put the chalkboard side down and put back the cardboard backing into the frame.
To secure the glass and backing to the frame, glazier’s points are the perfect tool. See how to use glazier’s points here. To make sure things are really secure, I used black Gorilla tape around the edges of the frame.
After your frame is all together, but before you use it you have to season the chalkboard. To do this simply rub a piece of chalk all over the surface and then wipe it off with a damp cloth. This is so when you write on it for the first time, what you write won’t show up on the chalkboard all the time.
There are tons of uses for chalkboards. Maybe you keep a grocery list on it, chores for your children, or a list of fun things you’d like to do this summer? The possibilities are endless. We use one in the kitchen for a calender.
These frames are for sale at my local Goodwill, so visit your own and start this easy project today. And when you make one, send me a picture!
Find out about my partnership with Goodwill and stay tuned for information on workshops at Home Depot for your own DIY projects.
See all of my projects here.
Disclosure: I was not compensated to write this post by either Goodwill Industries or Home Depot.
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