How to make a DIY chalkboard from an old picture frame

How to make a DIY Chalkboard from an old picture frame

You have seen this chalkboard several times, but I just recently realized that I never shared how I made it!  You first saw me use it on my Christmas mantel with my music page wreath hanging in front of it.

Music page wreath

Then it came back out again for my Valentine’s mantel.

Valentine's Day Mantel

But for now, it’s place is actually in my entryway.  But before I show you that, let me show how I made it.

Start with a thrift store frame.  This is a huge frame – 16×20 or even 18×24 – BIG!  I picked it up at Value Village for $4 back in November.

How to make a DIY Chalkboard from an old picture frame

First I primed the wood frame with some white primer (just to make sure that the wood grain wouldn’t’ show through.)  I didn’t even bother to tape off anything because I knew I was going to paint over the glass in the frame.

How to make a DIY Chalkboard from an old picture frame

This was my first chalkboard project (but definitely won’t be my last!)  and I decided to try this chalkboard paint from Michael’s.  It is with the craft paint and cost right at $1.  You can also buy chalkpaint in spray paint cans or in quart cans.

How to make a DIY Chalkboard from an old picture frame

I painted right on top of the glass with the paint.  2 light coats and let it dry overnight.  Then you have to cure the chalkboard paint (basically rub chalk all over the entire things.)

How to make a DIY Chalkboard from an old picture frameuse

Erase and use however you want!

For now, I am hanging it in my entryway on my yard sale dresser and in between my $3.00 spray painted brass lamps.

How to make a DIY Chalkboard from an old picture frame

I definitely need to work on my chalkboard writing skills, but it is fun to play around with it!  There are some gorgeous examples of chalkboard art on Pinterest.


Like this one from Dear Lillie .

Pretty amazing when you look at the before again!  And yes, that interesting print is still there – just hiding under neat the chalkboard.

Old frame to DIY chalboard

Simple, easy, and fun project that I can use anywhere I want and change it all the time to fit our needs.

Do you have a chalkboard in your home?  What do you use it for?


  1. Chalkboards are so fun. Yours looks great! I had an old frame, huge but empty, so I had my husband cut and attach a board for me so I could do the same thing. Like you, I need to work on my chalkboard art…mine is terrible! lol
    Debbie 🙂
    Debbie recently posted..Old Cable Spools to Garden CartMy Profile

  2. Kelly Palmer says:

    I love chalkboards and have three in my home. I do child care in my home so I painted the top of the kids small table in our playroom with chalkboard paint. The kids love it and it encourages them to practice their writing skills. My husband and I found chalkboard that you can buy by the sheet at either Lowes or Home Depot (sorry I don’t remember which one). I had a small mirror that one of our cats knocked off a shelf and broke. I absolutely loved the frame and didn’t want to throw it away so my husband cut a piece of the chalkboard sheet and it looks great hanging in our dining room. The third was an old antique wash board that I had gotten from my Grandparents farm in N.H. years ago. While on vacation, once again, one of our cats had knocked it off the top of a cupboard that I had it propped up on and smashed the glass insert in it 🙁 I couldn’t part with it because of the memories attached to it, Again my husband cut a piece of the chalkboard sheet to fit and it now graces our laundry room wall just above our dirty clothes hampers. I wrote “Laundry drop your pants here” with an arrow pointing down. It turned out so cute and I actually love it even more now! I love the look of your chalkboard Christina, very nice 🙂

  3. This is one of the easiest tutorials out there for DIY Chalkboard . And who knew they had chalk paint in the crafts paints section, I didn’t. Thanks so much. Love your blog 🙂

  4. On the look out for a nice big frame for cheap now!! Thanks for the inspiration!! : )

  5. HELP! I must have done something wrong 🙁 I did everything and waited the 24 hours but as I was doing the “cure” part, and used the chalk, it was leaving horrible scratch marks all over the place and in some spots, even took off the paint 🙁

    • Debra Ruffing says:

      It would be best to paint on a board inserted in the frame. My husband bought a sheet of 1/4 inch Hardboard from Lowes…Home Depot has it too. He cuts me a piece when I need it. Works great spray painted with Chalkboard Paint from Krylon or Rustoleum. Use a quality paint. This is a cheap craft paint and will not hold up. Try again…doing it on glass makes it scratch off very easily and combined with the paint…not a good idea.

  6. I just helped my niece with her chalk board…we turned it into a calendar. We used white paint pens to make permanent lines. We used black foam board, hot glue, magnets, scrapbook embellishments/stickers and chalk board markers. But before we permanently changed it to a calendar, we used it for a wedding…

  7. Cynthia Jones says:

    That’s very inspiring, I’m going to do that with DrawIt whiteboard paint because I’ve heard good reviews about them. Does anyone have experience with these guys?

  8. Just curious… can you clean it with water after you’ve cured it? Say you draw with chalk but don’t like your writing so you erase it but are left with that gray/white background but want the pretty dark black to make it look like you did your drawing perfect the 1st time. Haha

  9. I love it!! It’s so easy and beautiful! 🙂
    Marti @ SewliciousHomeDecor recently posted..Cinnamon Salt Dough Gingerbread Man OrnamentMy Profile

  10. My husband bought a sheet of hard board at Lowes…also available at Home Depot. Whenever I need a chalkboard he cuts a piece for me. The reason this method is not working is the paint is a cheap craft paint and it is on glass which is the reason for the scratches. It will never work on glass. I use spray Krylon chalkboard paint or spray Rustoleum paint. Always use a quality paint for best results. Michaels carries a Marvy Uchida pen. Excellent quality and writes like a dream.
    Debra Ruffing recently posted..Happy Valentines Day!My Profile

  11. Marily from CA says:

    Help! Did you put anything on the glass before you painted it with the chalkboard paint? I’m having a hard time having the paint stay on, and I have an even “cured” it yet.

  12. Thank you so much for sharing this! I had no idea you could get the chalkboard paint at Michael’s. What a lifesaver! I don’t always like using the spray!

  13. Nishath says:

    this is so easy n great ????
    Can I paint chalk board paint on a canvas…?? Will it work… Do I have to cover the canvas with something before painting…

  14. Love this tutorial! I am planning to make a chalkboard for our dining room and hadn’t thought of just painting over the glass instead of using a wood board. Thanks!

  15. I must know what type of paint you used on the white dresser you have pictured with the chalk board frame. I have an identical piece that I would like to repurpose. Please offer your tips.


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  2. […] I won’t source this mantel because the accessories you have all seen before in previous mantels and the frames were thrift store and yard sale finds spray painted black.  I made the chalkboard and you can find that tutorial here. […]

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