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Monday, August 1

DIY: Repurposed Mirror To Chalkboard


Yes, I know that the height of the chalkboard craze was like, so 2014. Like everyone else, I wanted a giant chalkboard, but without having to paint an entire wall or pay for an expensive board. I entertained the idea of building one for a long time, but just couldn't muster up the motivation to do that much work. And then one day, I realized that the perfect chalkboard had been right under my nose. 

Actually, I think it was hidden away in a closet. 

Ever since we moved, I couldn't find a spot for the large mirror we'd bought with a dresser we found on the curb for $30. The dresser I eventually painted and it found a home in Edison's room.


With a few supplies and couple hours, you can turn any large frame into a chalkboard. Here's what you'll need: 
  • A frame. I used a mirror, but you can also use photo frames, or framed art from Goodwill.
  • Chalkboard paint. I used chalkboard paint in a spray can originally, and eventually used chalkboard paint in a can for touch ups. Also, you can make your  own
  • Painters tape.
  • Paintbrushes for touch ups.
  • Paint for the frame. Those little samples from Lowes or Home Depot only cost a few bucks, and they're perfect for this.
  • Sandpaper for sanding the frame.


Start by sanding your frame lightly, just to be sure your paint is going to stick well. Then, spray on your chalkboard paint. Spray from about a foot away, using a continuous sweeping motion from side to side. Go slowly so you get a nice thick coat. Let it dry according to the instructions on the can, probably about an hour. Then repeat, until you've covered the glass well. 

Then, use the painter's tape to protect the chalkboard surface while you paint the frame.


Two words of caution: First, put down enough tape that you don't paint beyond it onto the frame, or else you'll have to touch it up. 

Secondly, be careful not to stick the paint down too well - this is the opposite of advice where you want to be sure the paint doesn't bleed underneath. We're just using the paint to protect the chalkboard, and in this situation, if the paint sticks to the chalkboard too much, it might pull off the chalkboard paint from the slippery glass surface beneath. Again, you might have to do some touch ups with a paintbrush. It's not that big of a deal.


Then you need to season your board. If you skip this step, your fresh chalkboard paint will retain the outline of whatever you write on it first. To avoid ghosting, rub the side of a piece of chalk all over the surface of your chalkboard, and then rub it in before erasing it.


Hang it up, and get to work!


Another word of caution. Around Christmas, you may see some gold and silver metallic chalk markers on Amazon. You may begin dreaming about all the sparkly, glittering possibilities for how these chalkboard markers will transform your hand-lettering into a work of art. You may buy said markers, and create a masterpiece. And then discover ... it will not come off. Even after googling how to get it off, and using Windex. 

It. Will. Not. Come. Off.


And that means you'll have to repeat the steps above to paint over it. 


It may not look as pretty, but it will come off!

Do you have an inspirational message or message board chalkboard anywhere in your house? If you haven't joined that bandwagon yet, what would you write on one? Share in the comments below or on Facebook!