I do like me a good old chalkboard design! Without too much fuss, you can completely change your decor by updating them for different occasions and seasons. And there are sooo many designs to inspire you on Pinterest ( I have pinned loads even though I’ll never be able to do them all .. I do get a bit carried away!). Anyway, here’s one I did manage to finish myself. This one was made as a permanent feature, but you can totally do this with a chalk pen to allow you to update it whenever you want.
Unfortunately I never found quite the right size and shape frame for our lounge. Until I spotted this mirror recently! For only £3 on Facebook Marketplace I knew that the gorgeous chunky frame was just perfect for what I wanted on our lounge dresser.
Here’s how it was before. Definitely a gorgeous chunky frame, but a bit plain looking. (I’m sorry you pine loving people out there but there’s just too much pine going on in this picture!) Fortunately it’s nothing that a bit of paint won’t fix.
What I used to make this chalkboard art design
- Chalk paints – I used a taupe/grey colour and a cream paint for the top coat
- Chalkboard paint
- Clear Wax – I used Rustoleum
- Good quality paint brushes
- A good quality brush for waxing – I love this round brush from Diall
- A paint pen or Chalk pen
tackling the frame
I started by carefully popping out the mirror from the frame. It’s a lovely beveled mirror and I’ve already got another project in mind for it 😉 – stay tuned peeps! I kept the backing of the frame as I’ll be using it to paint it with chalkboard paint. Just put it to one side for now.
Next I gave the whole frame a very light sanding down, just to make it easier for the paint to have something to grab onto.
There was very little prep needed for this project (yay!) as the frame was in such good condition, so it was ready for painting after a quick wipe down with a damp cloth. I used a taupe/grey colour for the base coat and gave the whole frame 2 coats with this colour in total.
While the frame was drying I took the backing of the frame and gave it a coat of blackboard paint. It’s going to use a few coats to cover and give it that lovely “chalkboardy” feel (I know it’s probably not a word, but you get what I mean 🙂 ). All in all I painted it with 3 layers of blackboard paint and left to dry.
Layer and distress
After the layers of the taupe base colour I painted the frame with 2 more layers of a cream coloured paint. I knew I wanted the frame to have a distressed look so will be rubbing down the cream paint lightly to have some of the base colour and the original wood showing through.
Once all the coats were dry, I took some fine sandpaper (using a coarse paper may take off too much of the paint so go easy) to the project and lightly sanded down the paint work in some strategic areas. Every once in a while stand back and see if you’re happy with the overall effect. I really liked the look of this as I didn’t want it too neat. Distressing it just gives the frame a bit of character.
I used Rustoleum clear wax to finish off the frame and protect it. I absolutely love this product. It gives the whole thing a lovely sheen finish. Apply a layer, leave for about 10 minutes and then buff with a lint free cloth. Repeat this process if you want to. I gave it a total of 2 layers of wax.
To create the wording I used Canva. If you’ve not used this before, it’s an AMAZING tool for designing quotes or graphics. It’s got loads of fonts, templates and graphics. And what’s more – you can use loads of it for FREE. (There is a paid option but for what I need I use the free version.) It’s brilliant. I created the wording with different fonts and then downloaded it as a PDF file.
Next, I knew I had to go bigger than A4 because of the size of the frame. I used a website called Blockposters.com You can find them here. This site allows you to download your design and print it in a larger size. I used this site to print the design on two A4 pages and stuck the two together to line them up. But you can go even bigger if you need to.
Tape the 2 pages together like so … It’s really starting to take shape now. I just love doing this part as it’s all coming together!
Flip the paper over and with a chalk cover the bit where there is writing. Basically, anything that you want to transfer to the chalkboard needs to be covered on the back with chalk.
Next stick the paper to the chalkboard with low tack tape (chalky side down). Make sure it can’t move as you will be tracing the top of the letters, pressing the chalk onto the chalkboard as you do the tracing. When you’ve done the whole thing, your chalkboard should look something like this (sorry about the bad lighting – it was late at night! .. anyone else get their inspiration in the evening?)
Trace the wording with a white pen, either chalk paint or a emulsion paint pen, like this one.
I wanted this frame to be a permanent feature in our lounge and won’t be using it for changing the quotes so I chose to add the design with the emulsion paint pen. It gives a lovely crisp white finish and I’m really pleased with the results.
Tip: If you’re thinking of changing the quotes every so often and are using a chalkboard pen, then make sure you season your chalkboard before adding your design. This is to avoid “ghosting”, where you can still see the original design, even if you’ve tried to clean it. Check out the video below to see how to season your board before using it.
Would you do me a favour and Pin this so others can find this too?
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