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How to make a chalkboard from an old framed print turquoise after

I’m going to show you how to make a chalkboard from an old framed print. I recently painted this turquoise chalkboard as giveaway for a friend for the Missouri Foster Care and Adoption Association.  Most of you know my hubby and I tried for 4 years to adopt from foster care so I was HONORED to make a chalkboard for them to auction off!

Chalkboards like this one are quick, easy and a GREAT gift idea (think birthday, Christmas, going to college, etc). It’s very inexpensive to repurpose and make a chalkboard from an unwanted framed artwork.

This post does contain an affiliate link and I may receive a small commission if you order any of these products.  It will not cost you, the customer, anything extra! =)


How to make a chalkboard from an old framed print before

First, start with a picture that is GLASS-LESS and ugly but one that has a kick butt frame.  Kick-butt frames are VITAL.  I literally scoop them up whenever I see them at thrift stores, garage sales, etc.  I usually have 3-8 ugly prints/cool frames in my studio at any given time because you just don’t know when you need one to make a chalkboard

But, funny story. After I posted this before picture on my Magic Brush Facebook page, one of my faithful followers (Donna Cooper?) commented it was worth something on Ebay.  OH NO!!!  I was literally minutes away from being a millionaire, but we had painted over it already.  Lol.

So after you find the print, it’s time to paint. Now, everyone asks me….  “which should you paint first….  the print or the frame??”  Really you could do either.   I prefer to do the print, but you can do it either way when you make a chalkboard.

So sand the print. It may not be smooth depending on what it was painted with and that’s fine!!!!!

Then prime it (I used Kilz). I use a primer tinted GRAY so that the black chalkboard paint covers easier on the next coat.

Then roll it with Black Bean chalk-type paint from Heirloom Traditions. (I prefer that over the spray chalkboard paint and it’s thicker than other chalkboard paints).  

Let it dry at least a day to cure.


How to make a chalkboard from an old framed print repurpose

After it dries, I tape off the inside with a low tack paint.

How to make a chalkboard from an old framed print krylong sea glass

Then I put cardboard over the print and tape it down.  It doesn’t have to be pretty, it just needs to cover the black so the spray paint doesn’t get on it!

How to make a chalkboard from an old framed print spray painting

I love to SPRAY PAINT the frames because it is done in like 54.8 seconds.  High fives all around for FAST DIY projects!


How to make a chalkboard from an old framed print distressing

Do several thin coats of spray paint.  Thick layers will give you yucky runs! I used Kyrlon Sea Glass.

Then use a sanding block to sand off the edges which, on this frame, revealed the gorgeous gold frame underneath.  ***love***


How to make a chalkboard embellishments

I have a bowl of goodies in my studio….. I dug thru that to find a fun embellishment for the chalk holder.

I put the clothes pin IN a Styrofoam bowl to spray paint it.  Did you know that spray paint MELTS Styrofoam?  Well I didn’t, but I do now.  Look at the holes in the bowl.  Ha! #hotmess

I have a little video about spray painting the clothespins and choosing embellishments below or click HERE:

I want you to NOTICE MY SELF CONTROL at NOT screaming at the little person knocking on my door during this video.  God bless it.


How to make a chalkboard chalk holder

And look at how fun the chalk holder is! I love the little gold cherub that I hot glued to it!

How to make a chalkboard from an old framed print

Here is the obligatory before and after.  Before, old frame print worth millions (not really).  After, total repurposed cuteness.  And for a great cause! It’s so easy to make a chalkboard from old artwork!

PS. Don’t forget to “season” your chalkboard. That means before you ever write on the board…. lay the chalk on the side and cover it in white chalk.  Then clean it off.  This will help the chalkboard not to “ghost” which means you will always see the very first thing you write on it.  I have a video showing how to season a board HERE.

As always, this project will be posted on my PINTEREST ACCOUNT.  Feel free to pin from the post’s pictures and I’d love it if you shared with your friends!

If you want to paint more chalkboards, check out this HUGE wall chalkboard I painted and framed out in our hallway. It’s a fun place for the kids to draw, or for me to make a menu or command center. I also have some cute Christmas chalkboards I painted as gifts. And then one of my favorite chalk painted projects is this cute heart-shaped chalkboard box for a couple’s gender-reveal party. It’s a fun idea and I’m sure you can come up with clever ways to paint with chalkboard paint!

Much love,


For more chalk-painting ideas – check out my chalkboard paint home decor slide show! 

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