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In this post: Find an old thrifted frame with plenty of pretty detail and create this fancy frame turned into a chalkboard.

There is always something so satisfying about finally finding an item you’ve been hunting for. Something like this deliciously fancy frame turned into a chalkboard!

Old gold frame beside madeover ivory framed chalkboard

Thrifted Fancy Frame Turned Into a Chalkboard


I’d been looking and looking for a beautifully detailed picture frame. Every time I visited the thrift store I scanned for one. When we visited antique malls I looked over, under and behind. And finally…finally…I found one. For $10 at a yard sale we happened to be driving past several weeks ago!

ornate gold frame before


How to Make Your Own Thrifted Fancy Frame Into a Chalkboard

Initially, I tried painting it with a brush and white paint and primer that I had on hand. But after four coats I could still see streaks of gold through it, so I went out and bought spray paint and primer. Then I just waited for a nice day with no rain. (Why does it seem like every time I want to spray paint something it rains for like a week?)



1. On a still, clear day, lay out a drop cloth on your driveway or patio. Place your clean frame on the drop cloth. With sweeping motions, spray paint your frame first with primer then with spray paint. Be sure to let each coat dry according to the spray paint package directions.

After a good coat of white primer and two coats of creamy white paint, she was beautiful!

2. Dean so sweetly picked up and cut a piece of 1/4″ MDF. I painted it with a foam brush and chalkboard paint. Let paint dry fully.

3. Using construction adhesive, glue the chalkboard-painted MDF into the back of the frame.

4. As with all chalkboards, treat with chalk before using. By that, I mean cover the entire chalkboard surface by rubbing the SIDE of a piece of chalk all over it. Then brush with a chalkboard brush or rag. This should prevent any permanent chalk shadows when you write.

fancy framed chalkboard dining room

Anyway, despite the fact that we already have a full wall of chalkboard in the dining room, I think this one looks so pretty in here too, don’t you?


Tips for finding and creating your own fancy framed chalkboard:

  • search yard sales, antique shops/malls, and thrift stores
  • pay no attention to the current color of the frame, only mind the shape and details
  • use a good primer
  • I recommend a good spray paint as well for no streaks and brush marks
  • several thin coats is far better than a thick coat of paint, no matter which kind you choose
  • be sure to cure the chalkboard paint before writing on it; cover the entire surface with chalk by rubbing it with the side of the chalk

Have you found any pretty frames at the thrift store or at a garage sale recently?

shannon sign off

home made lovely book on table with get it now text button

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