A new chalkboard from a yard sale find

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We have a new chalkboard in our house! It's rather large – 4 x 5 feet – and I'm thinking of it as a nice, big canvas for art as well as a place to write notes, mantras, and other fun things.

The chalkboard started it's life as an old, framed photograph that I
bought at a yard sale about a month ago. I immediately went out and bought some
chalkboard paint to transform it into what you see here, painting
directly over the photograph (it was mounted on wood).

Here are some photos of it in use:

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I love it! It makes me happy the way a new box of art supplies makes me happy. I've been coveting a chalkboard wall ever since I saw Eren's at This Vintage Chica this past spring, but we just didn't seem to have the right wall. This seems like the perfect compromise. I'm hoping it gets lots of use.

Have you painted anything with chalkboard paint?


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  1. Michele N. says

    In our kiddos play room we painted a 4×6 section to one wall and then framed it out with molding. My kids have loved it for 7 years. I has been neat to watch them progress from scribbles, to drawings, leaving notes for one another, and now playing school. Enjoy your new chalkboard, it looks lovely!

  2. says

    How wonderful! We love chalkboard paint and have a wall in my daughters’ room and another small patch in the kitchen. I know someone that did all of their kitchen cabinets. It was fantastic!
    I found you via Twitter. Hello! You have a wonderful blog.

  3. says

    Thanks and welcome! Glad you like my blog. :) Now I think I need to do something with chalkboard paint in the kitchen… Not sure I’m ready to do all of our kitchen cabinets, though!

  4. says

    I have been coveting them too and have been on the hunt myself! I love the innovation you did with the picture frame. Now you have me thinking outside the box.
    We planned on doing a giant one outside this summer but it didn’t make the list. We are hoping to have it up by spring. I saw one here….
    http://www.ohdeedoh.com/ohdeedoh/inspiration/outdoor-chalkboard-reader-project-124426
    I plan on putting one up in my kitchen and also adding magnets to it. I am hoping to not only stimulate some art, notes, mantras….but also adhere a rainbow food chart to it!
    Great inspiring post! Thanks!

  5. says

    i would have a chalkboard in every room of our house, if i could. love them. we used to have an old school one, then i painted a gigantic space with chalkboard paint in our dining room. we’re in a different house now and an entire wall in our kitchen is a chalkboard. it’s like having revolving art. i never know what my kids will write on it or draw on it… and they never know when i’ll write them a little love note. it makes our home so fun.

  6. Katie says

    Haven’t tried it myself, but I want to. I’ve seen some big smooth rocks painted with chalk board paint (in a Pottery Barn add, I think), and that sounds like a good starter chalkboard paint project. Last year some blog (wish I could remember who) painted pumpkins with orange chalkboard paint so they could change the faces, that sounded fun.
    I’ve got dreams of painting the wall behind my own bed’s headboard with chalkboard paint, like in 500 Days of Summer…

  7. kelli says

    I purchased an inexpensive chairs and table set for kids at Ikea. I painted the tabletop with Blackboard spray paint. It took several light coats — the table is great and we’re still using it 6 years later.

  8. Sandra says

    What a great solution! I read your post about princess books and I have a good one that my daughter loves it’s called, Do Princesses wear Hiking boots. If you haven’t heard of it yet you should check it out! it’s fun.

  9. says

    Oh my heavens yes! I went a little nuts with the chalkboard paint this summer. We painted the top of P’s little table, which she has had for years and which was getting pretty uncleanable. I also painted our wooden eat-at counter with chalkboard paint.
    I sort of figured that these surfaces were getting so covered with marker, chalk, crayon, and paint anyway that I might as well not fight it. It’s lots of fun! It’s time to give them both a touchup already I think.

  10. says

    Ah – the frame is lovely. We have painted chalk walls in a few of the houses we have lived in – this is the one we painted not long ago.
    http://umatji.blogspot.com/2010/02/chalking.html
    It gets loads of use and we also added a weekly planner up the top on the bit that was out of reach
    http://umatji.blogspot.com/2010/06/rhythm-and-routine.html
    it looks totally control freak-ish but actually just means that I have just a tiny grip on what the heck is going on! It works wonders for me and I update it evrey sunday night. the bottom goes through so many versions but we all love it.

  11. Jenny says

    I had painted a 2×3 section kid level in the kitchen but it got painted over when we redid the kitchen colors. I have then since painted a 2×4 foot board to hang up somewhere but instead it has been a traveling chalkboard. I move it around the yard in the grass to entertain the kids while I am doing yardwork. The kids love it and it is so portable!

  12. says

    I’ve been thinking that a large chalkboard in the kitchen would be great. If you used it as a place to make a shopping or to-do list and then photographed it with your phone when you were ready to go shopping, it would be the perfect, paperless, low-tech-meets-high-tech grocery list!

  13. Eliza says

    I did a similar chalkboard in our kitchen. I bought a 30×40 black frame at Michael’s, removed the glass, and framed out a chalkboard at my boys’ height. I have a small black metal pail on a hook next to the board to hold the chalk. I originally did the chalkboard as a way to cover up damage to the wall from our dog, but it has ended up being a favorite of my boys and keeps them entertained while I am cooking. Love it!

  14. Lauren says

    so unrelated to the chalkboard but I’ve got a parenting question– my girls are roughly the same years apart as yours and I’m wondering if you ever fret that you are spending more time/attention on your older child. I’m home with the girls and physically with them all. the. time. but I sometimes worry that I’m not spending enough 1:1 time with the little one. I love your blog and all your insightful and sensitive parenting questions and thoughts so just wondering how you deal with this conflict if at all….thank you so much for any advice!

  15. Agnes says

    Great DIY project! We painted our kitchen pantry door with chalkboard paint. I love being able to write the week’s menu, grocery lists, phone #s. I keep sidewalk chalk and the eraser on the counter right next to the pantry so the kids can access them whenever they want. Jean, how did you get the chalkboard surface to be so smooth? Ours is a little rough. Did you use a paint roller or brush?

  16. says

    Agnes, Ours is smooth because the surface I painted on was so smooth (a photo). I used a paint roller, but don’t think it would’ve made too much of a difference if I used a brush instead. The chalkboard I made a couple years ago is rougher, though, because the wood we painted the chalkboard paint on is somewhat rough.
    http://artfulparent.typepad.com/artfulparent/2008/09/room-re-do-part-iii-a-chalkboard-and-a-felt-board.html
    I’ve thought about sanding it down and repainting, but haven’t.

  17. says

    Lauren, This is a hard question! Maia definitely demands a LOT of attention from me, partly because of her personality and partly because she’s always had it and expects it. But at the same time, I give Daphne a lot of attention and time through nursing, holding, feeding, carrying in the sling, etc. It’s always a hard balancing act and I certainly don’t do it perfectly. I have to say, though, that Maia was in preschool three mornings a week last year which worked great for our family. She was able get in her social, run around time and I was able to get in my one-on-one time with Daphne. And now, Maia actually just started Kindergarten and is in school until 2:30pm and I’ve been missing all the time we had together! If you want to talk more about it, you can e-mail me, [email protected]. One thing that I’ve heard from other mamas is that the younger children often don’t get as much one-on-one time with parents, but that it seems to be somewhat made up for in other ways, such as sibling attention and love that the first born didn’t have. Also, Harry and I take turns having one-on-one time with the girls. For example, he’ll give Daphne a bath after dinner while I read a chapter story to Maia. Or he’ll take Maia out to a playground while I have some quiet time with Daphne (although usually putting her down for a nap). But this is mostly in the evenings and on the weekends.

  18. says

    Oh, I need to see those! Esp. the chalkboard covered eat-at counter. I think our dining table will either have to be refinished at some point or painted over with chalkboard paint because of the marker and paint stains.

  19. says

    I want a chalk rail, too! Although I like Eliza’s solution (below) of a little metal pail hanging on a hook. It’s not a chalk rail – it’s a makeshift way to mount the chalkboard to the wall. The frame had a hanging wire on the back, but I wanted it mounted securely to the wall to keep it from shifting while drawing on it and to keep the girls safe since it’s so large and heavy. The wooden bar at the bottom is just part of how Harry rigged it up.

  20. says

    Oh my gosh what an elegant solution! I have been trying to reconcile my preference for jotting down my list the old fashioned way with my tendency to forget or lose the slip of paper.

  21. says

    I wanted to put up a giant chalkboard (the habitat store near us always seems to have a couple of classroom chalkboards) but we don’t have a wall that’s big enough. So I’ve painted a couple of doors with chalkboard paint and it worked out great.

  22. says

    Wow! I love this! I just found your blog through Sew Liberated. I can’t wait to look around! I just recently moved to Hickory. Such a small world!