Sunday, July 3, 2011

DIY Chalkboard

I've been eyeing several chalkboards on Etsy for a while now because I decided that one would be a necessary addition to the mantel. However, the ones I liked were all $100+ which seemed a little much for a chalkboard. So a couple of weeks ago I dropped by Hobby Lobby and as my luck would have it, custom frames were 50% off that week!

Here's what I came up with!

You'll need:

- Frame (mine was a 36" x 24" distressed frame)

- 1 can of black chalkboard spray paint

- Staple gun and 1/4" staples

- 1 large piece of black mat board (* I chose to use mat board because I was looking to make the cheapest chalkboard possible and knew that I would be using it primarily for decorative purposes. However, if you will be using your board for daily use, I recommend something a little more sturdy such as plywood.)

First things first. Cut your mat board to fit snugly inside your frame. A box cutter works best to get a nice straight cut. I actually cut out two identical pieces of mat board to make my chalkboard a little more sturdy.

Next, take one of your pieces of mat board and lie it on some newspaper with the smooth side up!!! (I made the mistake of painting the rough side the first time and had to completely re-do everything.) Spray 4-5 even coats of paint on your board, stopping for an hour or two between each coat to make sure everything dries.

Let your board dry for at least 24 hours after the final coat.

After your paint is nice and dry, break-in the board by rubbing the entire area with the side of a piece of chalk. This step is extremely important!!! Otherwise you won't be able to fully erase anything that you write in the future.

Now you may erase all of your beautiful artwork.

My lovely assistant wanted his picture taken too. 

Place your mat board in your frame. If you are doing a second layer, place it behind the first.

Now for the fun part! Using a staple gun and 1/4" staples, place a staple in each corner of the frame as well as one along each of the four sides.

...And just like that... you're done! So easy!

I'm still not sure what to write on mine but you get the idea. I love it and am so glad it didn't cost me an arm and a leg!

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