DIY: Three Chalkboard Frames for $15.13!

September 16, 2012 · 14 comments

I have said before that I have Pottery Barn dreams on a Walmart budget.

I have also said I can be a touch lazy.

I kept both factoids in mind when desiring three chalkboard frames for our breakfast nook wall last October (yes, I am just now getting around to unloading photos of those projects, did you not read the second factoid?)

I had fallen in love with these over-sized, dark-framed chalkboards from PB and needed three – all for the low, low price of $99.00 a piece. PARDON!?

pottery barn chalkboard frame

I also needed slightly smaller sizes, and everywhere I looked, they were a good $40+ for each frame. A wee bit steep for a small project to eat up some wall space, thankyouverymuch. I had seen plenty of DIY frame projects here and there in the blogosphere, and decided I would tackle this one myself – if I could do it with as little cash and clean-up as possible! Here were my results:

Total cost for this project, with tax? $15.13. Suh-weet.


First, to bypass dealing with a paintbrush (and cleaning up said paintbrush), I spent $4.98 at Lowe’s for a can of Rust-Oleum Chalkboard spray paint. Spray paint. The very idea made me excited. Then I swung by Walmart for some 11×14 frames – you can use any size that suits your fancy – and found three $5.00 frames on sale for $3.00 because the glass was a little scratched. This was fine because we’re actually going to scratch the glass up a bit for this project anyway. Having your cat crawl underneath them several times is a vital step – don’t skip it to save time.

Then prepare your painting area outside. If you don’t have a good space and you’re fearful painting on the ground will result in your dogs trampling the glass while they dry, cover your breakfast table in an old plastic tablecloth, taped like crazy to the legs because Texas is shockingly windy and you don’t want the tablecloth to flap up onto your wet paint, and then drag it outside to your patio. Just throwin’ ideas out there.

To help the paint have staying power, you’ll take some light-grain sandpaper and run it over the glass face you’ll be painting. You don’t need giant guages, as you don’t want them to show up when you’re done, but do a solid, general scratching of the surface. Be smart – wear a dust mask to avoid breathing in glass dust – and then brush off the mess once finished so you have a clean surface. Spray paint the glass in short, even strokes. I let mine dry about 45 minutes in between, and did three coats, just to ensure they didn’t wear off too soon (don’t worry if everything doesn’t look super even while wet, you won’t notice once it’s all done). The giant blue lines you see in these is the reflection of the sky above our roof line, in case you’re confused. 😉

Once all your desired coats are dry, have a blast writing cheesy quotes all over them in chalk! 🙂 We decided to use a chalk pen for the final results to prevent the quotes from being accidentally smudged somehow. If you do use a chalkboard pen, here’s a tip: You need to use a Mr. Clean Magic Eraser to remove it from the chalkboard. That tidbit will save you from frantically Googling after you try to remove your quote for the first time and think you permanantly painted your new chalkboard with so-called “washes off with water” pens.

{ 14 comments… read them below or add one }

Brittany September 16, 2012 at 12:41 pm

Now THIS is a DIY I can get behind!! Thank you for posting this, as I live one an eensty, wensty budget and gasp at anything (like these uber popular chalkboard frames) that’s over $20 a piece. So to do THREE UNDER $20? I’m in!! Can’t wait to see more like this in the future!!



brittney September 16, 2012 at 4:38 pm

Right? I just don’t have the time and patience, nor the free cash, to chunk down on pricey DIY projects. I love them, but half the time when I do the math and time calculations, you’re not really saving much – just… doing it yourself. So this was fun.


Steven Andrew September 16, 2012 at 3:13 pm

I love this! I’ve always wanted some chalkboards but I think this is by far my favorite!


brittney September 16, 2012 at 4:37 pm

Thanks!! It was so darn quick and easy that I plan to do smaller ones for the counter top or wherever.


ZiEz June 7, 2015 at 1:51 pm

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Lotta May 20, 2017 at 3:07 am

At last! Someone with the insight to solve the prolbem!


Allison September 16, 2012 at 4:36 pm

I love it! Great job. 🙂


brittney September 16, 2012 at 4:38 pm

Thank ya miss! I think down the line for our study, I’ll spend about $15 on a much larger frame at Walmart – like maybe poster size – and make a big one!


Kelly June 7, 2015 at 11:01 am

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Lu September 17, 2012 at 2:57 pm

Fantastic! I’ve been looking for chalk boards everywhere but as you say, they are so expensive. I bought terracotta pots, chalboard paint and herbs back in May to add a lovely display to the kitcehn windowsill. The paint and pots are still on the kitchen table, the herbs are dead. I will get the pots painted one day……


brittney September 17, 2012 at 4:01 pm

That’s how I do most projects. Or.. all. In fact, part of my YEAR TO ORGANIZE MY LIFE is really based around all the open-ended projects I buy things for and then… wander away from to eat cookies. 😉


Melissa September 17, 2012 at 5:17 pm

Whoa- spray-paint chalkboard? Who knew? That’s so awesome. Also, love your white wreath!


Maria October 24, 2012 at 8:52 pm

I’m sorry….chalkboard spray paint? That just made my day! Love the chalkboard frames, might be the perfect solution for our kitchen. Thanks!


Iskandar June 7, 2015 at 1:30 pm

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