Saturday, September 28, 2013

Vintage Inspired Chalkboard

I did this quick little project over two years ago and am just now getting around to posting it. I had completely forgotten that I photographed it until I came across the photos the other day. In any case, I thought I'd share it with you nevertheless! For my birthday a couple years ago, I wanted to throw a small cocktail party in my honor and serve a selection of classic cocktails. That's when I got the idea to make a chalkboard to display the drink list.

I stopped by my local thrift store on my way home from work and found this gold colored frame, which as you can see, had seen better days. I bought it for one dollar and was on my way. Originally I was going to do a sort of crackled effect on the frame, but decided to use the character it already came with. I simply pulled off the old paper from the back and cut the wire. I took some silver paint and painted a light coat over the frame. When it was dry I simply sanded it in places to reveal the old frame underneath. Then I went to my local hardware store and had them cut a 1/4" thick piece of wood to fit inside my frame. Using chalkboard paint you can find at any craft store, I painted the cut wood and stapled it into place. Voila, I had my vintage inspired chalkboard!

I love how you can transform something outdated into something functional and beautiful to look at. And all for under $10! The original gold paint shows through the silver coat, giving it a tarnished effect. Over the last couple of years I've used the chalkboard on all sorts of occasions, from birthdays to Academy Award night parties, or anyplace where I've needed to display a list or menu. I love it so much, I think I might need to find a permanent place for it in my kitchen!

Here's what you'll need:
  • An old frame, preferably with some character
  • Wire cutters 
  • Whatever colored paint you'd like your finished frame to be (metallics work great) 
  • Fine grit sandpaper 
  • 1/4"-thick wood cut to the size of your frame
  • Chalkboard paint 
  • A staple gun
  • Picture frame wire and hooks (optional)
  • Chalk

Here's how to do it:
  1. Using wire cutters, remove any old rusted wires. Remove the paper, back of the frame (if it comes with one), and glass and discard.
  2. Paint a light coat of your desired paint color over the frame, and let dry for several hours or overnight.
  3. When the paint in dry, lightly sand it off in places to reveal the original color(s) below. 
  4. Paint the 1/4"-thick board with chalkboard paint (this may take several coats).
  5. Once the paint is dry, place it inside the frame and use a staple gun to staple it into place along the inside.
  6. If you plan on hanging your chalkboard, reattach some new picture frame wire to the back of the frame.
  7. Use chalk to write whatever your heart desires!

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