Articles / How-To

How to Make a Framed Chalkboard

Some people just have that magic touch.  My friend Ken is one of those people.

Walk into his downtown New Orleans apartment and before you even have a chance to take in the breathtaking views of Canal Street, you’re struck by the old-world charm that makes the whole unit feel much less like an apartment and much more like a Tuscan villa.  At some point, I hope to raid his home and share gobs of beautiful pictures with you, but in the meantime, I wanted to share a great idea of his.

We’ve all seen or heard about chalkboard paint.  It’s available at any home store these days.  However, Ken takes it to a whole new level.  He surrounded his chalkboard with an elaborate antique frame to create a menu board fit for a palace.  My version is a bit more shabby-chic than expensive-antique and it’s easy to tailor the basic concept to your personal style.  Here’s how you do it…


Antique frame (you can find them in thrift stores, antique shops or estate sales)

Damp rag

¼ Plywood (you can also use foam board if you don’t have the tools to cut wood)

Table saw or jigsaw

Wood filler

Paint for frame

Chalkboard paint

Paint brushes

Sand paper



Remove all glass, art, backing, nails and wire from your frame

Clean with damp rag

Patch any holes, nicks or imperfections with wood filler

If you’d like, paint your frame with spray paint or whatever you have lying around

Measure the frame opening (from the back) and cut your board to size (the home store can do this for you)

Sand your board until smooth

Apply at least 3 coats of chalkboard paint, allowing ample time to dry between coats

Insert chalkboard into old frame and secure with nails hammered in at an angle

Enjoy your new chalkboard creation!

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