Do you guys love chalkboards? Me too! I kept thinking they were going to go out of style a few years ago but they’re so versatile and functional I think they’re definitely here to stay. I was cleaning the house the other day and realized just how many chalkboards we have in our home. Each chalkboard has a different function so it feels like we need them all. We use one as a menu board,
one for jotting down grocery list items,
one for design plans or ideas (this little light of mine was code for Please hang the light in the laundry room)
and there’s one on my office that I keep words of encouragement written down.
Don’t forget all those chalkboard tags that keep our pantry and refrigerator tidy too. I can honestly say having all of these chalkboards around the house keep us organized or uplifted on a daily basis.
Now that the littles have started back to school, my family has been looking for fun ways to upcycle ordinary or antique frames to use as writing instruments. One of my sisters needs a dry erase style board because she has a toddler that struggles with allergies. We’re currently working to give my mom’s office a mini makeover and she needs a board that is lighter than the rich saturated black in chalkboard paint. With these challenges in mind, I set out to create an alternative to chalkboards and found an easy diy dry erase board project last week.
I found this frame under my bed the same time I found this mirror frame and knew it would be perfect for a dry erase board. This one will be used in my mom’s office and which made it a great trial run. It’s one of those easy projects that can be completed in an afternoon. Here’s what you’ll need to make one of your own:
(Affiliate links have been provided for your convenience. You can read our full disclosure policy here )
- Annie Sloan Chalk Paint (I’m using a custom mix of Old White, Country Grey and Paris Grey)
- Large foam brush
- Zinsser 123 Primer For All Surfaces (You can find it here)
- General Finishes Milk Paint (I’m using Snow White which you can find here
- 2 paint brushes (1 – 1 ½ in work great for smaller projects like this. You can find a great starter pack here
After the contents of the back of the picture frame have been removed, you’ll need to make sure the glass and your frame has been cleaned and is dry. At this point, the front of the “picture” should be facing the table and the back of it should be exposed and facing you. You will be painting the back of the glass to pull off the dry erase look. Always use caution and care when handling glass.
Start applying chalk paint to the back of the glass using a foam brush.
This is after the first coat of chalk paint. You’ll definitely want to make sure each coat has dried completely before adding another coat/layer.
While the chalk paint coats were drying, I decided to paint the frame. As you can tell this frame has a mahogany style finish so I’m choosing to prime with Zinsser 123 prior to painting. Place a piece of newspaper or brown craft paper under the rim of the frame so you don’t get primer on your chalk painted glass.
This is after one coat of Zinsser
this is after two…
It may seem like a lot of extra work for just a frame but it made the General Finishes Milk Paint in Snow White go on so much easier…
and all that prep work saved from having to deal with red stain/pink paint bleed through…
Since this diy dry erase board will likely go into my mom’s office, I used vinyl letters I purchased at The Dollar Store to spell out Office but you can spell out anything that inspires you.
I almost always look through the picture section at our local thrift store. You can usually find frames for less than $10 which makes them decorating with them or making projects like these very budget friendly.
Make sure to use markers that are specially formulated for dry erase use and avoid abrasive cleaners.
I’m heading down to Bliss Barracks later this week so I can’t wait to see how the office is coming along. I really think she’s going to like the way this project came together.
If your heart still pines for chalkboard style, check out how my friend Amy from Canary Street created a Framed Dry Erase Board that looks just like a real chalkboard!
Pin this one for later…
See you guys back here tomorrow.I’m sharing our before and after home tour. It’s crazy to see how far we’ve actually come with this island cottage. Until then, I’ll see you on Instagram, Facebook, and Pinterest.