Build It

How to Make a DIY Chalkboard with Farmhouse Frame

If I had realized how easy this was I would’ve made one sooner! It’s still crazy to me that you can use paint and it magically transforms into a chalkboard. I just bought this chalkboard paint this week and have already make 3 different chalkboards.

They also make a clear one that you can use on furniture and turn anything into a chalkboard (dressers, etc). This can will last you FOREVER. Seriously, you could make chalkboards for yourself and all of your friends and still have some left over. If you just want to make 1 chalkboard, you can get chalkboard craft paint for under $2.

I was actually trying to make a mirror with farmhouse frame, but when I tried to take the old thin frame off this is what happened. Fail.

I had already made the frame and wasn’t sure what to do with it.

I didn’t want to go buy another mirror because I knew I’d probably just end up breaking that one too. If you have a mirror with no frame, this would be a really easy project. For a day or so I wasn’t sure what I was going to do with this frame.  Finally, I had the idea to make it into a chalkboard.

SUPPLIES:

  • Hardboard, cut to size
  • Lumber (your choice of type and size)
  • Kreg Jig and Screws (optional)

*You can use steel plates or metal corners to attach

the boards if you don’t have a Kreg Jig

  • Stain
  • Gray Paint Sample
  • Primer
  • Chalkboard Paint

 

STEP 1: CUT HARDBOARD 

Lowe’s will cut a 4′ x 8′ hardboard into any size you want. Planning ahead, I had measurements for 4-5 different boards that I needed for various projects I had going on, so I was able to make good use of the huge board.

*Note: I attached the hardboard first because I didn’t want the glue to seep onto the chalkboard paint, but if I had to do it over again I’d paint the hardboard first, then just use screws or nails to attach the hardboard without glue.

 

STEP 2: 2 COATS OF PRIMER ON HARDBOARD

I used 2 coats of this stain blocking and bonding primer. My favorite way to paint anything is to slap the paint on with a paint brush, then roll it out with a small roller, which I explain more in this post. Let dry.

 

STEP 3: 3 COATS OF CHALKBOARD PAINT

You really do need at least 3 coats and you’re supposed to wait 4 hours between each coat. Because I roll mine out into such a thin layer, I painted the 2nd coat after 1-2 hours, but did wait longer before the very last coat.

To apply, I used a foam brush (cheap and can throw away) to apply the paint, then rolled it out. This paint is really watery and you have to work quickly because it gets a bit sticky really fast.

1 coat
3 coats

 

STEP 4: BUILD THE FRAME

There are many ways to connect corners and create a frame. If you don’t have a Kreg Jig, just talk to an employee at Lowe’s or Home Depot and they’ll give you a bunch of options.

This is the one I have. It comes with everything you need:

 

If you’re not going to build that often, you could go with the $20 one:

 

    • Cut and sand wood boards of your choice (I used 5/8″ x 5.5″ x 6’picket fence wood for this to make it extra rustic-looking, but mostly because they are about $2.50 each). Lay the boards over your chalkboard to determine what size to cut each one. Sand them really well and wipe down.
    • Attach boards using whatever method you choose. For a Kreg Jig, just drill 2 pocket holes on each side of the longer boards, then screw shorter boards on at each end. Use wood glue at each joint.

    • Wood filler – You don’t have to do this, but you can put wood filler in the cracks where the boards meet. I use the Minwax brand.
    • Stain with 1 coat Minwax Dark Walnut Stain. Let dry.

    • Stain and Whitewash 2 coats of Minwax Classic Gray, allowing for dry time between each coat. To give more of a farmhouse feel, I whitewashed all the boards with gray paint. Graywashed? (Water down some paint to slightly-thicker-than-water consistency, apply all over with a paint brush, then wipe down boards with paper towel. You can do a few coats of this).

 

STEP 5: ATTACH CHALKBOARD TO FRAME

Lay the frame facedown, put your chalkboard on top of that (also facedown), then drill holes and screw together. I used one screw at each corner, then a few extra on the longer sides.

You’re done! You can let this be freestanding or hand it on the wall (they have kits for about $3 that you can screw onto the back so you can hang this on a wall).

 

 

STEP 6: SEASON YOUR CHALKBOARD

This is a very important step if you want to be able to erase whatever is written or drawn on the chalkboard. To season, take a piece of chalk, turn it on its side and rub it across the entire chalkboard. Wipe off with a wet washcloth. You can do this a couple times.

Have you tried making a farmhouse frame or a chalkboard? Share your pictures and tips!

Want access to FREE farmhouse decor? If you opt-in with your email below you’ll get the email that I send out at the beginning of each month with a password to my entire library of FREE printables, including the farmhouse ones pictured here:

 

You may also like these projects with farmhouse flair!

Turn Any Console Into a Farmhouse Console!
Build a Farmhouse Table for around $100
Stencil & Chicken Wire
Easy DIY Shelves for $15!

3 Comments

  1. You sound like me with chalkboard paint. I love to turn stuff into chalkboards with it! 🙂 This is a great DIY Chalkboard project. I love how tall you made the frame, the finished piece looks great against the wall.
    Thanks for sharing your DIY project at the #HomeMattersParty this week.

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