DIY chalkboard made from an old mirror

I’ve been wanting to create a chalkboard for our dining room for awhile now. And yesterday I was at the Salvation Army and found the most perfect narrow mirror. It must have been heaven sent because it was also their 50% off everything day (be still my heart). So that made this fine piece only $20.

DIY Mirror turned chalkboard

I was so excited that I almost forgot to take a picture of it before I had the entire thing painted!

I loved the detail of it and the width was perfect for the wall space that I wanted to fill it with.

I realize that it would’ve been best to remove the mirror from the frame, not to mention that it would make it much easier to paint. However, there were tons of bolts in the back and I just didn’t want to go there and risk ruining the mirror. So I opted for the tedious and frustrating way.

DIY Chalkboard

I painted all of the wood and went back with a fine brush to get the edges close to the mirror.

I wasn’t too concerned about getting paint on the mirror at this point, even though I tried to avoid it as best I could. But I knew that the chalkboard paint would cover any small spots.

Then came the most frustrating part of this process. I taped all the edges and covered the frame with newspaper.

DIY Chalkboard

I sprayed that sucker down with chalkboard paint. Make sure you read all the instructions on how to do this correctly.

You have to apply two coats to create a chalkboard surface. So I let the first coat dry completely then sprayed a second. Once I removed the tape and paper, I realized that on one side, I had overlapped the tape onto the mirror and there was a line where the mirror was showing through. I re-taped it and corrected this problem, but then I ended up getting a little bit of the chalkboard paint on the frame. Argh! So once that dried I went back through with my fine brush and touched things up as best I could.

You have to wait 24 hours before using the board so it just hung out and dried for awhile.

You have to wait 24 hours before using the board so it just hung out and dried for awhile.

Today, I “broke” the board in by using the side of a piece of chalk and rubbing it across the entire mirror. What I wanted to do was put up a menu of our weekly meals. I like to try to plan them out ahead of time and only shop once a week for groceries so I thought this would be a good motivation for me. Now if you’re like me and aren’t too confident in your chalkboard-writing skills, you will love the transfer method I used.

DIY ChalkboardI see people using this method a lot these days but I learned this back in my graphic design classes in college. We used to have to do everything by hand so we’d print out our text, lead the back of the sheet, turn it over and trace the letters onto the piece we were working on, then fill them in with marker or paint, or whatever media we were using at the time. I figured it would work with chalk too.

I printed out the text I wanted to used, held the sheet on the reverse side up against the window so I could see the text through the paper. Then I took a piece of chalk and chalked around the letters. Using blue tape, so it doesn’t leave any residue, I secured the sheet to the chalkboard where I wanted it, then traced the letters with a crayon. I used a crayon so I wouldn’t risk scratching the surface of the chalkboard or tearing through the paper.

DIY chalkboardWhen you lift the paper off you’ll have to clean it up some. I used cue tips and kleenex then went over the letters again to make them darker and sharper.

I continued this method for the entire board:

Finished DIY Chalkboard

The final product.

I’m pretty happy with how it turned out. Although this has the potential to be a frustrating project, it can still be done fairly quickly and when it’s done, it’s worth it.

I saw a chalkboard similar to this online for $100. Since I already had chalkboard paint from previous projects it only cost me $20. That’s what I love about paint. When you buy it, it usually lasts for awhile so you can come up with other projects to use it for and then you can stretch your dollar that much farther.

And if you’re looking for chalk, Michaels has it. I checked Target and a slew of other stores and had no luck, so I thought I’d pass on that info.


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