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The End of the Chalkboard Wall…and How to Make a Thrifted Frame into a Chalkboard

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Morning friends! I’m excited to share some updates to our dining room with you guys today…and a fun tutorial on how you can make a super simple chalkboard using a super cheap thrift store frame! First up- the dining room.

The last time I really talked about our dining room was this post where I showed the giant chalkboard wall I painted there. I went to re-read the post, and freaked myself out a little bit…you guys, look what I wrote at the bottom of the post! (This is a screenshot).

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See? At the end, where I say “in a year I will probably change my mind.”?!? I wrote this post on Feb 7th of last year. I knew!!!! 😛  In true Tania style, I was right. I was really, really, really over it. The same issues that I was first worried about have continued to bother me over the last year. Our orange peel wall texture made everything bumpy and hard to write smooth. Chalk got everywhere and I was constantly having to clean the baseboards and floors. And after awhile it just looked messy and kind of gross. Additionally, I wanted another wall to hang art on. I’m greedy, I know. But in an open concept like our house- there aren’t a ton of walls to begin with, you know? So we painted it. We painted it the same exact color it already was,  Benjamin Moore Steel Wool (the same color we also used in our entry way!).

I still wanted a chalkboard there, just not a whole wall. So I used these two frames my sister in law gifted me with to make a few! You could easily find frames like this for under $10 at any thrift store.

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I simply covered the edges with painter’s tape– isn’t the detailing on these gorgeous?

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Then I got a can of Rust-Oleum chalkboard spray paint (I’ve also seen them at Home Depot and Michaels!) and sprayed the top. Make sure you get a can that says it’s safe for glass, and follow the instructions. Also be sure to use their awesome spray grip trigger to save your wrists! It’s a GAME CHANGER!


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You have to let it dry for 24 hours which is super annoying…but after that you can peel the tape carefully off. Tada!

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Now you have to “activate” the chalkboard. You do this by taking a piece of chalk on it’s side and coloring it all over your board, like so.

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If you are lucky, you will have a very curious little helper who wants to be close to you and “help”.  Or just distract you with his super adorableness. Aww.

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After you activate the chalkboard, you then erase it and are ready to write on there. Keep in mind that a chalkboard isn’t really meant to be a perfectly clean surface…so if that bothers you, don’t paint it all over your walls like me. 😛 But you can wipe it down with a wet cloth to get it cleaner then normal if you want. When I finished and propped it up against the wall, I started cracking up….it’s the same exact color as our wall!!!! It almost looks like an empty frame hanging. I guess if you ever wanted a dirty chalkboard paint color…now you know what to pick. 🙂

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I wrote a Bible verse on ours from 1 Thessalonians 5:18- “Give thanks in everything.” I think we all could use a reminder of having a thankful heart, don’t you guys? 🙂

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We hung it in the dining room, right where the old chalkboard wall used to be. Aww. We also moved our giant mirror into our nook…eventually we’d like to do some sort of built in, but for now we are liking this set up. The nook is where we keep liquor and our bar cart, which is perfect for when we are having parties!

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We also added the cool wooden shelf I bought at Canton! It holds a frame I made, some vintage jars and a deer. Just cause. And look….we have a plant! A real life one!!!! 🙂 Pray for us. We really want not to kill it. 😛 You can also see the gray  West Elm curtains that we moved from our room like I talked about yesterday. It’s on a double rod, so I’ve been having fun playing with closing the sheers and leaving the grays open, or closing the grays and leaving the sheers on top, etc. Curtain games, woo!

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This is pretty much as “done” as our dining room will be for awhile, at least until we get to building our nook. Isn’t it pretty? 🙂 It makes me so happy to look at. A far cry from where we started….

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As for the other chalkboard frame, I’ll show you all were it went in a few days. It’s a surprise. 😀 But can you all guess the quote?!?!

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This is so brilliant! I have a bunch of old frames that I'm going to use this diy on to make a diy chalkboard. I had no idea it was this easy.

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Tania Griffis is an accomplished writer, blogger, and interior designer with a Journalism degree from the University of Oklahoma. She started her popular blog, Run to Radiance, in 2011, demonstrating her design expertise through the personal remodeling of six houses to millions of readers across the globe.

Tania also owns The Creative Wheelhouse, a respected ghostwriting agency for bloggers, further showcasing her talent for creating engaging and informative content.

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  1. Very cute! I love buying old frames from thrift stores..shhh! Don’t tell too many people or there won’t be any left, LOL! Your dining room looks great!

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    1. Hey Beth!
      So I haven’t found a magnetic spray paint (that would be amazing) BUT I did use magnetic paint in our house on a wall. It was so hard to work with for me- all the metal kept falling to the bottom of the can and it was lumpy and thick sadly. I think we should invent the spray paint! I would totally pay for it!!

  3. I would like to thank you for the efforts you have put in penning this website.
    I really hope to check out the same high-grade content from you later on as well.
    In fact, your creative writing abilities has inspired me to get my own site now 😉

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