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Yeah, I made a chalkboard


This is so very much like my wreath post a few weeks ago…I have totally jumped on another bandwagon and I don’t care who knows it.  Chalkboards are awesome and fun and as far as I’m concerned, a totally cool way to put up little notes for everyone to see.  And with the rise of chalkboards comes chalkboard art, which I fully intend to attempt with this awesome new addition of mine.  When does the next wagon of bands arrive?  I’ll be on it!  (I know… that makes no sense!)

Here’s how it all went down.  A few months ago my super awesome buddy Alisha and I went to this little place called Antiques on 48.  I love them.  Love love love.  It’s a heck of a drive for one stop, but well worth it.  We discovered it accidentally while on a MAJOR antiques-shopping day a few months back for skeleton keys for her wedding and it was love at first sight for both of us.  Isn’t it charming?


I knew during that visit I wanted a frame for a chalkboard, but I was having a hard time finding something genuinely old, not too fancy and at a decent price point.  I walked outside and saw this pile of old windows sitting in a dark corner.  It was raining and they were all wet, but I didn’t care… I had to look through for a potential chalkboard frame and I found one.  It was perfect!  And $10!  It was paid for and in my trunk within minutes.  I almost wanted to drive away right then and there, having one of those manic “Start the car!!” IKEA-commercial moments, but Alisha was still inside and I love her too much to leave her behind!

After weeks of living with an old crusty window in my house, I finally decided to take some action.  I broke all of the glass.  Yes, it hurt me (not physically) to have to do that, but it was necessary – there was no way I would have been able to perfectly fit anything into that frame over the glass, and though the thought of making it a dry-erase board did cross my mind, a chalkboard is what my little heart was set on.  Glass broken, check… parts of the frame itself also broken off, also check.


I was hit with a serious punch of panic and regret after looking at the glass-less, somewhat broken up frame (which now also had raw, musty wood exposed) and suddenly the unpainted greyish (in a very unattractive way) sides also caught my attention!  OH NO!

The Learner Observer: Window turned chalkboard - first steps

I attempted to ignore the problem and picked up some particle board on a trip to Home Depot with my husband that weekend.  It cost a whopping $4 and they cut it to size for me.  Love Home Depot.  I also got some chalkboard paint (at around $25 for the can) and got to work on the actual chalkboard part of this project.  Easy peasy!  All you’re really doing here is applying 2-3 coats of paint to a smooth, flat surface… no big deal.  I used a small foam roller for this and it was great.

Window turned chalkboard  part 5

Back to the window: the frame sat (now upstairs in the “office” – aka Luther’s room) staring at me and begging to be dealt with.  I grabbed a brush, some leftover white paint and unused glaze from the Rustoleum kit for the kitchen cupboards  and got to work.

First the glaze.  It went on extremely heavy!  I let it sit on the frame a bit in hopes the wood would absorb some of the colour…


The Learner Observer - window frame turned chalkboard step 2

… it kind of worked!

The Learner Observer - window frame turned chalkboard part 3

I realize some of you may be looking at that section of the frame up there, thinking “STOP! It’s done.”  The truth is, I photographed a “nice” looking corner… Not all of the frame looked quite that perfectly glazed.  Case and point:

The Learner Observer - window turned chalkboard part 4

My solution to the “dirty bits” was to add white paint.  There was no method to this part of the process.  I know… you’re all wondering if there was any method to ANY of this process.  No, there wasn’t.  There was simply a goal: to end up with a window-frame chalkboard!  Bring on the white paint!

The Learner Observer - window turned chalkboard part 5

Let it be known that I chose to paint the frame and chalkboard while suffering from a migraine.  I do not condone this behaviour – the fumes are not migraine-friendly.  After this part of the project was finished, I dragged myself to the couch and watched 2 episodes of Downton Abbey.  Headache cured!  (kidding… I wish!)

Chalkboard and frame came together once the paint was dry, and that’s when I thought I was done.  That’s also when I realized I was wrong!  To avoid permanent chalk marks from your first chalk-art, you need to condition the chalkboard by rubbing chalk all over then wiping off with a wet cloth, like this:

chalkboard collage

I should have done this step prior to screwing the frame and board together, but I don’t always think ahead… so this part had to be done with the frame on.

I know this post has officially gotten WAY too long… so I will be showing you how I hung this heavy window and my first chalkboard art in the next post.  Stay tuned!!

I link up here and here.

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  • Reply Deli Silva

    A lot of work. Waiting to see the end of a project.

    March 4, 2013 at 8:29 am
  • Reply Alisha

    You are SO charming. :) This might just be my favourite post to date! I can’t wait to see the final product! Love our antiquing adventures together, and can’t wait for the next one! Xoxo

    March 4, 2013 at 9:13 am
    • Reply Thalita

      You’re too sweet. I also can’t wait for more antiquing with you!!

      March 4, 2013 at 9:37 am
  • Reply Donna Wilkes

    You will love the result when you hang it and begin using the chalk to draw and write messages. I am addicted to making them and have four in the works as we speak! Did you know you could make the glass a chalkboard?

    March 4, 2013 at 7:16 pm
    • Reply Thalita

      Thanks Donna! I can’t wait – already have a few other chalkboard projects on my to-do list! I did originally plan on making the glass a chalkboard, but I didn’t think it would work. Days after I broke it, I started seeing posts about glass chalkboards everywhere! Next time I’ll research better :)

      March 4, 2013 at 8:06 pm
  • Reply Lauren @ The Thinking Closet

    Thalita, I LOVED this post…you’re snapping some lovely photos, my dear, and I absolutely loved all of the captions. They’re so quirky and fun! The chalkboard looks great, and I can’t wait to see it hanging up. (And by the by, I was wondering why I wasn’t catching your new posts even though I’m following you in bloglovin’ and when I click on your blog in bloglovin’, the last post it shows is the one of your ornament organizing. Any ideas? Following you on FB, Pinterest, Twitter, and Instagram, though, so hopefully I’ll be staying in the loop more. Don’t want to miss any of this goodness!)

    March 6, 2013 at 1:46 am
    • Reply Thalita

      Oh my goodness Lauren thank you!!! I’m having an issue with my RSS feed… Been trying to fix it, but so far nothing :( hoping I can get through it this week! Thank you for following!!! You’re too sweet.

      March 6, 2013 at 7:09 am
  • Reply organized31

    Turned out wonderfully! And even I could follow your great directions. Please share at Talkin About Thursdays,

    March 7, 2013 at 8:47 am
    • Reply Thalita

      Thank you so much!! I’m a visual learner myself, and sometimes without pictures I just don’t know how I would do anything! I’ll be sure to link up and add your button to my Link Parties page!

      March 7, 2013 at 1:02 pm
  • Reply Kim @ Two Ten Designs

    What a fantastic find! I love antiquing and salvage shops too, and never thought of using a window frame for the chalkboard. I love love love the chippy paint and charachter it’s got. Beautiful! So glad I found your blog – new follower here :)
    Thanks for sharing!
    Kim @ Two Ten

    March 7, 2013 at 9:47 am
    • Reply Thalita

      Thanks Kim!! I wasn’t sure about leaving the paint so “chippy”, but but you’re right, it does have a lot of character that way. I’m equally glad you found me so that I could find you – your blog is AWESOME!!

      March 7, 2013 at 10:37 am
  • Reply Kimberly

    I love a good band wagon too. And as far as I can tell they are working for you girl! Some awesome projects. I hope you don’t mind. I nominated you for a Liebster award. I hope you play along!

    March 7, 2013 at 11:05 am
    • Reply Thalita

      Kimberly, that is so sweet! Thank you!! I’ll get to work on the Liebster award questions soon :)

      March 8, 2013 at 9:28 am
  • Reply Ruth

    Love your chalkboard. It looks like it took quite a bit of work but it looks great.

    March 10, 2013 at 7:07 am
    • Reply Thalita

      Thanks Ruth! It was worth the effort, that’s for sure!

      March 10, 2013 at 5:39 pm
  • Reply The chalkboard – FINISHED!!

    […] Today was the day… the old window that has had its glass broken and replaced by particle board painted in chalkboard paint has been put up on a wall.  I have been daydreaming of this moment, this day, for a VERY LONG TIME.  If you haven’t seen the beginning of this chalkboard’s story, you can do so here. […]

    March 10, 2013 at 8:48 pm
  • Reply DeDe@DesignedDecor

    You did a great job on the transformation! I love what you did to the frame. Thanks for linking up to Talkin’ About Thursday link party. I hope you will come back this week too!

    March 11, 2013 at 8:38 am
    • Reply Thalita

      Thanks so much! I definitely will!!!

      March 11, 2013 at 10:05 am
  • Reply carriehurst

    I love it! I can’t wait to make something chalkboard for our kitchen. For sure on my summer to do list. Thanks for sharing at Pinworthy Projects.

    March 11, 2013 at 11:18 am
    • Reply Thalita

      I can’t wait to see it! Thanks for checking out this project :)

      March 12, 2013 at 9:44 am
  • Reply Gail (@repurposedlife)

    nice chalkboard! lots of work. ;)

    i would love to shop at that place!

    March 13, 2013 at 10:08 pm
    • Reply thelearnerobserver

      Thanks Gail! All worth it (hopefully!). It’s a great spot if you are ever in Ontario!

      March 14, 2013 at 2:10 pm
  • Reply Chalkboard Tutorial

    […] Yeah, I made a Chalkboard […]

    March 15, 2013 at 3:07 pm
  • Reply Mission “Gallery Wall”: Complete!

    […] Chalkboard (and here) – Antique shop find/DIY project.  Approximate total cost: $15 (not including cost of paint used for other projects). […]

    May 17, 2013 at 7:15 pm
  • Reply Chalkboard Wall

    […] paint off of the trim.  Nope!  I conditioned the chalkboard as you read about when I made the living room chalkboard.  It’s an important step, though it sucks on a larger scale like this!  Chalk dust […]

    June 27, 2013 at 1:23 pm
  • Reply Blow out the candle: The Learner Observer is 1!

    […] you want to know a little more about me, read this).  I turned an old window into a chalkboard (part 1 and part 2) and it’s one of our favourite items in the house now.  I also DIY’ed some […]

    August 17, 2013 at 2:14 pm
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