how-to: make a decorative blackboard

Chalkboard paint can transform almost any hard surface into a cute, usable blackboard. This paint is very versatile, and usable on almost all surfaces - glass, wood, plastic and so much more.

An ornate vintage frame, an old cupboard door, a recycled dresser drawer, a broken antique vanity mirror, or an old silver tray all make beautiful vintage chalkboards. Dig around in your attic or basement, or shop your local tag sales for the perfect bones to make a vintage chalkboard.

Special Message Board
Try making a message board; a memo board; or a grocery list board for your kitchen. Make a menu board for your dining room. Make a full wall or a play table with fun displays, quotes, or even a blank canvas in a child's playroom. Add your ‘favorite’ football team’s schedule to the game room.

Transform a simple piece of wood into a blackboard with chalkboard paint and when it’s time to change the ‘message’, you just wash the board with a wet rag, a cotton glove or a purchased blackboard eraser.

How-To Make a Vintage Frame Chalkboard

Grocery List Wall

Materials You Need
  • Old ornate picture frame
  • Ply (or MFD) board sized to fit inside the frame and thick enough to fit the groove on the back of the frame
  • Sandpaper
  • Primer paint
  • Dust rag
  • Primer Black chalkboard paint (spray or brush on)
  • Paint or Sponge Brush (if you use the brush on paint)
  • Brad nails
  • Hammer
  • Picture hanger

Paint the surface of the board using the primer to create a smoother and more durable surface for the chalkboard paint to adhere. Allow the primer to dry thoroughly.

Paint the surface using the chalkboard paint. Allow the paint to dry. This could take several hours. Apply a second coat of chalkboard paint, and let it dry overnight.

Silver Tray Menu Board
Lay the vintage frame with the back side up. Insert the chalkboard into the back of the frame, paint side down. Nail the brads into the back edges of the ply board and into the frame at an angle. Angling the brads will keep them from poking through to the front of the frame.

Center and attach your chosen hanger hardware to the top back of the frame to complete your vintage chalkboard.

If painting a silver tray, use a picture easel to stand the tray vertical. (This application is perfect for a Menu Board at a Dinner Party!)


Sand the top surface of the ply board that will become the chalkboard to give the board a grip for the paint applications. Remove the dust particles with a rag.