DIY Chalkboard Tutorial

A fellow photographer (Megan at Megan Ramminger Photography) used some chalkboards in a recent photoshoot…and it turned out so cute! So of course I had to give it a try…after all, “imitation is the ultimate form of flattery.” Or so they say.

Anyway, I can’t believe how incredibly simple and inexpensive this project was! For around $20 (and that’s very conservative) I was able to make 5 chalkboards (3 are pictured)…and I would have made more if I had more frames! There was plenty of chalkboard paint left. Here are the materials & steps:


  • Wooden picture frames (I found these at Goodwill for $1.99 each)
  • Chalkboard paint (I got mine at Home Depot, $9.79)
  • Newspaper (to avoid a mess!)
  • Paintbrushes
  • Hammer
  • Nails (and maybe a pliers & screwdriver to remove staples from the frames.)


  1. Open backing and remove photos or pictures from frames. The ones pictured had staples in them, so I used a flat screwdriver to pry them up and pliers to get them out. Keep cardboard backing for later use.
  2. Carefully take out glass and set it on the newspaper…start painting the glass! Be sure you have adequate ventilation.
  3. Do 3 coats, let dry completely between coats.
  4. Once dry, place glass back in the frames, followed by the cardboard, and reattach backing. If the previous photo was held in by staples, use 4 small nails and hammer in securely (see photo below). Be careful, thinner frames might crack, so be very gentle!
  5. And you’re done! According to the paint can, let the paint set for 3 days and then your new chalkboard is ready! Condition the surface of the chalkboard before use by rubbing the entire surface with the side of a piece of chalk. This will provide the best erasability.

I plan on using these chalkboards for my photography business, but the possibilities are endless! I also made one for McKenzie’s room, which is larger. I plan on making another one for our kitchen, too! Do you have any other ideas for a chalkboard? Gook luck!

Liz @ TheLambentLife - October 6, 2012 - 7:46 pm

Thanks for the step-by-step! I’ve been planning to make one for my kitchen and I’m glad I don’t have to wing it now :)

Nicole - October 7, 2012 - 10:44 am

Yay! It was deceptively easy, and I love little projects. =)

Marti - October 7, 2012 - 9:14 pm

I love that! I would love for you to post to SHOW-licious Sunday Craft Showcase! Just follow this link :)

I like old stuff. | The Lambent Life - October 10, 2012 - 1:09 pm

[…] How incredible is this table? I love how they upscaled this kitchen counter into an entryway table with removeable wire baskets. I really wanted to buy the screen door-framed chalkboard but I know I can make it for much cheaper after reading Nicole’s DIY chalkboard tutorial. […]

karissasimplifies - October 18, 2012 - 6:46 pm

Thanks for the tutorial! I’m going to use these in our engagement pics :)