Give new life to an old picture frame! Learn how to upcycle a vintage find into a charming chalkboard, perfect for adding a personal touch to your home decor.

Creating beautiful and functional home decor from upcycled materials is a rewarding and sustainable hobby. In this DIY project, I’ll show you how to transform a vintage frame into a charming chalkboard that’s perfect for jotting down notes, displaying seasonal messages, or adding a touch of rustic elegance to any room.

With just a few supplies and some creativity, you can turn an old frame into a unique piece of art that combines style and practicality.

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Upcylced Vintage Framed Print

How to Make an Upcycled Vintage Frame Chalkboard

So I am on a DIY project binge lately. I have so many items laying around that I intended to work on but haven’t had the chance yet. They are clogging up my garage and storage areas, so it is time to use them or ditch them. Is it just me or do you have stuff like this too?

When I first saw this framed print on the marketplace, I loved the pretty detailed wood frame. After bringing it home, I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do with it so I set it aside. Having kept it in storage the last few years, it is time to do something with it.

After thinking about it, I decided it would look great above my newly painted piano. Inspired by some really cool chalk art designs online, I decided to turn this piece into a pretty framed chalkboard that we could create seasonal designs. Here’s what I did…

vintage frames being upcycled to a chalkboard on a counter with supplies

Materials Needed for Your DIY Chalkboard

vintage frame being painted

Step-by-Step Guide to Creating a Vintage Frame Chalkboard

Gather supplies and clean the surface with soap and water. Then allow it to dry. Although chalk paint does not need to be pre-sanded, I like to do a very light sanding. I don’t spend too much time on it.

Lift the piece up on a few paint cans or something similar so it is raised off the table. It is much easier to work on this way. Plus, you can paint the bottom without having to flip the whole painting over.

If you want to protect the painting, either pop it out of the frame or cover it up to avoid hitting it with the chalk paint you are using on the frame.

Painting Your DIY Chalkboard

  • Paint the frame with chalk paint. I painted both the frame and the painting because I did not tape anything up. Because I didn’t want to see a line around the edge on the painting from painting the frame, I applied one coat of chalk paint to both the frame and the painting.
  • Next, I applied a second coat to the frame only.
  • When the chalk paint was fully dry, I applied chalkboard paint over the painting and was very careful around the edges where the painting meets the frame.
  • After the first coat was dry, I applied a second coat of chalkboard paint, then allowed it to dry.
Upcycled Vintage Framed Chalkboard
Upcycled Vintage Framed Chalkboard

Glazing Your DIY Chalkboard

  • I applied glaze with a very light hand to the detail of the frame only. I used a damp paper towel, dipped it into the glaze, applied it to a section, then used another damp paper towel to wipe most of it off. If you want a heavier glazed look, don’t wipe as much off.
  • Allow everything to fully dry for 24 hours before applying the finishing wax to the frame. While some prefer to skip this step, the wax protects the color and piece from damage.
  • Use an old sock or rag to apply the wax. Work it onto the piece, then wipe off the excess. Allow to cure for two weeks. (Although I will admit that I am hanging it up well before those two weeks).
Upcycled Vintage Framed Chalkboard

Variations and Ideas for Your Upcycled Vintage Frame Chalkboard

Want to try something a little different? Here are a few variations of this upcycled vintage frame project that might better reflect your personal style and needs.

  • Frame Styles and Colors: Experiment with different frame styles, from ornate vintage frames to sleek modern designs. Try various paint colors to match your home decor—bold hues for a statement piece or muted tones for a subtle touch.
  • Decorative Elements: Enhance your chalkboard with stencils, decals, or hand-painted designs. Add a decorative border or corner embellishments to give it a unique look.
  • Multi-Functional Use: Incorporate hooks at the bottom of the frame to create a chalkboard key holder or attach a small shelf for holding chalk and erasers.
  • Seasonal Themes: Customize your chalkboard for different seasons or holidays. Use removable decorations like mini wreaths for Christmas or garlands for spring.
  • Magnetic Chalkboard: Add a magnetic primer before the chalkboard paint to create a dual-purpose surface that can hold magnets, perfect for displaying notes or photos.
  • Chalkboard Wall: Consider using a large frame to make a statement wall piece or combine several smaller frames for a gallery wall effect with multiple chalkboards.
finished product of a vintage print turned into a chalkboard with a painted frame
close up of a vintage print turned into a chalkboard with a painted frame
Upcycled Vintage Framed Chalkboard
Upcycled Vintage Framed Chalkboard
Upcycled Vintage Framed Chalkboard
Upcycled Vintage Framed Chalkboard

Final Thoughts on Making a DIY Chalkboard From an Upcycled Vintage Frame

And that’s it! Creating an upcycled vintage frame chalkboard is a fantastic way to blend functionality with timeless decor. This DIY project not only breathes new life into an old frame but also offers endless possibilities for personalization and creativity.

Whether you use it for jotting down notes, seasonal messages, or as a decorative piece, this chalkboard will surely add charm to any space. It’s amazing how simple or detailed the designs can be and they are not difficult to create. I’m not sure if we’ll keep it above the piano, but love it there for now.

If you have any questions, comments or suggestions, please let me know in the comments below. I’d love to hear! And feel free to share this post with anyone you think would find it helpful too.

For more DIY inspiration, check out Painting the Piano and  How to Paint Chair Upholstery Fabric.

Thanks so much for dropping by! Enjoy a beautiful day!

stacy ling signature
Upcycled Vintage Framed Chalkboard

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  1. I make one years ago, used it all the time! Put it away when I painted my room and never got it out again. Looked in my closet to see if it was there. YES! Still had the peeps rabbits on it, that I did for Easter that year. Four years ago!!! I guess I can use it this year. Lol

    1. You can totally use it this year!!! That’s so funny. I found so many great chalk art design ideas on Pinterest.

  2. What a great idea! Our local thrift store always has a lot of huge paintings. I need to grab one when they open back up. I love your drawing, too!

    1. Thank you so much! I’m so glad I painted that – it was doing nothing in storage and I love that it has a whole new purpose. Thank you so much for stopping by – it was so nice to meet you! Enjoy your weekend!! xoxo

  3. I love it!I can’t wait to make one. Also, thanks for the pinterest info.
    Have a blessed day and Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours,

  4. I just got a picture with frame free from a garage sale. I wasn’t sure what I was going to with it, but seeing what you did with yours I now know! Thank you for sharing and I love your site and seeing your beautiful house and yard.

    1. I’m so glad you decided to try that!!! I love how mine turned out and its so fun to do the chalk art! xo

  5. Stacy, the chalkboard art is so pretty. What a transformation! Well done!