Having a larger chalkboard in the kitchen is super-handy. It allows for the easy creation of grocery shopping lists, recipe references, and also, because of the kitchen’s communal and central nature, can serve as a family message center and reminder forum.
There are other benefits as well. In the idea of “going green,” it cuts down on household paper usage, and, in accordance with my idea of using an already-existent secondhand frame, the commercial products that will have to be purchased are minimum.
But, two of the nicest things about making your own framed kitchen chalkboard is-it’s as attractive as it is functional, and it is super-simple to create. You’ll only have to purchase or find a few things, and the tools required are common household ones.
Below are the supplies, instructions, and notes for creating your own vintage frame kitchen chalkboard.
Large vintage or secondhand frame
Masking or painter’s tape
Nails, hammer, paintbrush/small roller
Place the empty frame on the wall in the exact place you would like to have your chalkboard. Have someone hold it very steady, or actually nail it on the wall. Using a pencil, trace the inside perimeter of the frame directly onto the wall. Remove the frame from the wall.
The next step is to tape the area off. Place tape along the lines you have drawn, not flush against the pencil marks, but about an inch away. This will create a space in the same shape, but about a full inch larger altogether than the pencil outline. Erase the pencil marks.
Place the frame back over the area, and make sure you can’t see any tape from any angle. (The boundary of the tape now represents the unpainted wall, and what you will be able to see once the project is complete.) If necessary, adjust the tape lines so they are covered completely by the frame. If this is difficult, your frame’s edges may be too thin/narrow.
When you are satisfied with the way the frame covers the taped area, remove the frame. You are now left with the taped area to be filled in with the chalkboard paint. Simply paint the taped area using the paint, using either a paintbrush or small paint roller. I used three coats, and was quite satisfied with the results. Let the paint dry, and place the frame over the area. That’s it! Now, you have a unique chalkboard.
The best types of frames to use for this project have thicker (width-wise) borders, and are not warped, bent, or damaged structurally. Getting the frame as flush against the wall as possible is desirable. The framed chalkboard is essentially an illusion, because what it comes down to is simply an empty frame on a wall. Big gaps away from the wall and such will hamper the illusion.
Also take note that many framed employ a wire hanging device on the back. If the frame you choose has such a hanger, it will have to be removed, and replaced with a hanging bracket at the top of the frame, or simply placed on a row of two or three nails. Mine hangs this way; (the top board just placed directly over three nails) the nails cannot be seen unless you kneel down on the floor, and it is suitable stable, holding up well against bumps. Another idea would be to appropriately drill the frame to the wall, for guaranteed stability.
If you don’t have a suitable frame in mind you’d like to use, all sorts of interesting frames can be found in thrift stores, flea markets, and yard sales. Keep the project in mind (all that is going to be seen in the frame) so you can negate any ugly prints that might be inside, or just generally envision an empty frame on your kitchen wall.
Of course, the frames can be given any kind of crafty or artistic treatment you desire: distressing, embellishing, painting, etc. I have attached an old, broken cherub sconce to mine at the top, which serves to hold chalk. Sometimes, with thicker frames, you’ll even find the bottom ledge is wide enough to hold smaller chalks.
On a final note, chalkboard paint can be purchased in most paint sections of department stores, and home stores, such as Lowe’s. Get the smallest can available-a little goes a long way.