Saturday, February 2, 2013

Chalkboard Love

I have drooled over gorgeous pictures of chalkboards long enough.  Okay, not for eons...I mean I don't remember sitting in the classroom in grade school daydreaming about having a giant chalkboard, framed just perfectly, filled with lovely prose.  What did I know?  I was just a snot nose kid then!

Well, long ago and faraway, I picked up this ugly rather unattractive picture for a song.  The lady paid me to quit singing and it was mine! I kid...sort of.  It sat forlorn, neglected, but not forgotten, for quite some time in a corner of the basement.  The corner is now my craft room and there wasn't room for the both of us.  So I moved down and she moved up, after I gave her a little love first.

Just look at the detail on that frame.  She was like the ugly duckling, who was about to grow up into a beautiful swan.

First I slathered on the gray primer (my endless bucket is almost at the end)!  I just painted right over the picture.  It had a very slight texture that reminds me of real old slate chalkboards.  

After that dried,  I painted the middle with plain old black flat paint.  I read that it worked as well as the much more expensive chalk paint, so I gave it a whirl.  It seems to work just fine.  I just had to prime it first by rubbing chalk all over the entire surface, then wiping it off with dry paper towel or rags.  Here it is before priming.  It looks a bit shiny, but once primed it dulls right down to perfection!

The next step was to paint the frame.  I brushed gesso onto my gray primer, then wiped and dabbed most of it back off.  To get gesso onto the part of the frame right next to the chalkboard surface, I used a fine angled brush.

Working quickly, I then used a larger gesso brush (any bristle brush will work) to smoosh gesso into the design on the frame and the edges.

It doesn't take much gesso.  I just dipped the tip of the brush in the jar.  With this technique, you need to work quickly and in small sections.  The gesso dries very quickly.  In order to avoid marks where I began and ended each section, I feathered the end of the stroke out, then quickly used a paper towel to remove most of the gesso.

Here you can see a finished section, a gessoed section and an unfinished section.  That's about as far as I painted between sections.  It's probably 6-8 inches.

And now for the ta-da moment.  Keep in mind, this isn't hanging up yet.  I'm still deciding how I want to mount it on the wall.  It's just leaning on the floor in the hallway for these shots.

 I'm going to have to work on my chalkboard writing skills though!

Until next time, keep craftin' and smilin'!

I've linked to these fab parties:


  1. SO cool! I never would have thought to paint right over the picture. I LOVE this idea! Thank you so much for sharing and inspiring!

  2. I love it!! You did a great job and thanks for the tutorial. Lynda

  3. Hi Deborah,
    Thanks for stopping over for a visit and for your sweet comments. Wouldn't it be nice if the box were worth a million dollars? Nice to see you working with gesso. I want to pick some up soon. I have a little gold angel that I need to repaint and I think gesso would help me to get that old look on her.
    ~ ~Ahrisha~ ~

  4. What a great way to change up. Love the idea of covering the enitire frame/painting with one color and then add the black for the chalk board and gesso for detail highlighting.

  5. Love chalkboard frames. I picked up a couple of vintage frames this weekend and I've got the chalkboard paint out and ready to go!
    I'd love for you to come over and share at Finding the Pretty & Delicious Linky Party

  6. I was just thinking about doing a chalkboard yesterday!!!
    Yours turned out perfect, Debbie!! I LOVE it!
    Happy Sunday to you, dear friend.

  7. This looks great! I don't even know what gesso is so I'd better do some research. Love your blog. I'm a new follower ;)
    Jamie ~ Better With Age

  8. I am a sucker for a chalkboard! I love your method of painting the frame. You have a beautiful blog and I am your newest follower! Please visit my blog and take a look around. If you see something you like, I would love for you to follow me back!

  9. Your chalk board looks amazing! I love the texture and the distressing. Thanks for sharing it at Silver Pennies Sundays! x

  10. I love chalkboards, too! Your frame looks great. I have a jar of gesso I've been wanting to try, and I didn't know it dries so quickly. Great tip to do only a small section at a time. Thanks! Have fun drawing on your new chalkboard. You have lovely handwriting!

  11. Oh, how neat! What a different, creative approach to achieving the look. LOVE.

    Feel free to share this over at The Honeysuckle Bus Stop for {MoonSHINE Monday}!


  12. I was that student who sat and wished for a huge chalkboard - grew up to be a teacher! Excellent tutorial on using gesso. Love the result. (The picture brought to mind "The hills are alive...")

  13. That is a great transformation! The frame turned out beautifully.

  14. I have a chalkboard in an old window and I love it. It hangs between my kitchen and family room and I love to glance over at inspirational quotes. My friend did the same thing with an old pic and painted her frame red. It is darling just like yours! Love the dry brush of white!

  15. Great job...I love it!! Stopping by and a new follower from Wow Us Wednesday...have a great day!

  16. That's fantastic!! Great job! I love that you painted right over the painting...I'd totally do that too! I wondered about using flat black paint but hadn't tried it. Glad to know it really works, it'll save me a bundle in the future. Love your blog! Pinned this project!

  17. Thanks for the tip that flat paint works. I have this project on a not-too-distant horizon. Yours turned out great. I wouldn't have thought to paint the painting :) ! Great! ~Zuni

  18. Love this chalkboard...totally using this idea...great job!...Happy Monday, pls come and visit...Mariaelena

  19. Beautiful!! Well done. Thanks for linking up at Romance on a dime.


Thank you for taking time to leave me a comment. They make my day!


Related Posts with Thumbnails