DIY Chalkboard Sign

I’m so glad spring is finally here; I love throwing open the windows in our house and breathing in the fresh air! Spring is a great time to refresh your life, your home, and your routine, and the warm weather always helps motivate me to give everything a little update! I love getting the garden started, giving the house a good cleaning, and breathing new life into old or worn out things. And that’s exactly what today’s tutorial is all about. Martha Stewart Crafts challenged me to transform a picture frame with the supplies they sent me, so today I’m going to show you how to turn an old picture frame into a DIY chalkboard sign!

Turn an old picture frame into a DIY chalkboard sign with just a few coats of paint!

I love this project because it’s so simple to do, but it makes such a big impact! You can use a chalkboard sign for some many things: you can make a chalkboard menu, you can use them to decorate for a wedding or a birthday party, you can use them for meal planning or grocery lists, or just for some fun decor!

DIY Chalkboard Sign

  • 30 minutes (time spent doing stuff)
  • 1 hour (time spent waiting around)
  • 1 and a half hours (total project time)


  • paint brushes
  • stencils


  • a picture frame
  • chalkboard paint (I used Martha Stewart Crafts® Chalkboard Paint in Ink)
  • Martha Stewart Crafts® Erasable Liquid Chalk
  • a piece of chalk or chalk markers
  • OPTIONAL: paint for the frame itself, if you don’t want to leave it as is

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Start by taking your picture frame apart. Set aside the glass and the mat and anything else that is inside of it; all you need for this project is the actual frame itself and the backing board.

Paint the front side of the backing board with your chalkboard paint. You can see in the photo below that there were a few light streaks in the paint after my first coat, so you’ll want to do a second coat to make sure the whole board is really well covered.

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While you let the chalkboard paint dry, you can paint the frame itself if you don’t want to leave it as is. I decided to add a little bit of a metallic flare to my chalkboard, so I put a few coats of a metallic spray paint on my picture frame.

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Once the chalkboard paint is dry, you need to prime your chalkboard surface. If you skip this step, your chalk won’t fully erase and you’ll always have “ghost” images of whatever you previously wrote on the chalkboard.

To prime your chalkboard surface, take a piece of chalk, lay it on its side, and gently rub it over the entire surface. Make sure to get all the way up to the edges as well!

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Then take a clean paper towel or rag and wipe all the chalk off your board, and your chalkboard surface is ready to go!

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Position your stencil where you want it, and stick it down onto the chalkboard. The silkscreen stencils I used have an adhesive backing, but you can always use a regular stencil if you wish; just spray the back with a light coat of spray adhesive to make it stay in place!

The Martha Stewart Crafts liquid chalk I used is pretty cool! It comes out just like paint, so it’s easy to use anywhere you would normally use a stencil and paint, but once it dries it’s completely erasable just like chalk! I applied the liquid chalk with an up and down pouncing motion over the whole stencil.

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Immediately remove the stencil while the chalk is still wet. Remember, a little goes a long way, and if you put too much chalk on it could end up seeping under the edges of your stencil! Add any other embellishments or words you want, and your chalkboard surface is done!

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Put the chalkboard backer board back into the picture frame, and you have your own DIY chalkboard sign!

Turn an old picture frame into a DIY chalkboard sign with just a few coats of paint!

If you want to erase the liquid chalk from the chalkboard, just use a slightly damp cloth and the chalk will come right off! Don’t get the chalkboard surface too wet though or you’ll ruin the priming you did earlier. If you get a ton of water on the chalkboard and it goes completely black again (no light chalk dust marks anymore), just re-prime the surface with a piece of chalk and you’re ready to go!

Turn an old picture frame into a DIY chalkboard sign with just a few coats of paint!

Turn an old picture frame into a DIY chalkboard sign with just a few coats of paint!

The whole box they sent was about refreshing your routine, so besides the chalkboard supplies for the Craft It refresh, they also had ideas for making over your makeup, your snacks, and your dinner!

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If your beauty routine needs a refresh, try Maybelline SuperStay ® 24 hour 2-Step Lipcolor for an all day look that colors and moisturizes at the same time!

Or if you’re more interested in refreshing your snacking routine, try some healthy snacks with Weight Watchers Salted Caramel Brownie Bliss®. It’s as delicious as it sounds! They are having their Tasting Is Believing Challenge, allowing you to purchase a tasty treat from the Weight Watchers Sweet Baked Goods line and if you don’t love it, you’ll get your money back. Join the Tasting Is Believing Challenge from April 1 to May 31, 2016 and give your snacks a makeover.

And if you want to makeover your dinner, check out The Grilled Cheese Recipe Showdown® hosted by Wisconsin cheese. Enter your best grilled cheese recipe using Wisconsin cheese for a chance to win $15,000! Enter at but hurry, the contest ends May 15. NO PURCHASE NECESSARY. Open to legal residents of the 50 United States and D.C., 18 years and older. Begins: April 1, 2016. Ends: May 15, 2016. Subject to Official Rules at Void where prohibited. Sponsor: Meredith Corporation.

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Want to share this tutorial with your friends? Just click any of the share buttons off to the left to share with Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, etc.!

Disclosure: I received compensation from Martha Stewart Crafts in exchange for my participation in this campaign, and my honest discussion of their products. But the chalkboard products I used for this craft are all seriously amazing and all opinions in this post are 100% my own. I would never write a post about something I didn’t think was useful or interesting for you guys, and Practically Functional will only publish sponsored posts for companies or products I love and believe in! 🙂


Jessi Wohlwend

I believe that anyone can do crafts and DIY projects, regardless of skill or experience. I love sharing simple craft ideas, step by step DIY project tutorials, cleaning hacks, and other tips and tricks all with one goal in mind: giving you the tools you need to “do it yourself”, complete fun projects, and make awesome things!

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