DIY Upcycle A Large Chalkboard Sign for Under $10!

My spell checker doesn't like the word upcycle, but it's one of my favorite words in all of my vocabulary. I had to look up the definition of upcycle because I wanted to make sure it wasn't just a word I made up and was hoping it would catch on. It's not. Upcycle: also known as creative reuse {side note, love that!}, is the process of transforming by-products, waste materials, useless or unwanted products into new materials or products of better quality {yep and yep} or for better environmental value. 

To be totally honest, the reason I upcycle is because I'm cheap. The environmental benefit {less waste in the landfill yadda yada} is just a good side effect of my cheapness. It's why I cloth diapered my kiddos. But I digress... This DIY upcycled chalkboard sign. It's huge. Like really big and I made it for under $10. If you want the real total it was really only $2, but I'm thinking if you want to make something similar, I would venture to guess that I could steer you in the right direction and you could DIY a large {and I'm telling you this is like 8-year-old child sized} chalkboard for under $10. Want to know how? Keep reading!

chalk art tutorial

DIY Upcycle a Large Chalkboard Sign for under $10

chalk art tutorial

I buy a lot of frames, especially big {like really big!} frames at garage sales and thrift shops. Frames are expensive in the store, but you can get a killer deal at a second-hand store and use paint to make it your own.

In case you want to check out a blast from the past and do a little throwback Thursday, this is a post about using second-hand frames around the house that was written back in 2012.

chalk art upcycle

I like large chunky ornate frames for making chalkboards and knew exactly what I was going to do with this large horse painting when I bought it for a few bucks at a garage sale last summer. While this horse print is pretty rad, it's just not my style and I thought it would look better covered in paint and no longer recognizable as a horse painting. Because horses and stuff.

horse painting goodwill outlet upcycle

So I did a little afternoon transformation with some chalkboard paint. Chalkboard paint is totally different than chalk paint. This has been a question I've been fielding for years here on the old blog. So...

What's the difference between chalk paint and chalkboard paint? Here's the answer!

This is the chalkboard paint I like to use. It's cheap, thick and gets the job done. I'm always impressed at how long a jar of chalkboard paint lasts. A little goes a long way.

Creating a tutorial for how I did this is a little silly. But here it goes.

  • tape off the area you don't want to paint
  • use chalkboard paint to paint the area you want to be painted

I used a few coats of the chalkboard paint to cover up all the horses and make sure their shadowy existence didn't seep through. But chalkboard paint dries fast and bonus, as it dries it takes on a matte finish so you can tell when it's dry.

thrift store frame and goodwill outlet update

I have a super weird sensitivity to chalk. I hate touching it. It makes me cringe, so I use these chalk markers instead. It's dust free and odor free but most importantly it doesn't make me feel all yucky inside when I touch it. Please tell me I'm not the only one. 

How do you season a chalkboard?

Chalkboards are porous so if you don't prime it, you're at risk of having your first drawing be a shadow on your chalkboard forever.

I must say that I don't always season my chalkboards. I like the crisp black color and after you season it, your board will look chalky no matter how clean it is. If I really can't remove a previous drawing, I will just paint over it with another layer of chalkboard paint.

Lazy solution? Perhaps. But a solution nonetheless.

To season your chalkboard, hold a piece of chalk sideways and cover your entire board. Rub it with a dry rag and then erase it.

goodwill outlet chalk art

chalkboard art how to

I kind of sort of free handed this picture on the chalkboard. I say kind of sort of, because I found a beautiful script saying {thank you google images} and then had it open on my phone and tried my best to copy the script onto the large space that was my chalkboard.

I know there are more professional ways of doing chalk art like creating a grid and actually practicing hand lettering, but I'm of the mindset that good enough is good enough. No one is paying me for my professional chalk art skills so I am totally cool with my sub-par Rachel flare as I have taken to calling it.

If you don't think you can do chalkboard art, think again! This easy chalkboard art tutorial will give you one of my favorite hacks for looking like a chalkboard art pro!

You can also follow this easy chalkboard typography art tutorial.

goodwill outlet upcycle art piece

This isn't the first time I've transformed a piece of large art. This is still hands down one of my favorite DIY transformations of all time. A Restoration Hardware knock off that saved me more than $545!

I also just whipped up this wood framed sign from a Goodwill Outlet framed pear picture. You know the one I'm talking about. It was deep red and black and you could find them at your local discount store for $49.99 back in 2001. 

You can learn all my tips on how to shop a garage sale {or a thrift shop} like a pro! I have everything you need to know in my book. If you have never been to a garage sale, or if you have been to thousands, there is something for everyone. Pick up a copy here.

it is well with my soul large framed art

Upcycle. It's all about seeing something no one wants anymore and envisioning it as something better. Like a HUGE chalkboard sign bigger than your kid. Now go out to your local Goodwill Outlet. Tag me in your adventures {msrachelteodoro} and show me what you find. I bet you $2 you can find something to upcycle on your next adventure!

disclaimer: this post may have affiliate links. By clicking on them and purchasing through them, I may receive a small commission. These small purchases help me to continue to keep writing content and creating at Rachel Teodoro. Thank you!

1 comment

fortnite said...

Great things you’ve always shared with us. Just keep writing this kind of posts.The time which was wasted in traveling for tuition now it can be used for studies.Thanks paintings

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