Monday, August 20, 2012

DIY: Mirror Turned Chalkboard

Apparently, I've been bitten by the DIY bug. I blame Pinterest, really. 
Saturday, I just woke up with this urge to find something I could repurpose as a chalkboard for our kitchen. There's this big wall in our kitchen that had an iron piece on it, but I was never wild about it there. It just fit, there was a nail already there, so up it went. I've been wanting to do something else with it for a while, though. The dog bowls sit along it, and there's a little plant table with some faux branches in the corner. That's it. It needs something else. I decided a chalkboard would be a good place to start. I have TONS of decor laying around in closets and boxes(some I need to pack up and donate, and others I need to hang up, still). Some of that decor includes several mirrors that I just don't have places to put, or it's not my style anymore and I'm wanting to donate or give to someone else who might want it. I found a couple of old mirrors that I haven't used in a few years and decided one of them would do. And y'all, I started this process so fast that I completely forgot to take any before pictures, so you'll just have to use your imagination to figure out what it did look like. I tried to find a picture with the mirror in it, but nope.

Here it was after painting the frame.

Very ornate. It was a pewter color, but I decided to just use some leftover paint from the bedroom project to update it.(Valspar Woodlawn Colonial Gray) I would love for it to be turquoise or yellow, but I was determined to keep costs next to nothing, and since this is neutral it can go anywhere I want to put it in the future. I had to paint 2 coats onto the mirror, and it went on perfectly. 

Next was the tricky part. I have never used chalkboard paint and was a little terrified about the idea of ruining this perfectly beautiful mirror. But, it couldn't be any worse than having it sitting in the closet for a few more years, not being used, right? 

I debated on what kind of paint to use.....spray or brush-on. Honestly, I really had no idea which was better, if one was even better than the other, and how to best go about doing it. I did read some tutorials online and found that some people were partial to the spray paint, while others preferred regular. Well, this was no help! I finally headed to Walmart(ugh, the de-vil) and decided to go with just the old regular liquid chalkboard paint. I got two 4oz tubes of paint and a pack of cheap sponge brushes and that was that. Don't forget the painters tape, too!!

I got to work. I didn't prime it at all. You could if you wanted.
Don't worry, it turned out better than it looks like it did from this pic. :-) 

Waiting for it to dry was the worst! I did end up doing 3 full coats. I started out with 2, then tried it out and it chipped off in a couple places. Yeah, that was annoying! It was a little rough from the dried brush strokes. SO, I did a final coat in the OPPOSITE direction of the other two and it came out MUCH better and MUCH smoother. 

Once you've waited about 12 hours after the final coat, you need to "season" the board. Kind of like you do a cast-iron skillet. Just don't accidentally season your skillet with chalk, mmmmk?

Cover the entire board in chalk.

Then, wipe off with a wet rag or paper towel.

When it dries, you are ready to use your board!

Since applying the third coat, I have had no problems with it at all, and it is so much smoother now. The last coat made all the difference. Remember that if you do one of your own.
My paint job is not perfect, so if you're ever over, please don't look too closely. K, thanks!

There's still space on either side of the board, which is a nice size but you can't really tell. I have even more DIY plans in store. I want to put one or two old revamped shutters up, to put mail, cards, keys, pictures, etc. in, maybe a few pictures, and I also have a little sign I want to make to hang over the dog bowls on the wall. I have a couple more mirrors I might turn into chalkboards too. I plan on turning our guest room (that is never used) into a playroom so they could go in there. It just makes more sense for us right now. And I want my living room back! HA! We rarely, emphasis on the rarely, have overnight guests but we can set up an Aerobed for those occasions. Once we get the furniture out of there, which I also might repurpose a piece or two of to use for storage(think, painted in turquoise or green!), I am going to start pulling that together. I have several projects I want to do for the playroom and around the house in other places. I'm trying to pace myself and not start a new thing until I'm finished with one.
 I'm trying my best to keep costs low on everything, just like I did the mirror. It's all about repurposing! Since I already had paint from the bedroom and painters tape, the only expense I incurred for the mirror was the chalkboard paint, about $8, and a cheap set of brushes, about $2. So, $10 for a glorious chalkboard for my kitchen!!! Not too shabby!!!

I hope you have great success with your next chalkboard project. :-)


  1. LOVE this. Saving this link so I can make my very own! :)

    1. Thanks! I want to try out another one and paint it maybe red or blue for the playroom. It's fun! Hope you try it out! :)


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