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DIY Giant Chalkboard from an Old Painting

I will show you how to create a giant chalkboard from an old painting!

I have always wanted to make a giant chalkboard.

But the whole process seemed so onerous.

And expensive.

Chalkboard paint is a great resource, but… how was I supposed to get a giant frame?!?

And what would be the background for the frame?

Then one day I was driving along {a story that may sound familiar} and I noticed a giant old painting outside of a thrift shop.

Hmm… I thought. I love that frame… hmm.

And this brainwave was born: a DIY Giant Chalkboard from an Old Painting.

DIY Giant Chalkboard from Old Painting with Martha Stewart Chalkboard Paint at The Happy Housie-13

Basically, in this project I went from this… to this:

The old painting shown with it now being a chalkboard.I was thrilled to get a chance to try some of the new Martha Stewart Chalkboard products from Plaid…including the chalkboard paint and the eraseable liquid ink. This stuff is UN-REAL. Seriously. I love it! Such a fun product when combined with the silkscreens – that is how I did all my lettering and I love how it turned out. I have already done a second project using these silkscreens and the eraseable liquid ink {I’ll be back to show you that one tomorrow}  and I love how easily it wipes off with water if you make a mistake or change your mind. Things like that happen frequently around here.

Martha Stewart Chalkboard Paint

Specifically, I used the Martha Stewart Crafts MultiSurface Chalkboard Paint in Black, Martha Stewart Crafts Adhesive Silkscreens, and Martha Stewart Crafts Eraseable Liquid Chalk in white…
The chalkboard paint from Martha Stewart on the counter.

I also used an old painting that I picked up at a thrift store for $15 – which I thought was an amazing deal for such a big piece (2’x4′). I loved the chunky vintage look of the frame- I knew it would look beautiful painted in white…and decided to add some blue underneath so give it some added dimension. I will be back another day to share a tutorial on how I made over the frame. Now while this painting may look in decent condition in these photos, it was in fact quite water damaged and not really salvageable as a piece of artwork anymore.

The old painting leaning against the wall.

Up close shot of the frame around the picture.

I cleaned the frame and the painting thoroughly before re-painting it…

Wiping the picture with Windex.

Then gave it two coats of the Martha Stewart Chalkboard Paint… I love how the chalkboard paint will adhere to any porous surface…so an old print/painting is the perfect thing to use it on!

Paint in a container next to a paint brush.


Brushing white paint on the picture.


I only used about 1.5 of the small bottles that you see above to cover the whole piece with two coats! The coverage is amazing. I love the crisp black with the newly white (and blue) frame… normally I would have ‘seasoned’ my new chalkboard by rubbing it all over with an old piece of chalk and then gently wiping it off…but I wanted to go for a more crisp look with this chalkboard art. I think it will end up in my craft room.

The frame painted white and the middle with the chalkboard paint.

Up close of the picture frame.

Once the chalkboard painting was finished it was time to put my silkscreen letter stencils to work with the eraseable liquid chalk. You simply stick the letters down, dab the liquid chalk over the screens (or stencil) and then remove them and wash the eraseable liquid chalk off your silkscreens/stencil before it dries. It was crazy easy to apply it and I loved how it didn’t smudge at all when I removed the silkscreens…or afterwards. It stayed right where I wanted it because it is way more durable and long lasting then regular chalk; yet was easy to remove with a damp cloth {perfect if you mess up your design or change your mind}

Items laid down on the chalkboard.

Applying glue to the items.

Sticking it onto the board.

There are a few different styles of lettering available and so many different stencils to use that you are only limited by your imagination. I decided to add some baker’s twine and clip some pictures onto my chalkboard…and I love how it turned out.

Pictures on the board.


Keep Calm And Craft On on the chalkboard.

The chalkboard leaning against the wall in the kitchen.

Want to try it?

Pin it to remember it!

Old Thrift Store Painting Turned Giant Chalkboard poster.

All of these Martha Stewart Crafts Chalkboard Products are available at Michael’s – and are perfect for all kinds of Fall projects that you may have in mind. These Martha Stewart Chalkboard Products are produced by Plaid Crafts. To keep up with amazing new products and all kinds of creative ideas visit Plaid or follow Plaid on Facebook, Pinterest, TwitterInstagram, or Google+. You can also keep up with Plaid’s Blog or get the Plaid Newsletter.  Check out more tutorials on YouTube as well

Adorable, or what??!! I can’t wait to hang it in my craft room… and I know that I could also easily change it up and use it around the house for different seasonal displays too. Not bad – a 2×4′ chalkboard for such a bargain price! Next time you are thrifting or garage sale-ing…keep your eyes out for old paintings that could become a chalkboard. Look for ones with frames you love- and don’t worry if the print is damaged or dirty- you can cover that up – just make sure it isn’t a textured oil painting or it wouldn’t work well as a chalkboard.

Thanks for reading. And remember my housie friends, HOME isn’t built in a day. Enjoy the journey!


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  1. It’s a great idea but I hope it was just a reproduction. It was quite a nice painting and if it was an original, you may have ruined something quite valuable. You could have used the frame and put in a piece of board or a blank canvas. Hopefully, the artist, Robert Wa….won’t see this.

  2. Ooh I LOVE this! What a great idea! That frame is so pretty and I love the idea of a giant chalkboard. So creative and I love that you put bakers twine and clipped some photos and cards on to it too. Very creative Krista!

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