Sunday, October 19, 2014

Framed Glass Chalkboard

Remember those pieces of glass I had left over from my burlap memo/photo board project?  As I sat waiting and waiting and waiting some more (for 2+ hours) while having my car serviced, I put my time to good use and researched ideas to see if anything inspired me.  Although this type of glass has been repurposed in many clever ways - paint pallets, floating frame, stained glass, and even a dry erase memo board - none of those projects really spoke to me.

That's when I got a serendipitous call from my sister who was interested in creating a framed chalkboard with word art for her downstairs powder room.  I immediately thought of my leftover glass and wondered if we could repurpose it as the "board" part of the chalkboard.  I've never used chalkboard paint on glass before so I wasn't sure.  Well, the good news is that there are products out  there made specifically for this kind of project so we decided to  give it a try.  This is what we came up with... 

This is the specific saying my sister wanted for her chalkboard for two reasons:  (1) it was sage advice given at her first (and recent) experience at the shooting range and (2) it's great bathroom humor especially when you have boys in the house. 

So first things first,  I cleaned the glass with alcohol to remove dust and let it dry completely.  Be sure to use old newspaper or paper towel to wipe it to prevent any lint residue.  I decided to try two different applications - Krylon Chalkboard spray paint and Transforming Mason brush application.  I wanted to see which application I prefer.

Next, I sprayed two pieces of glass with the Krylon then waited 15 minutes between 4 coats.  I brushed the third piece of glass with the other application and allowed it to dry completely (at least an hour) before applying a second coat in the opposite direction. 


The is the Krylon spray application.  Although the picture doesn't adequately show it, the finish is very smooth.  The other application has a rougher texture and it does show brush strokes but the color (when dried) looks more gray but very authentic.  The jury is still out as to which one I prefer...maybe by the end of this post, I'll have an answer.  

Okay, I have to admit that I got ants in my pants and attempted to season one of the boards that I sprayed because it had been dry for a while.  I got white chalk from Hobby Lobby but it said "dustless".  I don't know if the chalkboard surface wasn't cured enough (probably) or if it was the chalk (maybe).  It seemed to scratch the surface versus coat in a thin layer of chalk dust.  So I'm going to look for a different chalk and let the surface "cure" for at least 24 hours.  Lesson learned:  don't get ants in your pants!  I ended up respraying the board to correct my mistake.  It looked good as new as if I never had my oops moment.

Take two on seasoning your glass chalkboard:  I got a different chalk from Michael's but it still seemed to kinda scratch the surface but did better than the first.  I think maybe sidewalk chalk would work best because it's super soft.

For the lettering:  I created my word art in power point.  After printing it out, I cut specific word groupings (like "Always" in banner) apart and generously rubbed chalk on back of paper.

I then positioned paper on chalkboard and outlined with a ballpoint pen.  I used the white chalk paint pen to trace the lines.  

Pictures here show how "pointed" looks after being traced with chalkboark pen.  The words "down range" are ready to be traced after transferring from paper. 

Here's how it looks with all the words transferred to board and traced with chalkboard pen.

Before placing it in the frame, we decided it was missing something and added a simple border.

We placed the glass chalkboard in the frame and hung above my sister's powder room potty.  It's sure to garner a few chuckles as guests use the facilities.  The great news is if she ever tires of this "saying" and wants something new - we can simply wipe it off with a wet towel and start fresh!  

So the verdict is finally in...I prefer the spray-on application for this project but be careful when "seasoning" the chalkboard.  Be sure it has dried for at least 24 hours and that you use regular, soft chalk (not dustless).  You want a little dust because that makes it look authentic.  The chalkboard paint pen is very forgiving so if you mess up just get a wet towel and correct your mistake.  Be patient - this project takes a few days (at least 2) so don't get ants in your pants!  

Look around your house - I bet you have an empty frame with the glass intact which you could easily convert into personalized chalkboard art. 


  1. Would this work on a framed mirror? I have been thinking of replacing a mirror in our front room with a chalkboard for reminders, notes, etc and love the idea of using what I already have!
    I love your blog!
    Angie (from Lifegroup)

    1. Hi Angie,
      I definitely think it would work! If you can't remove the mirror to apply chalkboard paint, just tape off frame to protect it. Apply 3-4 coats of chalkboard spray paint. Let it cure for at least 24 hrs then season with chalk. Chalkboard pens would also work great for notes, lists, or reminders because it washes off and you can start fresh anytime. Good luck!