I Found Something to Make into a Chalkboard!


Before: The old mirror I picked up begging for a transformation.


After: With a little paint, elbow grease, and a photo transfer you get a lovely vintage chalkboard.



I have mentioned before that I have a love for chalkboards. So, I have been on the lookout for things I can add some chalkboard paint to and convert to a fabulous chalkboard something or other (like the chalkboard I made for my daughter from an old oil painting or the chalkboard table I made out of an old table I picked up on craigslist).  I have looked and looked and haven’t been able to find anything …until a couple of weeks ago.

I was minding my own business as much as one does while looking through Facebook when I came across a post for an old mirror for sale. It was perfect. So I promptly said I’d take it and that night I drove out to get it. It ended up being twice the size as I expected but that was okay it would still do.

I initially thought I would paint the frame a teal colour but that would entail me going to buy paint. When I did finally get a chance to start my project it was after the girly was asleep and the paint store wasn’t open so I started looking at what I had on hand. I found some old sample pots of Farrow and Ball paint so I decided to give Dix Blue a try. I decided I liked it.

I had been trying to figure out what to do at the top of the chalkboard. Perhaps a word? Or a picture? Or something? But what? Well, once I had painted the Dix Blue on all I could see was flowers in my head …the sort you might see on some type of vintage wallpaper. I wasn’t confident I could paint them on myself though. So, I started to search the internet for the flowers I had in mind. I found the ones you can see in the after picture and thought they were perfect. And then I remembered a blog post I had read about photo transferring. Basically you apply a transfer medium to a laser copy of the photo you want to use and place the photo down on the wood. Then, wait 24 hours, sponge off the paper and your picture should now be on the wood. I thought I would give it a try.

I uploaded my file to Staples and later went out to pick up my copies (I ordered 2 just in case). Unfortunately, I didn’t give the correct instructions and my copies ended up being smaller than I needed width wise. I figure I could just cut a part off and put it on in two pieces. With my first try there ended up being a line where the two pieces met which I didn’t like. So I tried to sand the area to make it look aged but I only just ended up making it a big mess. There were also a couple of other spots that didn’t work out because I didn’t read the instructions correctly and applied the medium to the wood and not the photocopy. It caused a couple of lumps to happen.  So, I sanded it all off and did it again (with copy #2). This time the line was still there but I just rubbed away some more of the photo along the line and in a couple of other spots to make it looked aged and vintage-y. Then I made some really strong tea to make the white parts where I rubbed the photo away look aged, too. I also sanded some of the paint to add more aged character. And, voila, I now have a lovely vintage chalkboard ready to sell.

I haven’t put it in my Etsy shop because it is heavy (it was a mirror and is almost 4 feet by 2 1/2 feet) and would be extremely expensive to ship. I did try to put it in my shop and just have a note about picking up locally but apparently you have to put shipping in for at least one country. So, I have put an ad on craigslist for local buyers instead.

Let me know in the comments what you think of the transformation. Do you like the vintage-y feel of the rubbed away spots on the floral part or not?