No fake-canvas-Impressionist prints were harmed in the making of this chalkboard

I Robin-ized something!

4 or 5 years ago, I decided on a chalkboard for the kitchen.  I use it to write scriptures or birthday greetings, and occasionally a to-do list love note for Dave.  So, I purchased one, cut the size to get a more unique-than-your-basic-office sized board and Dave put a thicker, aged wood frame on it.  I have never liked it.  Not only boring in looks, the board itself stunk at holding the chalk lines.  It is some sort of plastic-y coating and never worked well.

Enter the sister-in-law.  She buys old fake oil-paintings in interesting and pretty frames, paints over the print with chalkboard paint and voila!  A nice chalk-holding surface that has some age and interest to it.  You know this has been the year of the chalkboard-painted-stuff quest for me:  here or here or here or even here!

One day last week I decided it was time to make the change.  And, as if a sign from the heavens that yes!  this is the time! –  Stephanie-the-daughter brings in an old (late 50s or early 60s?) fake-oil Renoir in a very fussy (antique white with a goldish glaze) frame.  Her neighbor gave it to her and she mostly took it to be kind, but it was perfect for my plan!

Here is how…

I took the frame and print apart and washed everything.  I lightly sanded and used de-glosser on them (btw-I painted the back of the picture so that if someday, some one comes along who is mortified that I should have treated this piece so, they may switch it back around and enjoy their fake-oil-painted-fake-canvas art – I am thoughtful that way) and then dug in.  I painted 2 generous coats of the chalkboard paint on the board (which Robin assures me is sufficient).  Then I spray-primed the frame and painted two coats of white satin latex paint on the frame with a trim brush.

Before:

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These photos make the painting look pretty brilliant, but it is actually rather subdued in color, dusty looking.

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After: 

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Honestly, I had trouble actually using chalk on it at first.  I loved the black blackboard contrasting the white white of the frame, but you have to rub a piece of chalk over the whole thing to “prime” it for use.  Once that is done, you may proceed happily.  I thought the scripture appropriate for the occasion!

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I don’t neglect the old chalkboard (again with the thoughtfulness)…

Meanwhile, I rubbed an engine-red coat of paint onto the frame of the old chalkboard, allowing the wood grain to still show through a bit; sanded and re-painted the actual board for better chalk-holdage and now the grand-bebes may enjoy chalking on it to their heart’s delight, as always…but better.  It now looks very vintage, which I always wanted anyway.  Very Pottery Barn.

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The area of the new board is almost half of the last one, but what I lose in space, I have gained in something I like much better…for now.  I really had a secret desire to paint the frame glossy-enamel mimosa, but that would have required re-painting the entire kitchen.  Dave frowns on that sort of impetuous thinking.

This is what I did when the sun showed back up…Jeanie

NOTE TO SELF:  make everyone I know a unique and adorable chalkboard…just kidding…maybe…or not…

pictured: some “befores,” some “afters” (including the actual print facing the back – to prove I didn’t harm the fake oil)and Hunter outside writing on the “new” old chalkboard.

11 thoughts on “No fake-canvas-Impressionist prints were harmed in the making of this chalkboard

  1. Love it!!! And believe me, everywhere you go, you will say, “that would make a cute chalkboard!”

  2. What a great piece you created! I am not crafty, but you have got me thinking that I need to try this at home.

  3. The chalkboard looks so cute and I am glad that you got such good use out of the frame! If I would have kept it, it would have sat in my garage for the next year;o)

    1. I hear you on that! My theory is that we need to find a piece already hanging that we are just tired of and take it down and make it a chalkboard and re-hang it!

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