DIY Chalkboard: Help Me!

I've been wanting to make my own chalkboard for over four years now. You can blame it on Jessica Garvin and her amazing creations. See what I mean?

This is now the third time I've tried to make one as well as the third time that I've failed. I'm not sure why the world doesn't want me to have my own homemade chalkboard but holy hell in a hand basket, I'm about through.

The first time I tried, I bought a big picture frame. It had the wooden frame and the glass piece over the photo area. You know, just your standard picture frame. I took the glass part out and laid it on my living room floor, carpeted mind you, and started painting it with chalkboard paint. It dried, all was great, but then I picked it back up off of the floor to put it into its frame and BAM, the entire thing shattered in my hands. Glass everywhere. I'm surprised I even had hands left after the ordeal.

Fast forward to last weekend when I bought another frame. Except for this time the "glass" piece was fake so it was more of a clear plastic-like material. So basically a really cheap picture frame. I thought this was genius since the plastic wouldn't break like my last frame did. But stupid me decided I didn't want to make another trip after being in Michael's to get the "good" paint and ended up buying their spray paint chalkboard paint instead. The Krylon kind. BAD IDEA.

Don't you ever buy Krylon chalkboard paint in a spray can. It will be the death of you. This is what my hand looked like after an entire three seconds of spraying.

Oh so adorable. I even Snapchatted the entire debacle but then felt like I looked like a damn moron throughout the 12 snap long story so I deleted all of it. Yikes. Sorry to any of you who were forced to witness my crazy.

But the spray came out in splotchy raindrops. There was no nice even spray like I assumed would come out of shaking that damn can for the allotted four minutes. It was just the devil. Even after doing about five light coats of spray. So I said screw this nonsense and left the thing outside to get snowed on.

And that brings us to this past weekend and my third attempt.

I went to Hobby Lobby hoping to find the perfect sized frame. Because I don't just want any normal sized chalkboard. I want it to be longer and narrower than a standard rectangular frame that's really more of a square. Like Jessica Garvin's...

I've been to the Salvation Army numerous times (as well as every single Goodwill store in Manhattan when I lived there) looking for the perfect $10 frame and have never had an ounce of luck. So I hightailed it to the Hob Lob hoping for a miracle.

And of course I found one that was perfect but the framed art section wasn't 50% off that weekend. And we all know Hobby Lobby prices are asinine without that discount... but at this point I just wanted the damn chalkboard, so I used the 40% off coupon and bought it anyway.

Plus, this perfectly sized frame was already a chalkboard, so win win! I could just buy the good chalkboard paint in the can, some nice rollers, add a couple more layers of chalkboard on top of the existing chalkboard and that should obviouslyyy finally work for me, right?


I even seasoned the chalkboard by placing a piece of chalk on its side and "wrote" all over it because that's what Pinterest says is the best thing to do before actually writing normally on it.

But no. This all finally did NOT work for me. Because you see the chalkboard paint that I rolled on top of the preexisting chalkboard went on just fine. Dried just fine. Looked just fine. Held up just fine to the horizontal piece of chalk while seasoning.


Because the preexisting layer of chalkboard that Hobby Lobby sold me was smooth and shiny. And we all know those pre-made chalkboards never work well (which is why I rolled on my own) but since it was so shitty and smooth and shiny, my chalkboard paint didn't stick on top of it well enough. So as soon as I got out the 17 boxes of chalk that I had bought and was all excited about writing on it, the end of the chalk scraped off my layers of paint as I started writing. So the board just looked like it had stretch marks or something wherever I had tried to write something.


That's how I felt. Pudge even left the room because I got so frustrated. Which leaves me here. With my third failed chalkboard and 17 boxes of neon chalk with nowhere but your standard sidewalk to write on. But damnit I need that chalkboard!

So what do I do? How do I make the chalkboard paint stick? Do I scrape off all of the paint and sand down the preexisting chalkboard and prime it before rolling on my chalk paint? Do I go to Home Depot and ask for a specifically measured piece of smooth wood that will fit in the frame and just paint that instead of using the chalkboard part? Or do I just actually chuck it out my kitchen window and paint one of my walls a chalkboard while saying fuck the frames instead? Help me fellow DIYers, I'm desperate!