Here at Southern Living, we love a good DIY. Based in Atlanta, Georgia, the Craft Box Girls – led by craft guru and author Lynn Lilly – are creating fun, easy-to-make projects to spice up your entertaining, wedding planning, or holiday gifting. Check back every other Thursday for some DIY inspiration.
During the next few months, my husband and I will welcome old and new friends to our home for dinner parties and holiday festivities. I love giving guests a warm, welcoming experience, beginning the moment they step through the entryway. One of my favorite ways to welcome guests is with custom chalkboard signs. Rather than buying a standard chalkboard sign, make your own unique version by upcycling an old frame with a coat of chalk paint and a simple distressing technique. Happy crafting!
The Project: DIY Distressed Chalkboard Sign
- Frame (including the glass)
- Chalk Paint
- Chalk Paint Wax
- Paint Brushes
- Chalkboard Spray Paint
- Baby Wipes
- Chalk / Chalk Marker
- Remove the glass from the frame. Clean the frame and the glass with all purpose cleaner to remove any dirt and dust. Let dry.
- On a covered surface, paint the frame with chalk paint.
- While the paint is still wet, add the distressed finish by rubbing a baby wipe over the frame's high points. Let the first coat dry for 15 minutes.
- Apply a second coat of chalk paint and repeat the baby wipe process. Let the frame dry for 2 hours.
- In a well-ventilated room (or outdoors), spray paint the glass with chalkboard spray paint. Let dry for 2 hours.
- Once the frame is dry, apply a thin layer of clear or white wax using a dry brush. Immediately remove excess wax with a clean, lint-free cloth. Let the wax cure for 24 hours, and then buff again with a clean, lint-free cloth.
- Once the glass is dry, you can write a welcome message. It's easier to write the message now, before assembling the frame.
- After the 24 hour curing period assemble the frame and display!
Trick to perfect chalk lettering:
- Design a message on your computer, and print on a standard paper.
- Rub a piece of chalk on the back side of the paper, covering the printed message's reverse area.
- Place the paper on the chalkboard with the printed side up, chalk side down.
- Trace the printed letters with a blunt pencil, pressing firmly.
- Remove the paper - you will have an outline of the letters.
- Trace the letters with a chalk marker for a bolder message. Once the chalk marker is dry, brush off the excess chalk dust.