Sunday, October 4, 2015

A Thrifted Chalkboard Sign Makeover

I found this chalkboard sign at the thrift store for $3 a couple of months ago.  It sure was ugly, but I liked the idea of a freestanding sign and the size was perfect to go on top of a section of my kitchen cabinets that have thus far been bare because I didn't know what to put up there.  

I didn't want to do anything drastic to it, just update it.  The tole style vine painting and green chalkboard were out of date and it was just dirty and grimy looking.  
Had someone attempted to glaze it to make it appear aged?  Or was it coated in layers of nicotine?  I wasn't quite sure, but either way it looked gross.

I started the process by cleaning it and then swiping on some brown craft paint here and there that I wanted to peek through in the final product for a chippy look.

I've read about using Vaseline for aging a piece, but had never tried it before so I decided this would be the perfect thing to experiment on.

I (and my 5 year old son) dabbed a bit of it on the spots of brown.  Well...I dabbed, he smeared, lol!

Apparently I forgot to take any pictures of the next steps, but here's what I did.  I taped off the wood parts leaving just the chalkboard exposed and gave it a couple of coats of black chalkboard paint.  Once that was completely dry I covered the chalkboard area with newspaper and started spray painting the wood parts white.

For some reason, the spray paint was not covering up the leaves and dark brown spots well at all, so I switched to white craft paint and a foam brush.  It covered much better.

Once the white paint was dry, I went back and wiped/scraped off the areas of Vaseline.  I could easily tell where it was at because the paint had sort of bubbled and cracked in those areas and had never dried...thus the whole point of using the Vaseline.  The brown paint peeked through in the areas I wiped away giving it a nice chippy look.

In hind sight, I shouldn't have let the 5 year old help quite so much.  I had better results in the areas where it was thickly dabbed on than in the areas where he had smeared it all over.  Oh well....nothing hurt.

The neat thing about this sign is that it's double sided.  Both sides look identical and each has a chalkboard area.  

Let's compare the before and after.

I thought it turned out pretty well, and since I already had all of the supplies I needed, this little sign only cost me the initial $3.

So what did I end up doing with it?

I put it right where I had envisioned it from the beginning, up on top of the kitchen cabinets.  

I love that I'll be able to change out the words on it as the seasons change or as the mood strikes.  And since it's double sided, I also think it would be really neat used down the center of a table as part of a tablescape some time.

In other news, the weather is finally starting to cool off a smidgen here in northern Florida and I'm enjoying the cooler mornings and milder days.  

I hope you're enjoying fall as well.

Have a blessed day!


  1. What a great transformation on this! I love that you made it to be so versatile and being double sided makes it even better. It works great above the cabinets--that's a tough place to decorate anyway. Thanks for sharing your great idea.

  2. You are amazing, most people would have walked right on by that eye sore...and you made it so shabby chic awesome. Would be cool on a room divider so you could read both sides. Hugs, Di

  3. Very cute, and your son will remember "helping" you for many years!! Good job, Mom!!!


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