This new chalkboard used to be a commercially produced wall decor monstrosity. Let's see how a few coats of chalkboard spray paint fixed that.
Here's my dog Sparks prepping the piece to be painted by licking it clean. What a sweet helper!
No yellow labs were hurt in this chalkboard upcycle project. Don't ask what happened to the tiny spider.
First, I painted it with craft paint. The outline of the letters was really deep, and it was probably easier to even out with craft paint and a foam brush than the chalkboard spray paint. I would think most projects don't need this step, especially if you're working with a totally flat surface.
I loved the dramatic look of the black and white frame with the crackle effect, so I completely covered it with tape. If you don't like the paint finish on your frame, I have seen projects where people totally painted both the entire surface and frame with chalkboard paint come out looking great.
I followed the directions on the chalkboard spray paint, adding thinner coats so that the finish was smooth and flat. If you get a pet hair or speck of dirt, you will have to do another coat, so let it dry somewhere where there's less opportunity (like on top of your refrigerator). Let it dry completely before you peel the tape off. Wait 24 hours for the paint before using chalk on the surface.
Before you write on it, prime it by laying the chalk down and covering the surface. Erase the chalk prime with a dry cloth or old t-shirt. Rock your new chalkboard with profound words.