October 18, 2017

Decorating on a Dime with Chalkboard Paint


For months, I have had the epitome of frugal decorating fun sitting patiently in my attic.
It has been whispering, “Jen, just take me out to play for a few minutes. Please, you won’t regret it.”
So I finally paid heed to the voice and had a blast.

This little wonder paint allows you to actually buy those ugly trinkets that most people can’t give away at yard sales, and then turn them into priceless works of art. Well, not quite… but almost.

Take this silver plated mirror I bought for $0.25. The kind your grandma had sitting around collecting dust. I polished it, taped it, primed the actual mirror with cheap Walmart spray paint, and then painted the area where I wanted the chalk board.


It took minutes to do the actual work, and was SO EASY!
Decorating on a dime (or two) at its finest.
It was the drying time and all the patience in that process that was the most difficult. I am now deciding where to put it. It definitely won’t go in this holder, but it worked well for the drying process.

Maybe here, but it’s a bit smooshed…
My plan is to use this every time we have guests spend the night. It will be on the guest bed with other goodies that I leave on the pillow.
My second project was a larger tray. Yes, we’ve all given these to Good Will, haven’t we?
I actually had to re-buy one at a yard sale, but at $0.50. it was a done deal. Think outside the box. I now hunt for cheap, ugly things. ๐Ÿ™‚

I decided to paint this all white. Same process as above, but I primed the entire tray before applying the chalk board paint.

I am going to use this as my menu display. It will be a good reminder that I need to cook if it hasn’t changed in…um…days/weeks. ๐Ÿ™‚

Yes, the beautiful outlet that was placed over the stove , most likely for a microwave, is a definite decorating detriment. I am only cover it up so much. Since I just finished this project today, I haven’t added any more accents. I will probably hang a few decorative plates on each side.
Again, this project took minutes and the total cost was UNDER $1.

My last painting project of the day was to add a dash of creativity to my pantry doors. I have thought about painting them a bold color, and I may still, but I decided to have some fun that I knew the kids would enjoy. For now, I am only doing the middle panels, but I may go back and do the rest. I’m going to play with it first.

Painting tip? Always prime your area first with inexpensive primer to save money on the chalk board paint. I thought I could get away with out priming, but had to go over one side 4 times, as opposed to the two times with the primer.

My daughter wrote a sweet bible verse on one side and I decided to begin my grocery list.
Minutes later I came downstairs and so that an addition had been made to my “must buy” list.
Can you guess what that “necessity” could be? I chuckled so hard when my son stated, ” I did it just like your hand writing so that when you went shopping, you’d just buy it.”

Yes, my kids are the “only” children in America that don’t have any kind of gaming system, nor will they ever. He can vicariously live through his shopping list. Such a mean mom I am. ๐Ÿ™‚

I am SO thrilled that I took a few minutes out of my day to let me new friend come out and play. And guess what? He is going to play a LOT more since I have so much paint left. But those surprises will have to wait.

Go have your self some ‘decorating on a dime’ fun with chalk board paint. You won’t regret it!


  1. tales from an oc cottage says:


    m ^..^


  2. Stephanie says:

    I love, love, love chalkboard paint! It can transform so many things!


  3. Amy {The Red Chair Blog} says:

    Love all of the chalkboard goodness! I recently posted some chalkboard projects on my blog too(a tray and a little table). I can never have too many chalkboards!


  4. I LOVE chalk board paint! It's so versatile.


  5. Amanda @ Serenity Now says:

    CUTE, Jen! My fave is the large platter, but I also REALLY love the doors! ๐Ÿ™‚


  6. southerninspiration says:

    Oooooh, love your makeovers!! I love the shapes of the trays you used!



  7. Centsational Girl says:

    I love it all, especially the pantry !

    FYI, I am so with you on the anti-video games for kids, but I have to share. My brother is working on the campaign for the Beatles Rockband coming 9.9.09 and I think I might have to break down and get this for Christmas. From what he's telling me, it looks like amazing fun for kids and adults.



  8. Victoria@WhimsybyVictoria says:

    These all turned out so cute! I have too just finished a project with Chalk board spray paint. Love it! I love that your sons thought you wouldn't realize you didn't put down the Rock band. So funny!!



  9. writing4612 says:

    Great job!

    Your son is too funny.


  10. Kimberly Hurd Horst says:

    Absolutely adorable! I am going to tell my friend to check it out too! And yep, your son..what a hoot!


  11. Hey, not THE only kids in America! My kids have no video games either! ๐Ÿ˜‰ I love the chalkboard paint. I just have to invest in some. What fun we could have!


  12. Leigh of Bloggeritaville says:

    I heart all those chalkboards! I actually did one tonight with a silver tray, though I just did the inset. Now I want to paint my laundry doors-bc of you! Fabulous inspiration!Sweet deals! Thanks for linking up to Thrifty Thursday in Bloggeritaville



  13. Emily@remodelingthislife says:

    Great chalkboards, Jen! I love how simple and fun these projects are. I love my kitchen chalkboards – they are a fun addition!


  14. Mc Allen says:

    seriously creative Jen!! two thumbs! โ™ฅ LA


  15. Amy Lynne says:

    I just bought chalk board paint today! I can't wait to put it to use, thanks for the extra inspiration!


  16. Jennifer Poppy says:

    I love that your daughter wrote that sweet bible verse.

    I have chalkboard paint waiting on me right now, too:)


  17. HeathahLee says:

    You did a great job on all of those! But did I read you right? Did you RE-buy something you had already donated? Now that cracks me up! I have done stuff like that!


  18. Musings of a Homeschooling Mom says:

    I love all of them! It worked okay on the mirrors? I've got several, several, several big mirrors on the walls of our house that I would love to transform into chalkboards with chalkboard paint, but I'm scared! One of them is in the dining room, which would be perfect for school!


  19. frillsfluffandtrucks says:

    Looks great! I still haven't cracked my can of chalkboard paint.

    ~ Sarah


  20. Love them! I'm thinking abt using chalkboard paint – did you use paint or spray? I'm trying to decide which one to use………..Jo


  21. I tried a chalkboard plate today, but alas when I did the chalkboard paint part in the middle I found it really hard to make the edges neat. Did you tape all around the circle edge? Any tips?


  22. Lindsay says:

    How fun! LOVE IT! now, did you have Fruit AND brownies on that list, or fruit brownies?! hee hee, both sound great!
    I'll have to start following your BLOG!


  23. TuTu's Bliss says:

    I've been feeling crafty too. I will let you know when I share my "chore game"…Hmmmmm chalkboard paint


  24. Southern Fried Gal says:

    Cute! Shannon over at Bless Our Nest has inspired me to go chalkboard crazy as well…


  25. Kirby3131 says:

    A few weeks ago there was a chalkboard party that so many blogging DIYers participated. I talked about my chalkboard chalk tips if you'd like to take a look.

    I love what you did with those trays. It's amazing how quickly things can get done when you just do it. I bet you've thought about doing it 10 times longer than it took to paint! lol

    Kristin – The Goat


  26. Love everything you did, great ideas!


  27. Teri from Indiana says:

    Love chalkboard paint!!
    BTW, there are two kids in Indiana that have never even played a video game. Their mean mom makes them do things like go outside, play on the trampoline, swing on a tire hung from a branch on a big tree, play with kittens. And they are surviving quite well.


  28. Jennifer Juniper says:

    I really need to get into the chalkboard paint thing. When my kids were younger I dreamed of a whole playroom chalkboard wall, but alas it never came to be.

    I am going to find something cheap to paint before this week is out! You've gotten me motivated ๐Ÿ™‚


  29. Gina @ The Shabby Chic Cottage says:

    Hi Jen,

    You know I love me some chalkboards, and that tray is amazing. All those cheap, tacky trays are becoming a hot commodity with the blogging world these days — shhhh, don't tell those selling them though!

    Love all your projects, thanks for linking!


  30. Marie Reed says:

    Wow! I have never used this paint before! This post talked me into running out to the store right now! My kids are begging for a gaming system too:) No way Josรฉ!


  31. Dontcha just LOVE chalkboard paint?

    Great projects!!!


  32. I love that big platter you turned into a chalkboard! LOL at that outlet. Hey- it's usually the other way around- not enough outlets (or in the right places) so at least you've got that outlet should you need it!

    I'm nervous about doing a chalkboard project here. My girls love using their chalkboard to make chalk dust (blech!) and I'd rather not give them more opportunities to do that!


  33. The chalkboard ideas are always a hit…they are so versatile and totally usable. Thanks for sharing these great projects.


  34. the undomesticated wife says:

    You could paint the electrical outlet over the stove the same color as your wall, then it wouldn't be as noticeable.

    Projects look great! I've said this before and I'll say it again, your garage sales are cheap! Around here, people act like they are selling their junk at a boutique!

    No gaming systems here either. I hate them, think they take too much time away from other important things. ๐Ÿ˜‰


  35. Frugal Fine Living says:

    These are great ideas. I love the closet doors and the silver plated tray. I'm going to have to buy some chalkboard paint.



  36. ..Jenny says:

    I love this idea!
    We were given a free (and very ugly) kitchen table a few years back and took a few minutes (and just a few dollars) painting it with chalkboard paint and now we get compliments on it ALL the time!

    When we have guests we don't use place cards but instead write the guests name on the table where their seat is. It's also great for personalizing the snack table at superbowl parties and things like that.

    What kind of primer do you use for these projects?


  37. Stacey @ The Blessed Nest says:

    Jen, Love your projects, especially the pantry doors!! Looks great! ๐Ÿ™‚ And, hey, gotta give your son credit for trying! haha!!


  38. The plates are fun, but the pantry doors are genius!! Oh, our kids don't have a gaming system either … I'll be sure and tell them that I KNOW of at least one other family that doesn't either. Surely they'll be comforted by the fact??!!


  39. scrappydee says:

    Oh you gave me such a good idea! Thank you for the inspiration – when I have it finished I will be sure to give you all the credit! Thanks for sharing!


  40. Fabulous ideas! This makes me want to go to Hobby Lobby and buy chalkboard paint. Blessings to you!


  41. darnold23 says:

    Love this! I've been trying to figure out a good spot for a kitchen chalkboard myself, but I wanted it to be unique. Now you've given me the courage to go for it. I really like the panels and would like to do something similar. However, my panels have ridges. Any ideas?


  42. Rhoda @ Southern Hospitality says:

    Ha!! I thought I was the only one in blogland who has yet to use chalkboard paint & guess what I'm working on today?! Yep! Bought some spray chalkboard paint this week at HL and am using it on my old mirror find from last weekend. Can't wait to get it all hung in my kitchen. Maybe I'll actually use it for menus!


  43. Laryssa Herbert says:

    I really enjoyed your son's addition to the list. So cute! If they are feeling sad about not having any gaming stuff, tell them our kids don't have any either. ๐Ÿ™‚


  44. I just started painting with chalkboard paint today! I'm thinkin' I'm going to end up with chalkboards everywhere in my house!

    Love the circular silver one…I know what I'll be looking out for now.


  45. Hi Jen,
    I love the pantry doors! We're trying to buy our first home and I was just telling my husband how I'd love to have a chalkboard area in the kitchen (there's a chimney in the way that would work great)!
    He's not thrilled about it, but maybe I can show him this post and it can inspire him too. =)

    also, you can add four more kiddles to the list of those who are "deprived" and don't have a gaming system, lol.

    thanks for your beautiful ideas!

    ~ Mara @ Super Savings


  46. Very fun, Jen. I am just working up the courage to do my own chalkboard paint projects and you have given me encouragement! Thanks! Kelly


  47. Our really empty nest says:

    Totally love this, will rush right out and buy some cheap ugly stuff to chalk board, as soon as i get a day off work!, uGH Sue


  48. shopannies says:

    I love your masterpieces


  49. Kristen, The Pajama Mama says:

    every kitchen needs a chalkboard, don't you think?

    i've got our IKEA easel set up in ours just cuz…and i love it.


  50. Empty Nest Full Life says:

    Great! I finished one of those last week. Jackie


  51. Melissa says:

    I love this idea! I have seen chalkboard paint bouncing around blog world, now I know I REALLY should try it! I will probably copy you…you seem to be genius in this area ๐Ÿ˜€

    Melissa ๐Ÿ˜€


  52. Susie Q says:

    I have the paint, now I need to find something to paint. One something I LEFT at the thrift store today.

    No, your kids aren't the only ones with no gaming system. We got our first (outdated one) from a friend when we moved to NC..the boys were 12 and 14. They played all the games the first month and didn't touch it again ;D When my middle son reached around 17 or so, he used his own money to buy it and while he used it frequently, but he is a really responsible kid…he lets the others use it some…but over all, they are not impressed with them and have other things to do.


  53. Get Real Girl says:

    I love this! I have to find something to paint. Hmmm. . .maybe I need to stop by a few antique stores and find a new treasure.


  54. Christina says:

    Love your chalkboards!! lol about your son adding to your list. The menu tray is my favorite.


  55. Love chalkboard paint. I saw the coolest thing on Martha Stewart. COLORED chalkboard paint. just take 1 cup flat latex paint and add 2 T of of unsanded tile grout. Instant chalkboard paint any ol' color you like.


  56. Fabulous!! Just curious, how'd you hang the platter in the kitchen?


  57. The Scooper says:

    Girl, you are BRILLIANT! For whatever reason I hadn't gotten into the chalkboard paint craze…but now I'm thinking I need to copy you. Love the giant tray and the door idea. Thanks for sharing!


  58. Tooo cute! Yesterday, I saw some drinking glasses at Pier 1 with chalkboard paint on them. I thought, "I could do that!"


  59. Mrs. Trixi says:

    It all looks great. I too, love chalkboard paint. I think it's the homeschool mom in us.LOL


  60. I did the exact same thing with an old picture frame and used piece of paneling. Love the idea of finding an old silver tray or mirror.


  61. Melissa Stover says:

    those are some great places to use the chalkboard paint. i've never tried it but it looks like fun.


  62. Smelling Coffee says:

    What great ideas! I'm into spray painting Goodwill purchases these days, too. Love the chalkboard paint. Must try that!


  63. Hello Jen – love your chalkboards! Especially the white one above your stove. I'm getting ready to paint the front of my pantry doors next week!



  64. your chalk board additions look great.


  65. The Mangerchine's says:

    How fun! I love the idea of leaving that plate on the bed for guests!



  66. FOR THE SAKE OF TIME says:

    I love the idea of using it on the bed! I might do something like that in my guest room! What fun! Have a great week and thanks for sharing.



  67. Very fun! I love the chalkboard pantry door. I don't think I am brave enough to try it, but it's awesome!


  68. Pat@Back Porch Musings says:

    These are wonderful! I need to find something to paint with chalkboard paint!


  69. Create in me a clean heart O God, and put a new and right spirit within me. Psalm 51:10 says:

    Wow, wow, wow! I especially love your idea for leaving the little chalkboard in the guest bedroom – genius!


  70. The pantry doors turned out fun, as did the tray!
    ๐Ÿ™‚ Sue


  71. ~~Carol~~ says:

    Still waiting to find that perfect thing to make into a chalkboard! Yours look fabulous!!


  72. Joan@anythinggoeshere says:

    Chalkboard paint is just a miracle. It is now almost like how did we ever live without it and where was I when all this started.


  73. That's it you have inspired me to try the chalkoard paint. Now what to paint it on? Hmm I love what you did in each application.


  74. Michelle says:

    Love them all!


  75. Nicole @ BugaBoos says:

    Love the chalkboards, I LOVE chalkboard paint! So awesome! To cute what your son added!


  76. Cami @ Creating Myself says:

    I made a chalkboard just liek your menu tray. Love your pantry doors!

    *giggling @ your son's addition to the shopping list* Can't blame a kid for trying! ;o)


  77. Great way to use chalkboard paint ! Great projects !
    Hugs ~ Kammy


  78. Helen Joy says:

    I have to say, I've never liked the chalkboards I've seen people making. But that white one you did is absolutely breathtaking! It's really really pretty. I wish I could bare to write with chalk but it gives me the worst kind of chills just thinking about it.
    I think you are a GREAT mom for not allowing video games. My son is only 5 months old, but I can guarantee that we will not own a gaming system either.


  79. Mary Ellen (megardengal) says:

    Great idea! I became a follower so as to not miss any of your great ideas!!



  80. A day in the life of Stacey.... says:

    What a great idea!!!! ๐Ÿ™‚ Thanks for sharing it.


  81. June Pfaff Daley says:

    Just had to show you how you inspired my version: http://junepfaffdaley.blogspot.com/2009/08/chalk-it-up.html
    Thanks Jen! : )


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