DIY to Try – Foam Core Chalkboard

DIY ChalkboardChalkboards, they are everywhere, and for good reason!  And thanks to chalkboard paint more and more people are making their own!  This is exactly what I set out to do the other day out of an old poster with a plastic frame and glass covering.  And it was only due to my own clumsiness that I ended up making it out of foam core!

Isn’t this the coolest 80’s poster you have ever seen?  You should be able to find similar ones at your local Goodwill for only a few dollars.  This gem was free however as it was sitting in storage at my parent’s house.

before1Initially I made the poor choice of taking the poster out of the backing and setting aside the glass to use as my surface for the chalkboard paint.  In case you are wondering, yes you can totally paint over glass with chalkboard paint, I have done it before with great results!  However, this time after I had painted on my three coats and waited the 24 hours for it to dry, I attempted to place the glass back in the frame, and ended up shattering it!

Needless to say I was very frustrated, but I didn’t want to give up! I just needed a chalkboard to hang above my new desk! That is when I noticed that the actual print was on foam core, and I thought hey why not try it on there!  And it worked!  If only I had thought of this to begin with!  The finished product is extremely lightweight, I mean the whole thing is made out of a plastic frame and foam core! And making this was very inexpensive, but the great part is, you can’t tell at all!

This is what I started with, it is the backside of that print.  You may even have some hiding behind your old framed posters as well!  If not, you can find foam core at most craft stores or some office supply stores.  *If you plan on buying some foam core then look for it in black as it’s already a no paint no fuss chalkboard by itself (see bottom of post)! 

board1I got out my supplies which included a drop cloth, Martha Stewart Chalkboard Paint (but really any kind will work), a foam brush, and a paper plate for the paint.

suppliesI painted three light coats in total, waiting an hour between each coat.  Then once the final coat is on you need to wait 24 hours for it to dry and cure completely.  Now with the foam core the paint started drying very quickly and the waiting time could have probably been shortened, but I stuck to the directions just in case.  I didn’t want to risk ruining the project again!

wetchalkboardIn the meantime, I spray painted my black plastic frame with the same metallic silver paint I had used on my desk.  The frame dried quickly, and the updated look was immediate!

valsparThen once the chalkboard paint dried the required time, I just popped it back into the frame.  But before using it you need to prime it by rubbing a piece of chalk all over the surface (see picture), and then wiping it off with a dry paper towel.

primedchalkboardSince the chalkboard is so lightweight it hung easily above my desk with just a single small nail holding it up!  Much different from past chalkboards that were always very heavy and difficult to hang!


diychalkboard4DIY chalkboards made out of foam core might just be the way to go, they don’t run the risk of shattering, they can be cut to fit any type frame, they can be quickly taken down to write on and then hung back up, and they can travel easily if you want to make and bring one for a party or special occasion (as I often love to do)!


*After doing some searching into this foam core idea, I found that buying black foam core is an even better way to go! Apparently you can write on and erase without the need for chalkboard paint at all! Check out these great blog tutorials for more info:

Calculating Blessings – Foam Core Chalkboard

Bargain Hoot – Easy No Paint Chalkboard

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *