3 Festive Chalkboard Paint Ideas

chalk blog


By Melissa Massello for Austin Goodwill

With Thanksgiving just around the corner, it was time for another round of holiday-appropriate DIYs for all those Goodwill finds – and time to show my gratitude for one of the best crafting inventions of the last decade: chalkboard paint.

Whether you make your own, buy the basic stuff by the quart from Home Depot, or invest in specialty non-toxic versions (food safe, etc.), chalkboard paint is a modern miracle that can turn an ugly castoff into classically chic décor in no time.  Three of my favorite -- and most festive! – chalkboard paint ideas for your Thanksgiving buffet or holiday table are featured here, plus there are plenty more ideas and inspirational photos on our Austin Goodwill Pinterest boards!


One thing you can always count on finding at Goodwill is a plethora of picture frames and paintings, sometimes with cool frames but questionable contents – or none at all, like this gorgeous frame I found in the buck-a-pound bins at the Goodwill Outlet Center on Burleson. The easy fix: remove the glass from the frame and give it the chalkboard treatment! Give the glass a quick cleaning with rubbing alcohol to remove any dirt and dust, then sand it lightly. Paint the chalkboard paint on the glass in one direction in a thin, even coat, and then let it dry, about an hour. Once your first coat is dry, repeat in the opposite direction and let it dry anothertwo hours. Once your chalkboard paint is completely dry, give the whole thing a rub with white chalk to “set” the paint, and then clean it with a chalkboard eraser (in circular motions). This will ensure your first drawings or letterings don’t “burn” into the chalkboard. Place the glass back in the frame and then create your welcome sign, menu, or anything else you like using either traditional chalk or chalk markers, and you have a fancy, new chalkboard!


I just love this easy upcycle for those basic terracotta pots that every gardener or amateur green thumb always has lying around – and nearly always donated to Goodwill, which is where I found these three for 99 cents each at the South Lamar store. Using a sponge brush, paint about two coats of chalkboard paint around the body of your pot, leaving the lip, inside, and base of the pot in their natural clay, allowing them to dry about 1 hour between coats and 2 hours after the final coat. Rub the chalkboard paint with white chalk and then use your chalkboard eraser to remove the rub. Spell out a festive holiday greeting like “JOY” or “THANKS” using one pot per letter for your bar or tablescape, and then reuse after the holidays to mark your individual herbs or plants so you don’t forget which is which!


One of my favorite new traditions I’ve seen on Pinterest lately is for party planners to have a glass vase full of blank stones for guests to write on and fill with good wishes. Using a handful of flat river rocks I found on the Greenbelt while hiking with my dog, then washed and painted with chalkboard paint, I created a bowl full of “blessings” on our bar for guests to choose from and “count” to reflect on gratitude.

And there are more to come! Follow Austin Goodwill on Instagram for daily sneak peeks of holiday DIY projects in the works and things I’m scoring in the stores!



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