I’m sharing an easy oval frame makeover today. I found it at Vendors’ Village for a dollar! It looked rough, but I knew it was worth a buck.
Thrift Store Oval Frame
The frame is very old, and probably held one of those scary portraits like you see hanging in your local Cracker Barrel.
Disassemble the frame in order to make repairs
Unfortunately, the backing was made of pieces of old thin wood, originally held in place by small nails. But someone had repaired it with a staple gun. I’m not sure why anyone would have used an electrical cord wrapped around the hanging wire? Maybe to protect the wall? Anyhow, I began by removing the cord, wire, and eye hooks. This allowed me to have easy access to remove the backer boards.
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As I started taking things apart, I noticed that the previous owner had “stuffed” the oval frame with cardboard pieces to secure the artwork.
Trace plywood to make a new suface for the oval frame
Carefully I removed the oval piece so that I could use it as a pattern for the thin plywood that I would be using for a chalkboard. I used a sharpie to trace the cut line.
Use a jigsaw to cut a new surface
Although I did a good job cutting on the line, there was an issue getting the oval into the frame. Hindsight 20/20—I should have cut on the inside of the line for an easier fit. I used the jigsaw and the orbital sander to get the chalkboard to fit the frame.
Prepare to paint
I painted the oval frame and other items while I had my Homeright Spray Shelter set up for other projects. Raising items on the easy diy sawhorse makes life easier. I use these sawhorses all the time. If you haven’t made your own, you should. They stack on top of one another to take up less room.
NOT SHOWN: I painted the chalkboard front with chalkboard spray paint and the back of the chalkboard with the same paint I used on the frame. I glued the chalkboard in place with Gorilla Wood Glue and added a few random staples to “clamp” the board until the glue set up. I purposely left the back of the frame original because there were some handwritten details that I wanted to leave for posterity.
After looking around the shop, I found something that was the perfect thickness to support the chalkboard in between the frame and the backer boards. It turns out that some ripped fence boards (used as stakes) were the best option. I used 3 pieces of the scrap wood to support the backer boards.
A staple gun secures the back
A large staple gun was used to secure the original backer boards—stapling all around the outer edge, as well as a few places where the fence stakes were.
I have had this 16 gauge annealed wire for years! Originally I used it on my DIY photo holders back in the early days of blogging (2009). I hosed it down when I first bought it and now it has a rust look that is perfect for a rustic project like this. For this project I had to make the wire quite long because I needed it to hang from the very top of the door.
Oval Picture Frame Chalkboard
Voila! Here is the vintage oval picture frame chalkboard hanging on my new DIY Entry Table. I’ve actually used the chalkboard hanging vertically and horizontally. I hope you picked up a few tips today that you can use on your next project. I’m always here if you ever have any questions or suggestions about frame makeovers or anything else.
What have you made into a chalkboard lately?
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Gail Wilson is the author and mastermind behind My Repurposed Life. She is obsessed with finding potential in unexpected places and believes that with a little hard work and imagination, any old thing can be made useful again, including herself!
Gail reinvented herself during a midlife crisis and has found purpose again. She hopes you will find new ideas for old things and pick up a few tools along the way.