A step-by-step tutorial on how to upcycle an old window into a chalkboard sign, a great way to repurpose an old wooden window frame into artwork.
We have all heard the saying that someone trash, is someone’s treasure. Well, today I am sharing how to reuse someones trash into your own treasure. And that trash is an old wooden window that needs to be replaced because it’s not energy efficient. But that does not mean it cannot be used as something else, like upcycle an old window into a chalkboard sign.
I LOVE the look an old window can bring to
Also, welcome to this month’s At Home DIY challenge! Every month for the whole year, I am participating in a different challenge, and this month it’s “Upcycle Thrift Store Challenge”. After sharing my tutorial there is a linkup to 35+ other DIY home bloggers projects, so be sure to check those out!
Now back to how to upcycle an old window into a chalkboard sign.
Disclosure: This post contains some affiliate links for your convenience, click here to read my full disclosure policy.
WHAT’S THE COST?
The cost of this project depends on the cost of the old window but I can give you an estimate of the other materials.
The cost of the additional materials will be about $20 plus the window. This cost could be less if you have some of the materials on hand.
AS A SIDE NOTE: My old window cost $15.
HOW TO UPCYCLE AN OLD WINDOW INTO A CHALKBOARD SIGN
SIDE NOTE: The window does not need glass!
Also to help you see the process, I have created a how-to video on how to make a chalkboard sign from an old window.
STEP 1: TRANSFORMING THE OLD WINDOW FRAME
The old window needs to be transformed because it will probably have chipped paint and maybe broken glass. The first thing that needs to happen is removing the glass from the frame.
SIDE NOTE: I was hoping to reuse the glass in my window but sadly I broke it. So be careful if you want to reuse the glass!
After the glass is removed its time to clean up the frame. Mine had some chipping paint, so I used a painters tool to scrape that off.
TIP: #60 grit sandpaper is coarse, meaning it removes the surface quicker.
After removing some of the old paint, I then took that #220 grit sandpaper and sanded the window frame to make it smooth. Then used a cloth to remove any dust. To help protect the frame, I did spray paint a clear coat over the frame. This is not needed but I do recommend it.
STEP 2: CREATE THE CHALKBOARD FOR THE SIGN
Now that the window frame is looking new, you need to cut the 1/4″ MDF to fit inside the frame. You will be placing this piece where the glass once sat.
I used a square as my ruler to find the size I needed for the 1/4″ MDF. Then I marked the 1/4″ MDF and cut it with a Jig Saw.
After I sanded the MDF with a #220 grit sandpaper to give it a smooth finish.
Then I w
TIP: A spray grip tool helps to not get paint on your fingers.
Once the first coat dried, I applied a second coat and let that coat dry before starting the next step.
STEP 3: TRACE LETTERS ONTO THE CHALKBOARD
At this point, I hope you know where you want your chalkboard sign. Meaning you know what you want it to say!
I decided to have mine be in the laundry room, and yes it’s still a work in progress and not even close to being finished. But I wanted this sign in there so I made it now.
Once I had the saying I wanted, I typed it into my computer and printed the letters. Mine was larger than one sheet of paper so I did have to tape it together.
Now I have never done any chalkboard lettering so I wanted to know the easiest, cheapest, and best way to trace
After some research, I decided to try four different techniques on chalkboard lettering to find the most effective way to trace letters onto
Because the post is about creating a chalkboard sign from an old window, I created a whole post about DIY chalkboard lettering. So go there to see how to trace letters onto a chalkboard, plus there’s a video too!
But I will give you my tips here:
- My favorite way to transfer the letters was by scribbling on the back of the paper with a pencil. Then tracing on the front with a pencil.
- I recommend using a chalk marker instead of real chalk, it doesn’t wipe away as easily.
- If you are right-handed, work left to right (opposite if left handed) and top to bottom.
Once your letters are on the chalkboard, you are ready to place it into the window frame.
TIP: If you don’t plan on writing anything new on the sign, lightly spray a clear coat of spray paint onto the sign to protect the writing. I did this with my sign!
STEP 4: ADD THE CHALKBOARD TO THE WINDOW FRAME
Place the window frame on a flat surface with the front side down. Then place the chalkboard inside the frame with the lettering facing down.
TIP: If you have a top of the window frame, make sure to place the top of the chalkboard in the same direction.
Then place a bead of sealant (caulk) were the chalkboard meets the window frame. I like to wet my finger with a wipe then smooth out the bead to make sure it’s sealing the seam.
Let the sign dry in this location until the sealant is dry, the instructions on the tube will tell you how long that is.
And your chalkboard sign is ready to be hung. I hope this DIY tutorial will help give you an idea on how to upcycle an old window into a chalkboard sign for your home.
Now be sure to look through the other projects from 30 other DIY bloggers as part of this month’s challenge, there could be the perfect tutorial there for your next transformation.