DIY Holiday Chalkboards From Repurposed Old Mirrors

How to repurpose vintage mirrors into DIY chalkboards and decorate them like a chalk artist for the holidays. If you saw ornate vintage dresser mirrors at a garage sale or thrift store but they were missing the mirrors, would you buy them?

The cost of replacing the mirrors would certainly be a deterrent but there's another option. What about turning them into chalkboards?

It's so easy to repurpose old mirrors into DIY chalkboards and I'll show you how with just a few supplies. Plus I'll be sharing an easy tip for decorating them like a chalk artist - no artistic skills required!

Vintage bedroom dresser mirrors repurposed into DIY chalkboards.

Repurposed Vintage Mirrors Into DIY Chalkboards

With Christmas around the corner, I decorated the DIY chalkboards for the holidays. How cute would the white chalkboard be for a coffee/hot chocolate bar?

One of the chalkboards is now in our grandkid's guest room and I enjoy surprising them with special messages when they come for sleepovers. I was inspired to place it there because they love the DIY chalkboard wall in our kitchen. Now they leave us with double the artwork to enjoy between visits.

Pictured below are the mirrorless vintage dresser mirrors before turning them into chalkboards. The curvy tops and finials add such elegant and unique charm to DIY chalkboards.

Old bedroom dresser mirrors before turning them into DIY chalkboards.

They may look tired and dated but just a couple coats of paint will transform these mirrors from drab to fab wall mount chalkboards, so let's get started.

What You'll Need To Make It

For the vintage mirror makeover, I'm using products from Dixie Belle Paint Company. The paint is water-based and dries very quickly, reducing the wait time between coats. Also, this particular paint does not require a top coat which eliminates a step.

This post contains affiliate links so you can see what products I used or recommended for this project. As an Amazon Associate, I earn a small commission from any qualifying purchases at no extra cost to you. Thank you for your support!

Supply List

Vintage Mirror Frames
Barn Red Chalk Style Paint
Buttercream (Winter White) Chalk Style Paint
4-inch foam roller
Black Chalkboard Paint or Flat Black Latex or Black Chalk-style Paint
Brown Wax (optional)

How To Repurpose Mirrors Into Chalkboards

We'll begin with a makeover of the vintage mirror frames and then to the DIY chalkboard tutorial. We'll end with how to season new chalkboards and decorate them like a pro for the holidays and year-round.

Vintage Mirror Makeover

First, you'll want to remove the backing and/or mirrors from the frame. Then lightly sand the wood frames with 150-grit sandpaper to give the paint some bite. Clean the sanded mirror frames with a damp lint-free rag and let them dry.

One of my frames is painted with two coats of a Barn Red color and the other a wintery white Buttercream. Again, the chalk-style paint dries very quickly so you can start the second coat within 15-20 minutes.

How To Distress and Age Painted Mirror Frames

This step is completely optional and if you prefer a more clean paint finish then skip this step. But if you're a fan of the shabby chic style, I'll show you how to distress and/or age the painted mirror frames for the chalkboards.

Distressed Repurposed Mirror Chalkboard Patina - once the paint is dry, lightly sand along the lovely details and edges of the painted vintage mirrors with 150-grit sandpaper. My preference for the white chalkboard is a lightly distressed finish but you can sand more vigorously for a heavily distressed patina.

Aged Repurposed Mirror Chalkboard Patina - once the paint is dry, apply brown antiquing wax with a wax brush and wipe the excess with a lint-free rag. You can see in the photo below how the brown wax on the left side adds so much depth and aged the red paint.

DIY chalkboard painted red and dark waxed for the holidays.

How To Make A DIY Chalkboard

Now that the vintage mirror frames for the chalkboards are painted, let's turn the hardboard backing into DIY chalkboards. If your mirror doesn't have a smooth backing, then cut a sheet of MDF hardboard to fit the back of the mirror.

First, I primed the hardboard with my go-to primer and a 4-inch foam roller. I tinted the primer with leftover gray chalk-style paint that I had on hand. This helps reduce the number of coats of paint you'll need to cover the primer. 

Repurposed mirror backboard primed for DIY chalkboard.

DIY Chalkboard Option 1

You can paint the hardboard backing with Rustoleum chalkboard paint and a foam roller. There are a few color options available besides black.

The paint is quite thick so it's imperative that you roll it with thin coats. The recommended dry time between coats is 4 hours so you'll have to exercise some patience with this DIY chalkboard option.

DIY chalkboard with black chalkboard paint.

But there's another much quicker option!

DIY Chalkboard Option 2

Instead of chalkboard paint, you can use flat black latex paint or chalk-style paint to make DIY chalkboards. Because they are water-based paints they dry very quickly between coats. They can be applied with a small foam roller as well, for a nice smooth finish.

How To Season A New DIY Chalkboard

It's imperative that you season a new DIY chalkboard before using it for the first time. This will eliminate any ghostwriting from your chalk art being permanently etched on the fresh paint.

To do this rub the side of a stick of chalk both vertically and horizontally across the chalkboard like the top board in the photo below. Then wipe the chalk clean with a paper towel, chalk brush, or rag like on the bottom board in the photo below.

How to season a new DIY chalkboard with a stick of chalk.

How To Decorate Repurposed Mirror Chalkboard Like A Chalk Artist

Time to have fun decorating your new DIY chalkboard like a chalk artist, the easy way! You can use dustless chalk, chalk pens, or a combination of both. But if you want your art to be lasting and smudge-proof, then I'd recommend chalk pens.

But the trick to decorating chalkboards like a chalk artist when you don't have an artistic bone in your body is to use stencils!

To demonstrate I decorated the red repurposed mirror chalkboard for the holidays with an ornament stencil, the same stencil used to make some adorable Christmas pillow covers.

Red DIY Holiday Chalkboard decorated with stencilled ornaments.

I combined this homestead coffee stencil and Christmas blend hot chocolate stencil to decorate the white repurposed mirror chalkboard. There are so many possibilities for decorating chalkboards for the holidays!

White DIY Holiday Chalkboard decorated with Christmas stencils.

While I love how festive the ornate repurposed vintage mirror chalkboards look for the holidays, I'm looking forward to decorating them with seasonal stencils year-round.

DIY Holiday Chalkboard Painted Festive Red

Do you use chalkboards to decorate for the holidays?

DIY Holiday Chalkboard Painted Winter White

Besides repurposing old mirrors, here are some other ideas for DIY Chalkboards that you might like. You can turn inexpensive framed thrift store art into an adorable DIY chalkboard menu, or round chargers and silver platters into tabletop DIY chalkboards.

But if you'd like a large DIY chalkboard for a child's room, playroom, or home office, then you can build this one without power tools.

Thanks for stopping by the Interior Frugalista today! I hope you were inspired by the repurposed vintage mirrors into chalkboards.

If you have any questions, please leave them in the comment section below or the Contact Me tab at the top to drop me an email. I love hearing from you!

If you enjoyed this DIY chalkboard idea, I'd be so thankful if you shared it with a friend and pinned it to your favorite board on Pinterest.

How to repurpose old vintage mirrors into DIY chalkboards with a few supplies and decorate them like a chalk artist - no artistic skills required!



  1. These turned out just great! When I initially saw them I tried to imagine what I would do with them, and I thought "chair backs". But noooo, you had to do something even more clever. Good job, Ma'am!

    1. Ha ha, Ceyla, you made me laugh! "Chair backs" now that's something that didn't even cross my mind but you got the old wheels spinning for next time. 😉

  2. Glad I could bring a smile to you Marie!

  3. These are beautiful, Marie! I'll be featuring them tomorrow at Thursday Favorite Things. :)

  4. These are stunning Marie! I'll am featuring them on today's Crafty Creators. Hope to see you there!


Post a Comment

Don't be shy, I love reading your comments and reply to every single one! If you want to be notified when I reply back to you, click the "Notify Me" button below the comment box.