Summer is a great time for garbage hunting in the neighborhood. Maybe it's when State Department folks most often get transferred. Maybe it's when leases are up on rentals. Whatever it is, it makes for great DIY opportunities.
A Couple weeks ago while Bear and I were walking with Blake to the metro, I passed this huge faux-guilded frame on the side of the road. It was about 5 feet tall and two-and-a-half feet wide (and quite ugly). What really intrigued me was that the backing was particle board instead of cardboard. Plus, you know me; I can't stand knowing that something perfectly useful is going to end up in a landfill somewhere. So, I spent the next few minutes of our walk contemplating what I could use it for, and by the time we'd dropped Blake at the metro and gotten back to the frame I'd figured it out: a chalkboard.
The whole project took maybe 45 minutes. I primed the frame with oil-based primer, painted two coats of chalkboard paint on the interior portion, then did a light and patchy coat of white oil-based paint over the primer. There were so many niches and crevices on the frame that I didn't want to take the time (and go insane using a tiny paintbrush) to make it perfect, so I went for a more distressed look.
It turned out better than I'd expected (forgive the terrible and dark photos from my iPhone) and I had it listed on Craigslist that afternoon and sold the next day. I would have kept it myself, but I didn't see a true need for it. Now it's happily sitting in a play room for a darn cute three year old. Easy peasy.