farm fresh chalkboard.

Before I get on with today’s blog post I just want to say thank you, thank you, thank you for all of the kind comments that were left on my blogiversary post.  I think I need to do a similar post a couple of times a year just to remind myself that there are lots of you out there reading and enjoying my blog even if you aren’t commenting regularly.  And that’s OK.  If you want to follow along without leaving comments, no worries.  I’ll just seek out a reminder that you are out there every now and then with a giveaway!

A quick little story about that post.  I had finished up writing it at about 8 a.m. Saturday morning and I scheduled it to post at 9 a.m.  Then I went about starting my day; drank some coffee, put up some Christmas decorations and then at about 10 a.m. I realized that I hadn’t gotten a single ping on my phone indicating a comment.  I panicked for a moment.  Had I forgotten to click ‘publish’?  Or was it just that not one single person had felt like commenting?  Perhaps no one cared!  Or was it just that everyone was busy Christmas shopping instead of reading blogs?  Yes, I’ll admit, these kinds of thoughts go through my head.  I picked up my phone.  Not a single email notifying me of a comment (I get these from WordPress).  I checked my computer … ooohhhh … I had published the post and there were comments.  Every once in a while my phone loses its connection with my email account and that’s what had happened.  I just had to reboot my phone and all of the emails came flooding in.  But how ironic that this should happen that morning!

It was so nice to get so many comments, and very nice to hear from some of you who have been reading for a while and had never introduced yourselves via a comment.  Welcome to all of you, and again thank you for so many amazing comments.  If you haven’t left a comment on that post yet, be sure to do so by Friday, Dec 2 at midnight to be eligible to win!

And now, on with today’s post …

It’s official, the furniture moratorium is over!  I have a handful of small projects in the carriage house waiting their turn, but one whole side was practically empty.  So after I came back from my trip I started scouring Craigslist for potential candidates for a makeover.  I also had an idea brewing in the back of my mind for re-purposing an Eastlake style dresser mirror frame.  When I found a nice Eastlake dresser with a mirror that was available in Hopkins, I remembered that I’d also seen another nice piece that was in Hopkins.  I had passed up the first one because Hopkins is on the other side of the cities from me, but it was worth the trip for two pieces!

So on a recent Saturday afternoon Mr. Q and I headed out to Hopkins.  The first dresser we picked up was this one …


The seller was moving out of her townhome and into a condo and thus was downsizing.  She mentioned that the bed in the room was also for sale.  It was lovely, but not a piece I would want to paint.  However, I asked if the small side table was also for sale.  At first she said no, but then she thought about it and said she would sell it to me after all.  She wasn’t that attached to it and her new place is pretty small.  So it came home with me too.  You’ve already seen it in my photos with the Midnight Blue chairs.

We headed to our next stop to pick up the Eastlake style dresser.


I felt like the mirror overpowered the dresser on this piece, what do you think?

No worries though, I wanted to separate these two anyway.  I first removed the swiveling mirror.  Then I sent the frame off to Ken’s workshop along with a beadboard ceiling board that originally came from nnK’s house (she ripped out a gorgeous original beadboard ceiling in her breezeway in favor of a vaulted ceiling and she gave me all of the salvage).  Ken cut the board down to make a small shelf and two brackets at the bottom of the frame.  He also cut a piece of backer board to fit the mirror opening so that I could turn it into a chalkboard.

Once Ken was done with those tasks, I painted the frame and its new shelf with some Homestead House milk paint in Limestone.  I mentioned a week or so ago that Homestead House sent me some samples of their milk paint to try out and this is another color that I received from them.


I painted the backer board using the green chalkboard paint recipe from Allison at The Golden Sycamore (click on that link to visit her blog and read about the recipe, it’s a combo of two Miss Mustard milk paint colors and I love how it turns out every time).

Finally, I copied a Farm Fresh Christmas Tree design that I also found on pinterest, and voila!


I used a brighter white acrylic craft paint to highlight the spoon carving at the top of the frame.


After using my painters tape trick to encourage some chipping I got just the right amount of chippy-ness out of the milk paint.  That’s three coats of Limestone, by the way.  I generally find that it takes about 3 coats when covering a dark-ish wood with white paint.

I’ve been finding lately that it works well for me to add just the most sparing amount of wax to my milk painted pieces.  I don’t thoroughly wax it by any means.  I take about a dime sized dab of wax and work it into my cloth really well.  Then I just lightly wipe over the piece.  I don’t think this method is going to provide much in the way of water protection.  But since this is a frame that will just hang on the wall and get very little human contact, I think it will be fine.


I draped a cotton bole swag across the top of the frame after I hung it over my sofa.  I picked the swag up at Home Goods last year, but I bet you can find these all over this year.


I never intended to keep this piece but once it was finished I realized I just wasn’t going to be able to part with it.  I absolutely love how it turned out.

And it does fit perfectly above the sofa in my living room.


But not to worry.  I also loved it so much that I decided to make another one.  The frame I’ll use is a little bit different, but I think it will still be just as fab.  It’s over in Ken’s workshop now.  I’ll be sure to share that one with you when it’s finished too!

43 thoughts on “farm fresh chalkboard.

  1. A real beauty Quandie. Just so you know, I gobble every post like it’s candy! I enjoy your makeovers so much and I enjoy your staging and photography just as much. You are the one blogger I read that feels like a real person like me. Trying to juggle a real job and family and fun stuff all at once. I am going to make a concerted effort to give you more feedback because I appreciate your efforts and enjoy this blog so much!! Keep it up!


    1. I love that swag! I’d like to have a cotton bole wreath as well, but the only ones I’ve found so far were rather pricey at around $60. I’ll probably keep an eye out for a discounted one after Christmas … if there are any left 😉


  2. I am over the moon with that chalkboard. And thanks for the input on the cotton boll swag – I was hoping you’d provide where you got it! I’ll do a search for it. And thanks for the link on the chalkboard paint. It does look like the ones we grew up with, making your framed board that much more ‘vintagey’. Love the white deer, too! I’d keep it, too… will you be changing out the ‘words’ after Christmas and leaving it up?


    1. That is a good question Laura, one I keep asking myself! I’ll probably change it out at some point. It’s going to look pretty odd by June 😉 I’ll have to come up with another design suitable for the season. I couldn’t resist that deer when I saw him in a local shop in No St Paul called La’ Garage. He just has such a sweet face.


  3. Love it! I also will try and leave more regular feedback and thanks for the inspiration to haul some Christmas decorating today.


  4. My first thought was “what a great idea to separate the mirror”. Second thought was “wow, turning the mirror into a chalkboard is a stroke of genius”. Third thought (all these thoughts were rapid fire) was that I love that little deer. As always, you have outdone yourself!


  5. Good morning! My name is Linda and live in Shakopee. I’ve got an 40 year old dining room set on Craigs List for about a month with not 1 response. Can’t seem to give it away, charities don’t want it because the table top should be refinished. Would you have a few minutes to look it up and tell me if you would be interested or know someone that would. You can find it under Maple dining. I’ve lowered the price from $250. to $175. It is from Pennsylvania House and got it at Gabberts. I would be willing to go lower in price.

    Thank you for looking, Linda Kiehl 952-378-1630


    1. Hi Linda. I’m a little reluctant to take on dining room sets. Painting all those chairs is a lot of work! I barely made it through the last dining room set I did. I love the legs on that table though, and your set certainly has potential. I’m really surprised that charities don’t want it. I’ve certainly purchased pieces from thrift shops that are in worse condition than your table. I’ll pass your info on to some other furniture painters I know and see if any of them are ready to take on a dining room set!


  6. I love how it turned out. I have one waiting in the wings…..not in a hurry because there is no where for it to go !
    As always I love your style!
    Smiles, alice


  7. You know I am a fan of the Eastlake style but not so much of attached mirrors. So of course I love how you separated it from the dresser. Turned out great. I love the green chalkboard and the cotton bole swag.


    1. Thanks Victoria. I’ve removed a few attached mirrors in my day because I’m not a fan of them either. So I’m pretty happy to have come up with a way to beef them up a bit and turn them into something special in their own right.


  8. I love everything about this! I find that when I attach original mirrors like this that the piece just doesn’t sell. By making a beautiful chalkboard, you have an entirely separate piece to sell and the original dresser doesn’t look so dated. I am SO going to do this! You didn’t say, but I assume you took out the original mirror when you put in the backer board. Love your blog, always get so much inspiration!


    1. Yes, I did take out the original mirror. On this piece the mirror itself had its own frame so at this point I really have 3 pieces. The dresser, the larger mirror frame and the inner framed mirror. Much like you I find that dressers with mirrors don’t sell as easily as those without so I often take them off. I try to find ways to re-purpose them. {Here} is another one I turned into a green chalkboard. But today’s piece is much more substantial with the shelf added at the bottom. You are definitely going to see me making more of these!


    1. That mirror just seemed oversized for the dresser. Although I’m fairly sure they were originally made for each other. The wood matches exactly, as does some of the carving. I think they will both be so much better off without each other though 😉


  9. Genius adding the shelf to the chalkboard frame. The staging in all white in perfect too.
    You’ve hit another homerun. By the way. Was in at La Garage and Gallery this morning. Carolyn was tickled to hear you mention her shop in your blog. She is going to become a follower. Also saw a great hot pink tree topper in s box. How did you miss it.


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