How to Restore an Antique Chalk Picture Frame

Chalk picture frames are rarely found in homes these days and you can mostly see them in museums as antique art pieces. These sort of frames are mainly made of gypsum or/and wood and they are typically ornate. Maintaining or restoring chalk picture frames require you to take special care. These antique frames have lots of details and if you see some detail has been lost on the frame, you can attempt to restore it by yourself. You will merely need some household items and you can save all those bucks you might have to pay to a professional for restoring your antique frame.


  • 1

    Take a plastic sheet, bigger than the size of the chalk frame, and place it on a work table. Lay your chalk frame carefully on top of the plastic sheet.

  • 2

    Squirt some dish soap in a bucket and fill it up with some warm water. Make sure you have put on rubber gloves before mixing the soap in the bucket.

  • 3

    Take a washing sponge and throw it into the bucket. Let the sponge absorb the soap for at least three minutes.

  • 4

    Take out the sponge and gently wipe the chalk picture frame with hot water. You have to remove all the dirt and debris from the frame.

  • 5

    Take another clean sponge and use it to rinse the chalk frame with plain water. Now you can have a clean surface to work with.

  • 6

    You will need a can of mineral spirits and steel wool for the actual restoration work to begin. Dip the steel wool into the spirit and scrub the frame gently for giving back its details. Focus on the damaged areas and scrub in small circular motion.

  • 7

    Once again rinse the chalk with the sponge soaked in plain water. Take a soft dry cloth to dry it out afterwards.

  • 8

    Mix some of the wall putty for filling out the small holes present in the chalk frame. Take off your rubber gloves and use your fingertips for filling purpose. Give sufficient time to putty to dry completely.

  • 9

    Gently grind the frame with ultra-fine sandpaper and wipe the debris with a clean, dry piece of cloth.

  • 10

    Take another clean piece of cloth and use it to use a coat of wood sealer on to the chalk frame. It will take about 12 hours for the sealer to completely dry. Finish the restoration process by buffing the frame with a microfiber cloth.

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