DIY Thrift Store Art Chalk Marker Makeover

Disclosure: I got Chalkola chalk markers in exchange for a review. Affiliate links are marked with a *.

Whenever I go into a thrift shop or charity shop there’s always a good piece of wall art or two.

In other words, I might have a bit of a collection at this point. My favourite find so far is this A2 sized impressionist art print within a matching blue frame. After being in our home for a few years, I wanted to give it an update. (And the print doesn’t have any info on the artist, so if you recognise the work please let me know!)

I wanted a quick art makeover that still celebrated the beauty of the print and could be easily changed in the future, too. Armed with chalk markers and a bit of Pinterest inspiration, here’s the process so you can makeover your own thrift shop art finds.


  • Framed print you want to update
    or other glass/chalkboard surface to doodle on!
  • Chalkola Chalk Markers, I’m using Chalkola’s Earth set*
  • Wet wipes (I found water alone works really well too)
  • Paper towels, Q-tips, etc to clean up as you go if needed

PSSTChalkola is offering 15% OFF all their products including their chalk markers. Enter the code 15OFFSTR at checkout on either the Chalkola website or on Amazon.

Putting it all together

Step one – open up those markers makers! The tactile chalky ink has to be pumped through the marker tip before you can get started. I found this simple process to be quite satisfying. You can see what I mean in my little Instagram video above.

I wanted to jump straight in so I didn’t make any templates or sketch any layouts. I had a small key hanger chalkboard that’s been blank since we hung it up – we just don’t use this message board for anything.

Doodling wildflowers was fun, especially as lavender and Queen Anne’s lace is basically just dotting the marker around. Our key corner looks so much fresher with a bit of lavender, buttercup, Queen Anne’s lace and a forget-me-not, don’t you think? (I’m not a botanist so not 100% sure if these flowers are even blooming at the same time in the same soil conditions. A bit of artistic license, perhaps.)

Browsing Pinterest gave me the inspiration for my art makeover. Here’s the original quote art:

Before & After: The print I’m doodling over is very colourful and busy so I wanted something that was both simple and didn’t cover up too much of the artwork.

The markers are so easy to use, have virtually no smell, and clean up with just a wet wipe. I even tried just water and paper towel and that wiped both glass and chalkboard clean no problems. To get started I picked colours that matched the theme of the print and tested them on the glass:

To keep things from getting too busy, I picked my favourite three colours (blue, yellow, and white in this case) and got started. Writing without smudging isn’t my strongest skill so I had to practise writing with a floating palm.

At first, even the ‘Open’ text was only an outline. Once I put the art in its new home on the mantle I realised that in a brighter room, the text was almost invisible. I wanted subtle, not unreadable. I hadn’t tried colouring in any shapes yet, so I was a bit nervous to try in case it ruined the look but went for it. (It’s easy to clean up, remember?)

Colouring in on glass leaves a bit of texture and from a distance it looks smooth. I tried colouring in on the kitchen chalkboard and it’s easier to get a smooth finish on a chalkboard surface because it’s not as glossy. The chalk marker ink dries within minutes and you can literally watch it go from glossy wet to matte as it dries.

Working with chalk markers was a really easy way to update some art. Even better, when I fancy a change I can just wipe it clean and start again! I’m already looking for more ways to use these chalk markers to decorate our home. I’ve made a quick doodle on our bathroom mirror and it instantly added some character.

And wouldn’t thought bubbles look great over family photos?

The ingredients list was also a pleasant surprise. The Chalkola chalk markers* are water based and have four ingredients: water, resin, “Tio2“, and some pigment. Done! And speaking from experience, the colour actually does wash out from clothing, too.

Have you ever tried chalk markers?

Lots of crafty love,

P.S. You can find plenty more handmade decor ideas on my DIY Handmade Home Pinterest board: