Cabinets to Chalkboards


I recently stumbled upon some great ideas for crafting chalkboards out of found materials and have been on quite a kick of making this particular item for friends and family. It’s a fun way to add some color or individuality to any room. Here’s what you need:

  1. A cupboard door
  2. Acrylic craft paint
  3. Clear Chalkboard paint
  4. Chalk
  5. Hardware for the door*
  6. Wire*
  7. Ribbon or twine*


If you aren’t currently remodeling and don’t have a great free source, look at salvage yards, on Craigslist, or my personal favorite : Restore


After you have selected your door or scrap wood, start by cleaning it up! Remove hardware and address any damaged spots you wish to fix or perhaps highlight. (Uniqueness is an asset when creating this type of project). If the knob or handle suits your design vision, by all means KEEP IT. Otherwise remember you can utilize just about anything that fits the existing holes, and if needed, be more adventurous and patch holes to change their placement or just add holes period. [See Wood tends to absorb paint more evenly if it’s an unfinished/untreated surface; but I’ll fully admit I am often a lazy crafter and just utilize a quick once over with sandpaper to prepare the surface, but not necessarily remove the varnish or outer layer. Wipe clean with a damp cloth and let it dry.


There are quite a numbers of theories out there on the “best” way to paint. I’ve tried a few techniques, but the one I settled on is acrylic craft paint and typically a foam brush.

Several tips:

1. Choose a color or colors that either match where you intend to put the finished chalkboard or will pop out and be a conversation piece. This is ideally supposed to be a fun and functional item, so why not pick a color scheme that does both!

2. Be patient! This is a project that requires a fair amount of drying time and frankly benefits from it. While I could finish one of these in 36 hours, 72 to 144 yields a nicer end result that is much more durable.

3. Alternate paint stroke directions. After each coat, changing direction ultimately creates a product that does not have brush marks. While everyone will know it is a painted item, leave some mystery as to how.


After all your paint is dry and you are satisfied with the color tone and such, it’s time for the chalkboard clear coat that will transform your cabinet door into its new role of chalkboard. This is what I have been using:

The directions are on the back, but you need to paint one coat and let it dry for 1 hour, and then finish with a second coat, painting in the opposite direction as the first, and then let cure for 24 hours. Or a few days if you can’t get back to it works too. Grab a piece of white chalk and lightly rub over the surface to cure. Then utilize a cloth or paper towel to “erase” aka remove the chalk dust, and you are ready to write!


I often reattach or find unusual hardware that makes the piece more unique and to add a place to tie or place chalk. Sometimes I use a ribbon or twine, usually something that matches the style and color or a contrasting color to make it pop.


To hang on a wall, I usually attach picture wire or other strong wire to the back with small wood screws or nails. If I’m not sure if the chalkboard will be hung, I send it along with an envelope.


Other nice additions if this is a gift…funky chalk or additional ribbon. If you are in the market for chalk, target has some great art collections in the kids crafting area. I have found the Kids Made Modern Chalk Party kit a few times and these kits have multiple uses. Unfortunately they are not currently in stock this time of year!

If I have made you a chalkboard and you don’t see it pictured. ..feel free to post one in the comments. The word has gotten out that I am making these, so I think they’ll be keeping me busy for now.


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