How to Make a Door Chalkboard from a bunch of Junk
(This post was originally written in 2012, but the instructions remain the same, paint brand has changed)
Do you remember this thing I pulled out of le garbage?
My client had texted me the night before I found this, asking if I could make a “door” sized chalkboard for her kitchen.
The next morning, doing my rounds of looking behind businesses for their good “trash”. I saw this lying on top of a bunch of boxes. It was there for moi!
I knew with a little reinforcing and some foam core board, it would be perfect.
If you are not so lucky to find this frame in the trash, you can easily duplicate this. Here is what you will need:
- MDF, or wood of choice, cut to lengths that will fit your area
- If you want to make one large frame, or a double like this one. (Just make straight cuts, or have your Home Improvement center make the cuts to your size, then you will use little pieces of scrap wood to reinforce and hold the frame together)
- 1/2″ wood screws
- Small 1/4″ pieces of scrap wood, enough to go at each corner where the wood meets, this will be on the back of your frame
- Primer of choice for the frame (I used an Oil Based Zinsser. This frame is for a kitchen, and I wanted to seal the MDF so moisture would not cause it warp over time.
- 2 pieces of thick poster paper, to make the back and support of the chalkboard
- foam core board cut to fit (you can buy custom made pieces of foam core board at Foam Core Heaven)
- Primer for the Foam Core, I ALWAYS use Zinsser Oil based spray primer for foam core. Two or three coats and the chalkboard paint adheres nicely, no scratching, no rubbing off.
- Gorilla Glue tape, I use this for ALL my chalkboards to hold the chalkboard in place
- Gorilla Wood Glue
- Chalk board paint (I used Glidden spray)
- Paint of choice for frame, I used CeCe Caldwell, “Santa Fe Turquoise”
- Sealer of choice, I used a clear wax
***Before we get started, a word about Foam Core board. I have found this to be my medium of choice for making chalkboards, esp. one that will hang on a wall or door and you don’t want a lot of weight. Foam core can be purchased for about $5.99 for a poster sized sheet at your local craft store, or can be bought in very large sheets online.
- Start by arranging your wood into a frame and secure the corners with a small piece of wood with 1/2″ wood screws (this will be the back of your frame).
2. Once you have the frame the way you want it. Turn it over and prime it thoroughly.
3. Turn the frame over again (so primed side is down). Place the thick poster board on your frame so it makes a backing for the foam core. Secure in place with Gorilla Glue Tape
3. Measure the area where the foam core will go, if you need to cut, make the cuts and then paint the foam core with chalk board paint. If you have some slightly “rough” edges of foam core that you don’t want to show, you can actually “sand” the edges with a 320 or 400 grit sand paper.
4. Flip the frame over and lightly paint around the edge of where the chalkboard will go with chalkboard paint, so any seam allowance won’t be noticeable.
5. Paint frame desired color (I love the way the Cece Caldwell turned out, it is similar to chalk paint, but even better, it is 100% green and allows even MDF to have character.
**Update. Since this post was written, I no longer use or endorse CeCe Caldwell’s Paints. I LOVE and highly endorse Debi’s Design Diary DIY Paint. It is similar to the original CeCe Caldwell’s Paints before they changed their formula, but better. It is a Clay Based paint, not a thick mineral paint (which CeCe, APC and a few others are). Each color is open the can and paint. No more stirring, stirring, stirring, trying to get the color to unseparate.
DIY Paint is widely available throughout the US and soon in Canada as of March 2017.
6. Once you have done a few coats of chalk board paint on the foam core, and it is dry, put a generous amount of Gorilla Wood Glue in the space where the chalkboard will go.
7. Now you are ready to place the chalkboards in! I put them in, then placed plastic bags with paint cans on top to “weight” it down while it dried.
And Voila, you have a new wall chalkboard for practically nothing in cost!
Next time you come across some framing pieces behind a furniture store, give them a second thought. You can make a Door ChalkBoard out of a bunch of junk with it!
For more info on DIY Paint and get some in your hands, please check them out at www.diypaint.co