Restore Redo

Cupboard door chalkboard

  • An old cupboard door
  • screwdriver (to remove old hardware)
  • paint brush
  • 2 shades of chalk paint – one for the frame and one for the inside
  • paint brushes – an angled paint brush and a small art brush for touch ups
  • an old sheet or tarp to keep your work surface clean
  • plastic bags

I have a serious case of garage sale and start of summer hangover.  I went crazy in the weeks leading up to this past weekend and then just crashed.  However,  I will not let you down!  I’m starting my blog projects with a very simple one.  This week, I will show how to create a fun chalkboard out of an old cupboard door.  I LOVE these!  You can make them super colorful to hang on a wall, but they also look adorable on a front porch or flower garden.  It’s also a project that you can very easily get done in just one day.  Apparently it is time for me to redo my front garden chalkboard!  It seems that every time I’ve created a new masterpiece (usually either the word Bloom or my last name, ha!), we have a massive rain shower and it washes away.  We need rain, so it must be time for a new message!

Getting started … I LOVE the Habitat for Humanity Restore.  There are two in the Des Moines area.  They sell reusable building materials, furniture, and appliances that are all donations.  Habitat is an amazing organization that helps families to have decent and affordable living conditions.  They are a non profit organization that helps people to build new homes or remodel existing living conditions.  If you are doing a remodeling project, it’s a great place to find items at a fraction of the cost – but it’s also a great place to donate gently used items to, too.  I go there frequently!  I’ve found old wooden window panes, great furniture to paint, drawer knobs and pulls, fabulous and inexpensive paint brushes, and of course, cupboard doors!

Finding the perfect cupboard.  The size, shape, and design is completely up to you!  Have an idea of what you’ll be using it for and go from there.  You are at the mercy of what they have available in store, but inventory changes all of the time!  You may have to dig a bit, but there is usually something there.  Prices usually range from $2-10.  Don’t be afraid if you find something with cracks or scratches, or even if it’s a little bit dirty.  You can always take it outside use a hose and scrub brush to clean it up.  Just make sure you give it time to dry.

As you can see with this door, sometimes they still have the hardware attached.  Remove that before you get started.  It’s pretty easy to do.  Grab a good sheet or tarp that you can cover your painting surface with so that your counter stays clean and you’re ready to go. The outer part of the door – which I will call the frame – is where you can use a fun, vibrant color.  For this one, I’ve chosen a bright teal from Tweedle Dee’s in Uptown Ankeny.  The inner part of the door is where you will create your masterpiece.  I prefer to use a traditional black for this area but you can also use grey, brown, navy, whatever you like as long as it’s  chalk paint.  I use Waverly chalk paint in the color Ink from Walmart.  It comes in 16, 8, and 2 oz bottles and can be found in the craft section.

Start by painting the frame of the cupboard door with your bright color using the angled brush.  It’s ok if the paint bleeds onto the inner surface of the board and it will happen.  I like to do two coats of each color.  It gives a nice, solid color and ensures that you don’t see any of the wood tone bleeding through.  Another amazing thing about chalk paint is that it dries very quickly! About an hour between coats should be plenty of time for it to dry.  I like to use a plastic bag to store the paint brushes in while I’m waiting between coats.  This keeps the bristles from drying out.

Now it’s time for the inner part of the chalkboard.  The best way to describe this process is pour a few blobs of paint onto the middle of the board.  Fairly big blobs.  Paint along the wood grain to spead the blobs evenly across the chalkboard.  You can use the angled part of the paint brush to get into those close corners.  This is also when the art paint brush comes in handy.  You can use the smaller brush to get into the really small corners, nooks, and crannies.  You may accidentally contaminate the colors onto each other.  No worries!! Once it dries, just touch it up!  Again, wait an hour or so and complete the process with a second coat.
Once your touch ups are done and your board is dry, you are all ready to design!!  I love to search for fun chalkboard quotes and drawings on Pinterest!  Create your artwork and put it on display for all to see!!  Don’t worry if you make a mistake!  Use a wet cloth to wipe the surface down and then gently dry it so it’s good as new!​


​I hope you had fun with this project!  I know your friends will be asking for you to make one for them soon, too!  It’s a super affordable and fun project that makes a great gift, too!!  Here are a few few fun display ideas!

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