Wednesday, January 23, 2013

71 Projects: Chalkboard Pantry Doors

When we lived at our old house, I used a dry erase calendar.  I loved the heck out of that calendar!!  It was hung in the hallway where I could see it from my kitchen.  I felt like I was always in the know with that calendar.  In my new house, there is not a place in the kitchen for it.  I tried hanging it in the playroom right off the kitchen, but it is still on December... I think the last day I crossed off was Mike's birthday (the 15th).  It is NOT getting used and I feel like I have no idea what is going on each day!  Something needed to me changed.... 

The girls watch Good Luck Charlie on the Disney Channel often.  I have always loved the chalkboard refrigerator that the family has in their kitchen.

Painting my refrigerator was out of the question, but what about the pantry doors?  There was only one problem... They weren't flat.

That's ok though.  I figured I could just go to the Habitat REstore and find a couple of flat sliding doors and paint them with chalkboard paint!  One side could be our calendar and the other side would have our weekly dinner menu on it.  Perfect!  Except, the Habitat REstore didn't have two flat doors that were the same size.  I checked out Lowe's and Home Depot.  Buying new doors would have cost me a whole lot more than I was wanting to spend!  I felt like this project was tanked... Surly I could do SOMETHING to make them useful!  I thought about finding a way to hang my dry erase calendar on them, but it is SO heavy.  Not to mention, it is glass.  One woops would be tragic.  Finally, it hit me!  I was in the kitchen one Saturday morning, drinking my coffee and staring at those doors. I noticed that there was a tiny amount of space to actually put a board over those slats!  I turned to Facebook with a few questions and before long, I was at Home Depot buying my board!

Project 3: Chalkboard Pantry Doors
Start Date: January 19, 2013
Finish Date: January 22, 2013
Total Time: about 8 hours with drying time
Difficulty Level: Pretty Easy
Cost: $9.07
I had paint left over from my family room project. The cost does not include any paint.

I went to Home Depot and bought a piece of tempered hardwood.  I needed it to be no more that 1/8" thick and this was my best option.  I loved that it had a super smooth side since it was going to be a chalkboard.  If you get a piece of wood with any texture at all, you'll want to lightly sand it to remove that texture.  Otherwise, it will be difficult to write on the chalkboard.  The wonderful people of Home Depot also cut my wood for me!

You'll definitely want to prime any type of wood that you get.  For one, this will save you coats of paint when  it comes time to paint the chalkboard but also, if you get a smooth wood like I did, the chalkboard paint will not stick to the surface of the board without a primer.  When in doubt, prime first!  One coat is fine.

When applying the chalkboard paint, use a dense foam roller.  You want little to no texture at all on your chalkboard.  Also, be sure to paint on several light coats instead of one or two heavy coats.  It may take a little longer, but you will be happier with the end result.

Measure out and draw your calendar in pencil first.  My calendar squares are 3" x 3" with a 3" x 1" rectangle at the top for writing in the days of the week.  Because I had enough room, I made six weeks on my calendar.  I always hated when the month started on a Friday or Saturday and ended on a Sunday or Monday.  I would have to split one or two of days in order to fit the entire month on.  With six weeks on my calendar grid, I don't have to worry about that anymore!

To make the little box for your date, cut a piece of paper exactly the size of your grid.  Then, cut a small square out of the corner to make a template.  Trace the date box onto each square in your grid.

I'm sure you could tape your lines off to make them perfect, but I have a pretty steady hand.  I decided to just use a thin paint brush and freehand my grid.  It did take a while, but it turned out just fine!  I used the same paint as I used in my family room (Parchment Paper by Behr) because I plan on bringing that color into my kitchen, too!

To hang the finished chalkboards on the pantry doors, I simply ran a bead of Elmer's Wood Glue around the perimeter of the opening.

I then placed the chalkboards in the openings.

I reinforced them by placing nails along the edge of the chalkboards to hold them in place.  These doors get slid open and closed multiple times each day.  I wanted to make sure the chalkboards would not come crashing down on any heads or toes... or paws, for that matter!

I used 1/2" wood nails.  They are barely visible at all.

Next, I primed my chalkboards with chalk.  To do this, take a piece of white chalk and rub it lengthwise across the entire surface of the chalkboard.  Then, using a circular motion, gently massage the chalk into the chalkboard.  Not doing this will make your chalkboard highly ineffective. 

I love it!  It works exactly as I had hoped!  I plan on getting chalkboard pens for the calendar, but until then, plain chalk works just fine :o)

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Jenny said...

What are your plans for the bottom half? you could put chalkboard there also and the girls would each have a section. As they get older it would be a place to keep track of their schedules.

Melanie Routhier said...

I love this! Absolutely brilliant and so very useful.

Milliscent Morgan said...

This blog is well written enough and worth it that readers should need to read it so they will know some good points about pantry doors. Thanks!

Angela said...

I love it! Your follow through is so impressive! I'm full of ideas with little follow through and I aspire to have your motivation and tenacity! xo

Brooke said...

What a difference! I LOVE how they turned out! I bet you're thrilled with them. Thanks for sharing! Have a great day!

Gretchen said...

Wow--I'm impressed! You can't tell the doors didn't come with those panels--great job :)

Lauren said...

Awesome idea. Chalkboards are a great way to stay organized. I love it. I am hosting a new link party and would love it if you would link up.

Linda Bouffard said...

Yes, I agree that IS awesome. I'd love to have you link this to my What to Do Weekends linky party on my blog, also. Take care, Linda

Anonymous said...

I absolutely adore this! You are so crafty! And I have to say we are big Good Luck Charlie fans too! ;)

Thank you so much for linking up at Party In Polka Dots!!


Diana - FreeStyleMama said...

Oh my goodness is that an amazing idea!! I just love it. Thanks so much for linking up at my Pin Me party at I am now following you via Pinterest!

Did you realize that you have word verification on? Many people do not leave comments for people with it on. You can deter spam by only allowing registered users & moderating comments. I did a recent post about turning Captcha off.

Diana - FreeStyleMama said...

Congratulations! This post is featured over at Diana Rambles today and has been pinned in the Featured at Diana Rambles board at Pinterest. Please grab a featured button off my sidebar or via the link under the features. Thanks for sharing this awesome idea!

Amanda said...

LOVE this idea!

Kristen Dilka said...

I LOVE this! You are so dang creative.... wanna come do my house? :)

Maria Chappel said...

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