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diy chalkboard

I've been dying to make my own chalkboard for a while and since we purchased our house I had the perfect spot in mind - the side of our "pantry" in our kitchen (this area used to be where the wall hung oven lived pre-renovation. I'll be sure to post before and after pictures here when we're completely finished). As you can see, it was looking a little rough with that split down the middle where two pieces of wood came together:
don't mind the door-less cabinets (in process)

We thought a large chalkboard on the side of this cabinet would be perfect for a number of reasons:

1] it would cover the ugly crack 
2] it would make a bold statement on the side of the cabinet 
3] and it would give us something fun to write on - we like doodling, who doesn't?

So we did a little research. I found recipes for DIY chalkboard paint, which was right up my alley. Since I work for a tile distributor, I purchased a small bag of unsanded grout and started making big plans. Adam was skeptical of the homemade chalkboard paint and suggested that black would be a nice contract with everything else in the kitchen anyway (it really does look good with our stainless appliances since they have black accents). Because of this, I scrapped the DIY chalkboard paint idea and opted for getting store bought black chalkboard paint. I do plan to use my own chalkboard paint on future stayed tuned.

Not only did I buy chalkboard paint...I picked up a can of magnetic primer to go with it:

Also during our trip to Home Depot, we picked up a 22"x72" piece of nice lumber (is that the technical term?) We decided that buying a nicer piece would ultimately make for a nice, smooth chalkboard.

When we got it home, Adam drilled some pilot holes in the wood. We did this so that when we were ready to hang it, we wouldn't have to drill through our chalkboard paint/magnetic primer and risk chipping/cracking our paint job. I can't take credit for this was all his - and it worked out perfectly in the end.

After the pilot holes were drilled, we took the board down to the basement and set it up on saw horses. We use 2x4s with nails in them to elevate the wood off of the sawhorses so that the edges can be painting easily without the worry of drips sticking and ruining your finished project. We're using this same method on our kitchen cabinet doors.

on the nails
you can see the pilot holes here

Next came the primer!
I rolled 5 COATS of magnetic primer onto this board with a foam roller.

The box called for 3 coats...but I wasn't happy with the magnetic strength after 3.
With 5 coats, magnetics stick great!

after only 1 coat of primer
After waiting the specified time for top coating (I followed the directions on the box), I coated the board with 2 coats of Rust-oleum Chalkboard Paint. For this step, I used a small nap roller (instead of foam). I always have better luck with these rollers so this was a personal choice. You can use whatever works best for you!

The hardest part of this whole process??? - waiting the 3 days suggested before hanging/using our new chalkboard. We were antsy to get it hung and we absolutely love how it turned out. Before using our new chalkboard, we conditioned it and super glued bolts over our exposed screws. We liked the industrial look of the bolts. [note: we first tried hot glue - but it just wasn't strong enough]

my cousin cut the tops off so they would lay flat on our chalkboard

Here is what we were left with!


  1. SO COOL!! I have been wanting to do something like this. We are putting our house on the market right now, so I may have to wait for our new place to try this. Looks awesome :)

  2. Thanks Dana! Good luck selling your house :) Hopefully you'll move into a new house that has the perfect spot for a homemade chalkboard.


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