Thursday, February 03, 2011


Martha, the crafty voice in my head, was unsatisfied with my apron making. It wasn’t enough for her. She needed more.

Once again I was out on (I never learn) and I saw these photos of walls with chalkboards painted on them. And cabinets with chalkboards on them & one of them had some comment about it being DIY chalkboard paint & you can use whatever color you like.

I’ve long thought of getting some chalkboard paint for the inside of a couple of my kitchen cabinets. I want to be able to write recipe ingredients on them when I am cooking because I really have no space to put the book anywhere near where I prep & cook & end up wandering all around my kitchen with every new step. But I didn’t want black. Green might be acceptable. Only nowhere around here sells chalkboard paint in any color. Lowes claims on the website to stock it at both the Lowes ‘near’ me, but neither of them actually stock it. So it’s just been one of those things on the mental list that I check on randomly from time to time when in Lowes.

But the comment linked up to the DIY instructions.

They were on Martha’s site! So of course Martha in my head was overjoyed!

And the thing is…painting is actually sort of do-able for me. Much more so than sewing or making floral wreaths.  I *like* to paint and the inside of a couple cabinets is a reasonable size. So I went to Lowes Sunday and got my supplies.


A pretty, dark purple. I mixed a cup of it with 2 tablespoons of the unsanded grout.


Then I taped up the cabinets. I’m only painting the bottom halves because that is as far as I can reach to write stuff.


Let me just say here that I had no idea how much surface a cup of paint would cover. I assumed it would do both doors for two coats, the end.

Then I painted it on, thickly


But wow there was a lot of paint left and the container had no lid and it would be wasted paint unless I found something else to paint.

Dangerous times.

First I painted another cabinet


Then I decided to paint an area in our bathroom. Why? No clue. I have no idea what I might want to write on a chalkboard in my bathroom. I’ve never felt it was lacking a chalkboard, but the urge to not waste paint was strong and my bathroom is pretty much the only other room in the house where purple paint would not clash horribly.

Probably a good thing really.


Then I sat back & watched the paint dry




And it was every bit as exciting as I was led to believe it could be.

Then, once several hours passed, I removed the blue tape. Martha herself (not the voice in my head) suggests at this point that you sand the paint with 150 grit sandpaper to smooth it out. I disagree with this. The uneven bits were from the wood underneath. A better suggestion would have been to sand BEFORE painting. Also, sanding caused my paint to rip & peel and I had to peel off all the paint & redo the one door I sanded. The next step is to rub the painted area all over with a piece of chalk and then wipe it off to prime it. Then you have a chalkboard


Mayhem wanted mac & cheese for dinner. Havoc decided to remind me he prefers something else.

I peeled the tape off the bathroom square & tried sanding it so see if it was an issue of wood versus paint background & the same thing happened. Don’t sand the chalkboard. Learn to live with the ‘personalization’ the texture gives it.


You can see where I had to touch up spots.  All I need now is to measure the thing & go buy some trim pieces at Lowes to frame it. They’ll even cut them to length with the 45 degree miters for me.

Sound so easy doesn’t it?

We retiled the bathroom floor in April 2002 & broke a couple baseboards when we pulled them off. All we needed to do was measure the length & take a piece of trim to match to Lowes.


Our bathroom Feb 1, 2011.

Yeah…starting & doing projects is easy. It’s that finish work that gets us every time.


Heather said...

Stacey you brighten my day! And its actually sunny with not a cloud in sight but you still made it sunnier!!! bless you xx

Darcy@Somewhatmuddledmusings said...

OH! I'm so glad you tried this out!!! I had hoped to hear some reviews when I saw the customizable colors on her site. I'd love to do a version of this on our laundry room doors for a large chalkboard for school ( just have to be brave and pick a good color for the kitchen ).

Finishing off projects is our week point, too. We have lots of little unfinished ones around here, including two little white spots almost at the ceiling line where I accidentally touched the paint roller to the wall when I was painting the ceiling. We don't have any wall color, yet, and because it's above the TV center, I'm not allowed to fix it. we are, 9 years later, with 2 white spots on our wall..that I stare at But there are some of my own non-finished,'s just not as fun as starting a new project!

Michelle Saunderson said...

What a great idea. I have always tapes papers to the inside of my cabinets, but a chalkboard would be better. I have some old dry erase boards that will not come completely clean anymore. I wonder if I can turn them into chalkboards...

Lizziemade said...

Wowee Stacey! I am sooo impressed with your amazing purple chalkboards. Great idea for your recipes! Thank you for explaining all the little bits that they never put in the "proper" instructions. I think I may have a go at this myself. I just need to make sure I understand the products I need to buy, as we have different names for stuff here in UK. Once I've worked that out, I think I will try it in my workroom - I could do with a notes board, to keep me organised!
The bathroom board looks cool. You could use it to write messages to the family - you know, inspiring quotes to brighten their days... or just a reminder to close the lid or wipe the seat!!

Thanks for making me smile! Great post.

SciFi Dad said...

Chalk paint inside kitchen cupboards? Interesting... but what do you do about chalk hands while cooking?

Rinda1961 said...

The purple rug is perfect with it! I've always loved seeing the chalkboard paint on DIY shows. I bet DD would love some inside her desk alcove in her room (it used to be the closet before she took off the doors).

Losingbrownies said...

I love chalk board paint!! I want to make one for The Boy when he gets a bit older, but Gadget Guy would flip if I put it on the walls. I think our land lord would too, even if it is my sister. What I want to do is get a really ugly picture in a frame from a yard sale or thrift store. My plan is to remove the glass and paint the frame a solid color then use chalk board paint to paint the print inside. That way the chaulk is contained in one area (I hope!). I might do that this summer since The Boy will be one.

Lori, Martha Points said...

Oh! I've been thinking about a chalkboard in the kitchen. Too damned many notes being left around our house.

Although...some of them are funny.


scrapchick said...

lol, Same thing happens here - sadly. Love the chalkboard DIY! TFS!

humel said...

Yay for your Martha! Now I want to do this too :-) And I promise not to sand xx

Carole said...

That is just fab. I love that you did it in purple rather than a boring colour :)

And I'm right there with you on the not wanting to waste that paint. I'd have been wandering round the house too, looking for somewhere to use it up LOL

mominorbit said...

Love your blog and this post! I've often longed for chalkboard cabinets in my kitchen, too. Maybe you just inspired me! :-)

Here from SITS 31DBBB Challenge and your newest follower!

Comfy Mom said...

You'd have to prime them with something to make the chalk paint stick but it can be done. The guy at Lowes mentioned the product that will prime it but I didn't need it & can't recal it

Comfy Mom said...

The unsanded tile grout was challenging for me but the guy in the tile section found it right away. It looks like sanded & unsanded are the only options, which made it easy

Comfy Mom said...

that's what a dishrag is for

Comfy Mom said...

I love the notes around your house

Comfy Mom said...

It turned out to be an incredibly easy project

Riverand said...

You have NO IDEA how I daydream about chalkboard paint as well!! OMG - I had no idea it came in different colors - the purple is SO COOL!!! I think I am going to try this out in MY OFFICE!!! Stacey, you and your inner Martha are my heroes today!!

Sarah Thacker said...

That was a fantastic post! All the walls in my kitchen are chalkboard. Cute in theory, not in the actual chalk dust that is constantly on the floor of my kitchen.

Jill said...

Hmm... I might need to try this. Very, very cool ! Visiting from 31DBBB. I'm following you on Stumble Upon & "liked" this post.

Mrs. Jen B said...

GREAT idea! I had a huge chalkboard wall in my old apartment and it was really convenient - having one inside a cabinet would be ideal! Maybe my pantry door...hmmm... :-)