Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Pantry Door Makeover

A couple of weeks ago we went to Nick and Laura's house for brunch to see their new house. Nick, a former member of Spouses on Sabbatical, is no stranger to house projects, and Laura is pretty crafty too. They've put a lot of work into the house already and it looks great. One of my favorite features is the chalkboard calendar in the kitchen. When Dan saw it he asked if we could do something similar in our house. Another excuse to play with chalkboard paint? You don't have to ask me twice! It's not like I have a slight obsession or anything.*

This is a super simple project that is low cost, low time-commitment and makes a big impact. Here's what you'll need:

  • Mini-roller and pan
  • Rust-Oleum black chalkboard paint
  • Painter's tape
  • 2 inch brush
  • 150 grit sandpaper
  • Touch up paint for the door
The first thing to do is pick out a spot for your new chalkboard; I chose the outside of our pantry door. The door is basic builder-grade quality, but I like the framed out arch. If you have a plain door with no architectural features, consider making some. Use craft paper to create the shape you want your new chalkboard to be and use that as a template to give your chalkboard a little more character. Just tape the paper on the door and lightly trace with a pencil. Then place painter's tape on the outside of the lines and paint inside. 

If your door already has a natural frame like mine, place painter's tape on the outside edges. Press hard on the tape to ensure it has a good seal. Pay special attention around curves. I removed all the hardware from the door because the handle jutted into the area I needed to paint.

Next, lightly sand the surface to help the paint adhere better. I used 150 grit.

Gently mix the paint and pour a small amount into your pan. A little goes a long way, and you want thin, even coats. I did three coats and barely used 1/5 of the can. I let each coat dry for at least two hours before re-coating. 

First coat

Second coat

Remove your tape while the last coat is still wet. It helps to prevent paint from peeling off with the tape.
Third coat

I have to say I am a little disappointed with the ScotchBlue tape. My edges were not as crisp as I had hoped. The arch was actually terrible. I'm sure that is partly user error.

Hopefully you can skip this step, but after my last coat was dry I taped around the inside of my chalkboard to touch up the edges. This time I used Frog Tape and a 2 inch paintbrush.

The hardest part of this project came next: waiting for my chalkboard to cure. I waited three full days to make sure it had time to harden. Then it was ready for seasoning. This is a really important part of the process. Seasoning makes sure that you don't end up with ghost writing, where your writing is still visible after you erase it. I learned this the hard way from my mistake in my chalkboard platter.

To season your board, take a piece of chalk and rub it vertically, then horizontally all over the board. The goal is to get into every nook and cranny. This is a pretty dusty affair, and I went through a couple of pieces of chalk. When you're done coating the board, wipe away with a dry paper towel or cloth. If you want the board to look like new again, wait a few days and then use a damp (not wet) towel.

Now it's ready for the glorious art (ha!). I wanted a calendar up top and a place for Zoey to draw on bottom. I went to my best friend Pinterest for some inspiration and came up with this. I am pleased as punch with it and can't wait to update it every month. Hopefully I'll get better and more adventurous with my chalkboard art. I'll keep you posted!

I can't get over what a big impact it makes for less than $20! I am still building my supply stash back up after leaving some things in England so I pretty much had to buy everything for this project. I imagine most people will already have a lot of these supplies.

Budget breakdown:
  • Wooster Pro Mini Roller Kit: $8.35
  • Rust-Oleum Chalkboard Paint: $4.83 (scored at 50% off with a coupon)
  • ScotchBlue Painter's Tape: $0 (already owned)
  • 3M Pro Grade Precision Sandpaper in 150 grit: $3.97 
  • 2 Inch Paint Brush: $0 (already owned)
  • Latex paint: $0 (already owned)
  • TOTAL SPENT: $17.15
* You'll tell me if this is starting to get out of hand, right? I can't help it. Chalkboards are so easy and fun!

Previous chalkboard projects:

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