A+ Chalkboard Door

When you dream of expensive, custom, solid wood chalkboard doors -- but your budget is tight -- creativity in the form of foam core, chalkboard paint, and cheap trim can come to the rescue ...

I don’t know about you, but my home is littered with cheap, hollow, faux wood manufactured doors – including the basement access door in our kitchen.


What I really coveted in the kitchen was a chalkboard door.  But they can range anywhere from $400 to upwards of a few thousand. Way beyond my budget.  Not to mention the additional costs for hardware and installation. Hanging a new door is not an easy DIY, especially when your home’s foundation was constructed in the late 19th century.


So I put on my thinking cap and came up with an idea to turn our builder grade door into something both beautiful and practical – for a mere $30.00 – using chalkboard paint, foam core boards, and inexpensive trim. 


The foam core worked perfectly as the blackboard base because it’s substantial … yet lightweight … yet not too thick … that when framed out with trim would make the panels look recessed.


Step 1:  Use an X-Acto knife to cut your foam core to size.  I used a yardstick to keep the line straight.

Step 2:  Apply two coats of chalkboard paint to the foam core panels.  (Unfortunately, since they’re porous, the foam core started to curve upwards at the edges. I needed a perfectly flat surface so I let the paint dry completely for a full day, turned over the panels and put a coat of chalkboard paint on the back side.  By the next day, the panels were perfectly flat).

Step 3:  Use a miter box to cut the trim pieces. I used simple joint corners.

Step 4:  Give the trim two coats of paint that matches your door.

Step 5: Apply Power Grab (or Liquid Nails) to the back of the foam core chalkboards and attach to the door.  Use your level to make sure they are, well, level.  Hold in place for 3-to-5 minutes to make sure contact is made. 

Step 5:  Apply the Power Grab (or Liquid Nails) to your trim pieces and affix to the door.  Use painter’s tape to hold in place while it dries.  Just be sure not to attach the painters tape to the foam core board or it may rip it …

Step 6:  Caulk along the outside edge and corners and touch up with the white semi-gloss.


In the end you’ll turn a previously boring door into something both beautiful and functional. 


And I loved it so much that I re-created a second one on the powder room door …


Linda is a wife, mother, Chicago homeowner … and creator and author of it all started with paint blog.  You can find the complete tutorial on how she turned her builder grade doors into fabulous chalkboard doors by clicking here …

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