pantry-chalkboard-project-woodburn-oregonFor many years I’ve dreamed of having the inside of my pantry cabinet lined with a chalkboard to use for my grocery shopping list. I think about it all of the time. For some reason the other day I got a wild hair to do it. I brought home a can of Chalk Spray paint and figured this will be easy, (right?)

I’m not a patient person. I dove in head first by taking off the door and went to town spraying it. BIG MISTAKE! I knew better! Why? There was a heavy coat of varathane on the door. I should have taken the time to sand the door first. I headed back to the office and picked up a can of paint stripper and a putty knife. Now I had an even bigger job of removing the varathane AND the chalk paint. An hour later, both the chalk paint and the varathane was removed.

Attempt two… Once I stripped everything off the door, I started again. Clean slate. I sprayed one nice coat of Chalk paint on and allowed it to dry before applying a second coat. (Patience is a virtue.) This time around it looked right. The first attempt left the chalk paint shiny and unusable. This time it dried with that chalk matte look. Much better! Into the house I went with my newly painted cabinet door. I reinstalled the door, and to my delight, everything looked great! Then came my next revelation. I had painted the left hand cabinet door. I’m left handed. I practically have to climb in the cabinet to write on my chalkboard door. Lesson learned! This would make a great blog post, I thought, so others don’t make the same mistake! You guessed it; now maybe I need to paint the right hand side door? The left hand side could be my weekly menu and the right hand side (where I can write more easily) could be the shopping list.


Which works better; old fashioned chalk or a chalk marker? I’ve tested both. I will admit, I like the chalk marker better and will probably use that on my chalk boards. So, what’s the take aways from this project?

  • Slow down, do the project correctly!
  • Are you left handed or right handed? Which door will be easier to use?
  • Sand that varathane and make it go away!
  • Spray on your chalk paint and you’re ready!
  • If you like to use chalk, make sure to prime the surface before the first use by putting the chalk on its side and rubbing down the entire painted surface with chalk and then erase. That “primes” the chalk board to use.