Tuesday, August 4, 2015

From Cupboard to Chalkboard

Have any extra cupboard doors lying around? You can find them everywhere. Updating your home you can have leftovers or use the old ones you are replacing. Sometimes you can even ask Home Depot or Lowes to give you one or more when they change out their displays. Plus there are a ton of free pieces of furniture on Craigslist that can have their doors removed. With a cupboard door you have an easy to make chalkboard. Just paint on the perfectly flat middle surface and you already have it framed! Only 3 things needed and so cheap and easy to make. Here's what you need to do...
I had picked up a load of free scrap wood from someone local and it had several big cupboard doors in the pile. I already had Chalkboard paint (which is $10 at Walmart, Home Depot, etc) and decided to make a big chalkboard so that I could change up scriptures and other uplifting messages for my family to see on a daily basis. In 20 minutes the cupboard was transformed and I was done! 

First: I cleaned the cupboard door, which was pretty clean already. I barely sanded (with 200 grit or more) the surface that was going to be the chalkboard. 

Second: I got a small foam roller I already had, and rolled on the chalkboard paint. For the paint that went past the soon to be chalkboard's edge, I had several baby wipes on hand to wipe off the paint. (You can also tape off a border so you have clean lines, but I hate taping things off and with the roller I was pretty controlled).

I did 2-3 coats of the chalkboard paint, but never stopped to let it dry in between coats. I live in DRY Colorado so it dried really quickly. Letting it dry in between coats for about 20 minutes is helpful if you notice that the paint isn't sticking well in wet areas.

Third: After the chalkboard surface was good and black, and I couldn't see any underlying cupboard door coming through, I let it dry for a couple hours. When it was fully dry I got a piece of chalk and "conditioned" the surface by rubbing chalk over the entire chalkboard surface and then cleaning it off with a dry rag or paper towel (this step is crucial for any chalkboard painted surface).

Fourth: I screwed on two hooks on the back upper corners and hung my new chalkboard over our door to our family room. 

Now my kids can sit at our kitchen table and memorize scriptures, positive quotes, etc. while they eat their breakfast! The first day I had it up they had memorized the scripture I had written on it. Right then and there I knew this chalkboard was going to be awesome!

A few months after making this chalkboard I was listening to a conference from many of my church's leaders. One of the talks introduced a concept he named "Ponderize", which in essence is finding a weekly scripture verse that you will 80% Ponder (think deeply about) and 20% Memorize. Thus when times are tough you will hopefully have a verse come to your mind that you had learned before to help you gain perspective and hope. 

How perfect to now have this chalkboard as a way to showcase our family's weekly verse right?

What could you use a chalkboard for in your home? A kids art space? A to-do list? A weekly menu? There are so many possibilities, what are you waiting for?

Update 10/7/2015: I just heard that you can buy Ikea cupboard doors for a couple bucks. They aren't wood, but they are great for something like this and should work great.


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