DIY Chalkboard Door

Shortly after my husband and I moved into our apartment, he left town for a golf trip and my mom headed to NYC to help me with my home improvement projects. I had done my research and I was full of ideas (poor Mom!).

My hopes for the week-long visit included:

  • Paint backside of front door
  • Stencil kitchen wall
  • Make upholstered headboard
  • Create Office space
  • Change out kitchen and closet hardware
  • Decorate in general
    • throw pillows
    • hang artwork
    • rearrange furniture for optimal layout
    • Add anything and everything from Homegoods

Not that bad right?! :/

(Spoiler Alert: We impressively got to almost all of it!)

My inspiration for our front door was a combination of the follow photos:SONY DSC



I forgot to take a before photo (wasn’t thinking of blogging at the time) but I did happen to find one of an identical unit in our building.

Not our Unit. But what the front door and entry looked like before we painted it.

Not our Unit. But what the front door and entry looked like before we painted it.

I had that ugly doorbell box in the middle of it (which couldn’t be removed) and it just needed some love. Mom and I found Rustoleum tintable chalkboard paint at Home Depot  and chose to tint it “Moonstone” to avoid over darkening our hallway with traditional black paint.


We used yardsticks and a level to draw our lines where we wanted to tape. (My mom rocks at getting this stuff perfect). She suggested we use Frog Tape to make sure our paint didn’t bleed under the tape.  To manage the same aesthetic of the pink door, we ended up using two different widths of tape for our lines. We fully intended on breaking it up into a top and bottom box, but once we saw the full length tape on the door I said, “I like this!” – so we saved some tape and charged ahead.

We applied the paint (no primer necessary) with a small roller (and no technique – since Mom was letting me do it on my own). We were worried with the apparent patchiness after the first coat, but the second coat (after 4 hrs) filled everything in and all we were left to do was wait. We let it dry overnight and took the tape down the next morning.


Tada! The box instructed us to wait 3 days before applying chalk. That part was torture. I couldn’t wait to write on my door! After 3 days we “conditioned” the door by applying chalk to the whole surface and then wiped it down with a damp paper towel. Thankfully the chalk dust covered up all of the worrisome roller lines I accidentally created with my inexperienced paint job.


The frame around the doorbell is a nod to the TV show Friends for sure. It was an actual picture frame that I already had. I just took the glass out of it and wiggled it onto the box!


The door is one of my favorite features in the apartment.  I use it to decorate for the holidays (notice the bunny leftover from Easter – I was too proud to erase it), write grocery lists, and leave love notes and reminders for my husband. Currently it has our family calendar on it. Almost everyone who comes in comments on what a fun feature it is!


Our door 1.5 years later. Notice I finally gave in and painted our doorbell box to match the door. The less focus on that thing the better!

8 thoughts on “DIY Chalkboard Door

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