DIY Chalkboard Paint for our Pantry Doors

Today I am here to share an update to an old project and a new recipe for making DIY Chalkboard Paint for our Pantry Doors.

DIY Chalkboard Paint for our Pantry Doors at the happy housie main

One of my very first posts, many moons ago now, shared our newly organized pantry and the chalkboard painted pantry doors that I had done at that time.  I warn you, I didn’t even really want to link to those posts they are so old and terrible.  Oh well.  Back then I used a recipe with Plaster of Paris as the ‘chalkboarding’ agent but I haven’t been entirely happy with how it held up.  It’s “erase-ability” as a chalkboard is somewhat questionable.

So, back to the drawing board… I did a little research… and discovered a good ol’ Martha Stewart recipe.  I mean, it’s Martha, people.  She has a staff.  They can’t be wrong.

So here’s how it went down.

DIY Chalkboard Paint for Pantry Doors how to collage at The Happy Housie

To make your own chalkboard paint, you will need these materials:

DIY Chalkboard Paint for Pantry Doors supplies at the happy housie

– latex paint in a color of your choice – I used black in a satin finish (because that paint was on clearance:)
– unsanded grout
– 1 TBSP measure, and 1 cup measure
– container to mix it in, stir stick, and spoon
– foam paint brush and foam roller

Start by stirring your paint thoroughly to ensure it is evenly mixed, then measure one cup of paint into a container.  Add 2 tbsp. of the unsanded grout and stir, stir, stir, stir, stir it thoroughly until it is all blended and nice and smooth.  It does get kind of thick looking.

DIY Chalkboard Paint for Pantry Doors mixing grout into paint at The Happy Housie

Next, paint it onto the surface you want to turn into a chalkboard using your foam roller and a foam brush around the edges – I was painting onto a previously faux-chalkboard painted surface so I didn’t have to prime, but treat it like normal paint.  If you would have to prime it usually (because the surface is oil based, or really shiny etc., then prime first).

DIY Chalkboard Paint for Pantry Doors apply with a foam roller at The Happy Housie

I did two coats of the DIY Chalkboard paint- and once it was thoroughly dry (it dries very quickly because of the grout), I sanded it all over with some 220 grit sandpaper (you could use anything 150 or above).

DIY Chalkboard Paint for Pantry Doors sanding dry paint at The Happy Housie

Once the sanding dust was wiped off, it was time to make some more dust by ‘priming’ my new chalkboard surface by rubbing it down all over with some plain ol’chalk.  This is an important step so that your first writing on the chalkboard does not becoming indelibly etched onto it’s surface forever…

DIY Chalkboard Paint for Pantry Doors seasoning new chalkboard at The Happy Housie

I wiped it down without completely removing the chalky residue…

DIY Chalkboard Paint for Pantry Doors wiping down the seasoned chalkboard at The Happy Housie

Then it was time to add my more permanent chalkboard writing- I love to use a Chalk Marker for any writing that I want to be less easy to remove.  With two little boys opening and closing and hanging off the pantry doors, chalk can easily become smudged or removed all together…. So for the Weekly Menu outline, Grocery label, and my fun little Virginia Woolf quote I used this Chalk Marker:

DIY Chalkboard Paint for Pantry Doors chalk marker at The Happy Housie

One side is for writing down our Weekly Menu….

DIY Chalkboard Paint for Pantry Doors finished menu side at The Happy Housie

DIY Chalkboard Paint for Pantry Doors at The Happy Housie

Don’t worry.  I will feed my family some vegetables and grains on those ‘steak’ and ‘chicken’ nights… it won’t just be a slab o’meat on a plate. Promise

The other side is for jotting down grocery items I need to remember to pick up next time I shop…. so that leaves a good chunk of room at the bottom of the pantry door.  I figured a pretty little quote would fill that space nicely.

DIY Chalkboard Paint for Pantry Door quote side at The Happy Housie

DIY Chalkboard Paint for Pantry Doors Woolf Quote at The Happy Housie

Here is how it looked (long) before….

DIY Chalkboard Paint for our Pantry Doors before at the happy housie

I’d say it’s a little better all chalkboarded out… wouldn’t you?

Budget Breakdown:

-latex paint ($9 on clearance)
-unsanded grout ($10 for the bag)
– rest of the supplies- I had on hand

Total cost: $19 plus tax- and I barely scraped the surface of both these purchased supplies. I have enough paint and grout left to chalkboard the insides of every single cabinet door in our whole house.  Not that I plan to do that anytime soon.

All in all, a quick and easy redo that adds a little style and some serious function to the otherwise useless interiors of the doors.  I even have a little bit of chalkboard paint leftover for another small project- I have it sealed up in a plastic container so I will soon see how long it will (or won’t) last for.

Have you made your own chalkboard paint before?  Did it work?  Any tips for me?

Thanks for reading. And remember my housie friends, HOME isn’t built in a day. Enjoy the journey!



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    • Krista Aasen says

      Hello Candice- when you try to wipe off the chalk, does it create an impression that won’t wipe off?? If so, then you can wipe it down as best you can and give it another coat of chalkboard paint. Let me know if it isn’t working!

  1. says

    Love Chalkboards! So cute in the pantry!

    We would love for you to come and link up with us at Your Designs This Time, Mondays 8:00am EST. htttp://

  2. says

    Love this idea, Krista! I have a tall narrow frame that I added an insert for and painted with chalkpaint to share my weekly menu, but I don’t ever change it because it looks pretty as is lol! I might just steal this idea! BTW, I stopped receiving your posts in my inbox?? I’m signing up again today! I hate to miss out on your clever ideas :)

    • Krista Aasen says

      Hi Christy- that is crazy… about not getting my emails. Weird. Do you remember when that started happening?? (Or I should say, stopped happening)… I wonder if there is an issue. Hmmmm. Your special ingredient may even work better then grout for DIY Chalkboard paint- but the grouts seems to be doing a great job so far. I know what you mean about not changing the menu once it is pretty. I guess we just have to eat the same foods every week for dinner:)

  3. Dawn says

    I love your simple way of doing the chalkboard project. I have read some that were way too complicated. I am thinking about doing the inside of closet doors and maybe even bedroom doors!

    • Krista Aasen says

      Oh, that sounds really fun! Our closets are all bi-fold or I think I would have to try that myself… Now you have got me thinking about where else to use this paint!

    • Krista Aasen says

      Thank you Katie! I am happy with how it turned out – and the reorganized pantry makes cooking and preparing meals that much more fun:)

  4. Diana says

    I was thinking about doing this, this morning and I have the supplies already, think I will try this! Thanks Krista!

    • Krista Aasen says

      Hope it works out really well for you Diana- I found the paint was quite thick but seemed to dry really nicely and so far has worked well.

    • Krista Aasen says

      Thanks Heather- that is true. I do like opening the doors to look for things now that is has been organized and chalkboarded… it was a bit of a sorry, worn looking sight before!

    • Krista Aasen says

      Thanks Anne! The doors were pretty ugly before (all damaged etc.) so at least the chalkboard paint adds a little character and interest! So glad you came by:)

    • Krista Aasen says

      Hi Anne! We don’t have much wall space in our kitchen so that was the best place… plus the insides of the doors were looking pretty sad so it was fun to freshen them up. I can’t wait to try this recipe on something else now…maybe a wall?!?


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