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How To Create a Chalkboard Paint Menu on Your Kitchen Cabinet

Chalkboards have spent nearly 200 years as the display of choice in schoolhouses around the world. Modern blackboards got their start in 1801 in Scotland when a headmaster hung a large piece of slate on the classroom wall. The practicality of a message board that can be wiped clean and the nostalgia for school days has given chalkboard paint new life, especially with farmhouse kitchen design. Just imagine all the fun doodles and helpful notes you can create with a blank slate! Here are some ideas for how to incorporate chalkboard paint into your next DIY project.

Create a Clean Slate

One of the great things about chalkboard paint is that it adheres to almost any surface, and when applied to a cabinet door it doesn’t require sanding or priming. If you have a framed cabinet door, consider painting only the recessed surface to keep the framed look. Start by cleaning your cabinet doors and making sure the surface is clean and smooth. 


Chalkboard paint
Sponge roller
Paint brush
Clean rags
Paint tray
Drop cloth
Painter’s tape
  1. Remove the clean door from its hinges and lay it on a flat surface.
  2. Tape off areas where you don’t want chalkboard paint.
  3. Apply the paint to the edges with a brush and use the sponge roller to fill in the large areas. Be sure to go over the brushed area to create a uniform surface.
  4. Allow the first coat to dry for at least 24 hours, or according to the directions on the paint can. Apply a second coat and let it dry for another day.
  5. Let the second coat dry and cure for three days before writing on it with chalk.
  6. If you want a truly “well worn” feel to your chalkboard surface, prime it by covering the entire surface with chalk and then erasing it. 

Practical Uses

Once your chalkboard surface is ready to use, consider writing a daily or weekly menu to display for family and guests. You can keep a running shopping list and take a photo before you head to the market. If you prefer to paint the inside of a cabinet, consider writing common measuring equivalents for reference.

Smaller Applications

If you’ve got some leftover paint, there are many possibilities for using it on smaller spaces. You can paint the lids of your spice jars for easy organization. Many craft stores carry chalkboard label stickers that can be used on glass or plastic, as well.

Feeling fancy? Label your Limburger on a chalkboard paint cheese board for your next wine tasting so your guests know what they’re eating. 

However you choose to add chalkboard paint to your kitchen—just a touch here and there or an entire wall—you can enjoy letting your inner child loose to draw on the walls. The whole family can get involved by leaving each other positive messages, or move toward milestones by creating countdowns. The possibilities are endless when you turn a flat surface into a place to leave lists, reminders and even love notes.