Sunday, February 26, 2012

Chalkboard Pocket Door

Am I the only one who has had a minor obsession with chalkboards? They seem to be popping up everywhere I go.  They are in coffee shops and they are painted on random objects like wine bottles and canisters.  You can even buy Red Solo Cups with a spot to write your name in chalk.  Chalk boards are a "must do" for weddings and as you may know, they are all over Pinterest.  Thankfully, some super cool dude at Rust-Oleum created a chalkboard paint so the average DIYer could fulfill that strange desire to do at least one chalkboard paint project.  Let me warn you though; once you pop you won't stop -- eating pringles, or painting with chalkboard paint.  I am suddenly considering every possible object, wall, or door I can transform into a chalkboard. So, so, so many possibilities.

So let me introduce you to our mystery pocket door.  Reed and I didn't even know it existed until a few weeks after we moved into our house.  We failed to notice it during all three walk-throughs, during our inspection, and during our pre-closing check.  Do you want to know why we missed it? 

Because it looked like this:

Very unattractive, Mr. pocket door. Blah. That's how I feel when I looked at it.

For the past few months, I dreamed up a pocket door so magnificent, you wouldn't believe it if I told you about it.  It was going to be my personal kitchen organizer- a place to jot down notes, a reminder wall, it was bound to be amazing. And the best part? My go-to wall could be hidden :) Talk about easy clean up.

Before we started our kitchen makeover, I contacted a lady on Etsy (Becky @ vinylcrafts) to have some custom vinyl made.  For starters, I knew I wanted a weekly menu list.  Every time we went to the grocery store I would have our meals planned- but I was getting annoyed at having to save my messy grocery list in order to remember our dinner options were for the week.  I asked Becky to make me some vinyl that said "whats for dinner?" with days of the week below it.  She did not disappoint.  I wanted two different fonts and I wanted to pick the specific fonts. I also wanted the vinyl in light blue (for no particular reason other than I thought it was amazing you could get colored vinyl).  If I haven't mentioned it yet- I am extremely picky, but she was very patient and she fulfilled my wildest vinyl dreams. A few days later my package was on our doorstep. 

For several months my vinyl sat in that package and my can of chalkboard paint sat there next to it (actually, you can see the vinyl & paint on top of the refrigerator in the photo above).  But FINALLY, as we were approaching the end of the kitchen makeover, it was time to make our little ugly pocket door into something outstanding.  Reed removed the   door from the brackets at the top and I painted both sides of the door with some primer.  For all of our projects we use Bulls Eye 1-2-3 primer.  Let me warn you though; this primer gets the job done, but your house will smell like it for several hours after you use it. It is potent stuff. 

Once the primer dried, it was time for the chalkboard paint. I used a small 4 inch roller to apply the paint.  It was really simple- just like painting a wall.  It rolled on nice and shiny, but once it dried it had that wonderful matte chalkboard finish.  I let it sit overnight and the next day I applied the 2nd coat of paint.  

According to the directions, you shouldn't write on your chalkboard (with chalk) for 3-7 days.  I didn't want to take any risks so the door sat for a few days until I couldn't stand it any longer.  I needed to apply my vinyl.

Before I started, I remembered that I had also I purchased a few vinyl "P" monograms on a whim from GroopDealz. Click here to join (you can thank me later!). I thought that a little P on the top of my door would be a nice touch, so I measured the door to make sure the vinyl was centered and I used one of Reed's L-squares to make sure the lettering was level.

Once you have it positioned correctly, take a piece of blue painters tape (or masking tape) and put it across of the top of the vinyl.  When you look at the decal- you want the image you see to look exactly like how you will see it when its applied to the door (minus the two layers of protective paper).

Flip the decal up and carefully remove the backing on the underside of the vinyl (photo below shows vinyl flipped up & backing removed).  Once its removed simply flip the decal back into place and smooth all the bubbles out with a credit card (or the little plastic square that Becky provides with the vinyl).  Now, finally, you are ready to peel away the last protective layer.  If the vinyl sticks to the sheet and not the door, press it back down on the door and use your plastic tool to go over the vinyl in that spot. 

Ta Da! I can't wait to add a few more sections of vinyl (grocery list, measuring conversions, notes) but until then, we are thoroughly enjoying our weekly dinner menu!

This post is part of "Get Your Craft On" on Today's Creative Blog 
and "Tutorials & Tips Link Party" on Home Stories from A to Z 
and "Project Party Weekend" on Bubbly Nature Creations!


  1. This is so awesome!!! I love love the vinyl wording... it makes it look so professional! I'll have to keep this idea in the back of my head for when we move!  I have a project party every weekend I would like to invite you to here:  We would love to have you come and link this up! 

  2. love chalk board paint. That's what I used on the wheel of destiny!

    1. Oh the wheel of destiny... good times :)

  3. I love chalkboards!! On everything, too!! Following you from TDC-stop in for a visit!

    1. Hey Claire! Thanks for finding us on TDC & stopping by! Bless My Nest is really cute!