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DIY Chalkboard and Painted Sign from old cabinet doors

Recycle those old cabinet doors into a cute chalkboard or painted sign!

Happy New Year, everyone. I’m so excited for 2017 and have so many things on my to-do list already. Especially now that my youngest is at that great age where he’s becoming more independent and letting me get more done. Yea! I’ve just wrapped up a project for my husband, Phil, in the laundry room. No, it wasn’t his laundry. That is a never-ending project.

Phil has had 4 little reminder notes taped to the wall in the laundry room for years. Since the laundry leads to the garage and our cars, we use that door 99% of the time. So it’s a great spot for any reminders we need before heading out. I finally realized that man needed a chalkboard and I needed to get rid of those little notes cluttering up the wall.


Disclaimer: Make sure to always read the directions for any products or tools you use while building. Always check for square and double-check those measurements too. Read the full disclaimer.

Recycle those old cabinet doors into a cute chalkboard or painted sign
Look at those pitiful notes taped to my wall. I can’t believe how long those were there

For this project, I used Hale Navy latex, by Benjamin Moore. It is already the accent color on my DIY laundry table, so it ties in perfectly. I made sure I had some of my trusty Command Picture & Frame Strips to hang the chalkboard on the door. I don’t like putting holes in metal doors, if possible. The metal always warps a bit and never looks right when you try to patch it. The strips would be much better.

While looking through my scrap wood, I saw one of my old cabinet doors and realized it would be perfect for a sign. The edge on it has molding that makes it look like a framed sign already. The only possible problem was the weight of the door. The large Command Strips hold 16 lbs. but I was a bit nervous now. The cabinet door is made of 3/4″ plywood. It definitely wasn’t 16 lbs, but it is pretty heavy.

Since it’d be hanging on a door swinging open and shut all the time with my little guys underneath, I decided to be extra cautious and hang the sign too. I  realized the easiest thing to do would be to use another cabinet door as a counterweight sign on the other (garage) side of the door. With everything decided, I was ready to create.

Recycle those old cabinet doors into a cute chalkboard or painted sign
Cabinet doors stripped and old pull holes filled
Recycle those old cabinet doors into a cute chalkboard or painted sign
Mixing the Chalkboard Paint with Hale Navy and non-sanded grout
Sign 1: Chalkboard sign for the laundry room

I painted the laundry sign with the Hale Navy latex around the frame (2 coats) and a Hale Navy chalkboard paint mix on the flat section inside the frame. To make the chalkboard paint, I used about 2 teaspoons of non-sanded grout mixed with 1/2 cup of latex. I applied the first coat with a brush and allowed it to dry before adding a second coat. I usually allow the second coat a long time to dry and cure a bit.

In this case, I left it about 12 hours. If you then feel the chalkboard paint is a bit bumpy, you can give it a light sand with a 150 grit sandpaper and dust it off. Then rub the entire chalkboard with a piece of white chalk and dust that off. The board is now ready to go! I used a white permanent paint pen to add ‘Laundry 25¢’ in the corner. This just dressed it up a bit and gave it some character.

Recycle those old cabinet doors into a cute chalkboard or painted sign
The finished chalkboard sign.
Sign 2: Painted welcome sign for the garage

I painted the garage sign entirely with Hale Navy (2 coats). While that dried, I used MS Word to design the look I wanted for the text. After I picked the fonts, sizes, and layout; I printed it out. I usually cut out large letters individually so I can trace around them onto the sign. Then I use a transfer method for smaller letters, but you could easily use the transfer method for the large letters too.

The transfer method can either be done with pencil or chalk. Loosely cut around words or groups of words, as I did. On the back, I shaded the entire word with pencil. Lay that word, right-side up, on the sign and just trace the outline of the letters. When you pull the paper off, the word will now be transferred onto the sign. Then you can use a Permanent Paint Pen or a paint brush dipped in paint to fill in your letters. Do a second coat on the letters, if necessary.

Recycle those old cabinet doors into a cute chalkboard or painted sign
Checking that the layout looked right before transferring the text
Recycle those old cabinet doors into a cute chalkboard or painted sign
Using a pencil to transfer the design to the sign
Recycle those old cabinet doors into a cute chalkboard or painted sign
I love coming home to this painted sign every day

I hung these signs with 2 eye hooks on each frame and twine over the door. I then used a command strip behind each sign to hold it in place and keep it from banging around when we use the door. These signs really dress up that door and I have to say, I don’t miss those notes one bit!

Recycle those old cabinet doors into a cute chalkboard or painted sign
Side view of the 2 signs on the door
Upcycle Cabinet Doors into a Chalkboard or Painted Sign
Don’t forget to Pin Me

While your here, grab my Free Printable for 6 Essential Paint and Furniture Refinishing Recipes.

Follow the link to get the Printer-friendly PDF. Print it out and hang in your garage. Room for your recipes included. Save these 6 Recipes for woodworking and furniture finishing to your Pinterest boards. Homemade Wood Cleaner and Restorer Recipe, Chalk Paint Recipe with Plaster of Paris, Chalk Board Paint Recipe, Homemade Wood Stains, Homemade Whitewash Recipe, and a Recipe for Beeswax Furniture Polish.


Feeling inspired? Want to make your own painted signs? Follow the links above to get the things you’ll need from Amazon. Have fun and let me know if you have questions. Or post pictures of your work and tag Abbotts At Home on FB, I’d love to see it!

About Stephanie

Stephanie Abbott has been remodeling homes, flipping furniture, and DIY'ing all the things for 20 years. Her remodeling has been featured in Better Homes and Gardens Magazine. You can find her latest DIY tutorials, cleaning tips, woodworking plans, and home improvement projects here every week. Most of the DIY tutorials and videos on this site focus on beginner to intermediate level DIY Projects that can be done in an affordable way without high-end, expensive tools.

8 thoughts on “DIY Chalkboard and Painted Sign from old cabinet doors”

  1. Thank you for sharing! Your instructions were perfect and made it so easy to do! Thank you, again. Bernice

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