The slab doors most often found in houses throughout Canada and the US are hollow-core with a thin mahogany wood outer layer. There’s just one thing I can say about interior mahogany slab doors – YUCK! Generally, the only thing in a home’s interior that a mahogany slab door matches is the other mahogany doors in the house. They are cheap, unattractive, and unfortunately a standard feature in many homes. I guess that’s saying more than one thing, isn’t it? Oh well, point made.
If you’ve been blessed with these boring slab doors and have been looking for an inexpensive fix up, look no further, your solution is here. With a minimal cash investment, a little elbow grease and a bit of blackboard paint / chalkboard paint, you can turn an ugly interior slab door into a useful blackboard. This is an easy DIY project.
- ugly slab door
- screw driver (with appropriate head for removing door handles)
- TSP (Tri-Sodium Phosphate or even better – a TSP Non-Phosphate Substitute)
- painter’s tape
- sandpaper (150 Grit)
- clean rags
- paint roller frame
- lint free roller Cover – 5 mm (2)
- paint tray
- paint tray liners (2)
- drop cloth
- primer (Oil Based)
- blackboard paint / chalkboard paint (available in green or black)
These DIY instructions on how to paint a blackboard on an interior wood door are suitable for doors that have already been painted or stained and varnished. If you are working with unfinished wood doors, you can skip step 2.
1. Door Knobs – It is easier to paint the door with a paint roller when the door knob is out of the way, however I’ll leave this decision up to you. Door handles themselves can be easily removed with the proper screw driver without removing the inner latching mechanism. If you opt not to remove the door knobs, you may want to use painter’s tape to protect them from the primer and the top coat.
2. Clean – Scrub with TSP (Trisodium Phosphate). I recommend the liquid variety as it mixes easily with water and has a clean, fresh scent. Follow the manufacturers directions and be sure to rinse the door thoroughly with clean water after scrubbing. Allow the door to dry completely.
3. Sand – Sand lightly to remove any surface dirt (unfinished doors), imperfections and to smooth the overall surface. A 150 grit sandpaper will do the trick. Wipe the sanded door with a clean damp rag to remove any dust from sanding.
4. Prime – As blackboard paint is oil based, you will want to use an oil based primer before top coating. Apply two coats with a roller, allowing the first coat to dry completely before moving on to the second coat. Store your roller in a plastic bag so you don’t have to wash it out between primer coats. Refer to the primer manufacturer’s instructions on the side of the can for drying times. Unfinished mahogany doors will suck up the primer – a third coat may be necessary to ensure complete coverage.
5. Paint – Once the second or third (if necessary) coat of primer is completely dry, you can apply your first coat of blackboard paint / chalkboard paint, using a clean roller. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions on the side of the paint can regarding number of coats required, drying times and curing times.
Any chalk will work – even sidewalk chalk, but to avoid excess dust, purchase dust-free blackboard chalk.
Which Interior Doors To Paint?
Kitchen door or pantry door – provides a great place to keep an ongoing grocery list, quickly jot down a recipe or post the daily menu.
Children’s bedroom doors – a perfect spot for writing gentle reminders: “Clean Your Room”.
Door closest to the telephone – makes for an excellent message board.
Blackboard doors are so handy, you’ll wonder how you survived for so long without one!