So, I have had these two matching oversized unfinished cabinet doors for over a year. Can't you just imagine how great they would be for a chalkboard easel?
Frame out two identical cabinet doors
First, I ripped some 1x’s to frame out the doors and make legs. Wow! Is this going to be soooo easy and fun.
Using a Kreg Jig
I used my Kreg Jig to drill pocket holes to frame out the cabinet doors (chalkboards).
Need more details on using a Kreg Jig? See my article How to use a Kreg Jig Pocket Hole System
It’s difficult to tell from this picture, but there is a right and a wrong way to frame out these cabinet doors. The door on the left is the wrong way. I framed that one by laying the door flush on my work table and inserting the pocket hole screws. They ended up protruding through the doors. On the second one (on the right) I supported the 1x’s and secured the pocket hole screws into the meatier part of the door instead of the router part of the door. It's really all about the routing on the cabinet door.
Patch and Paint
I patched and sanded the pocket holes and moved the chalkboard easel into the paint booth for the Finish Max treatment. (this is the back side)
This is after a chalky paint coat of black “primer”. I leaned them up on each other to see how they were going to look. You can see a little better in this picture that this side is the “right” way to frame out the cabinet door. See how the door extends beyond the frame?
For an aged look - add top coat
After the black undercoat dried, I sprayed a coat of an off white top coat.
Here’s the after. I added a lil’ somethin somethin—do you see it? Yep, I added some little corner pieces that I think really change the look of the chalkboard easel a lot.
I can’t find any pictures of how I made those corner pieces. Here’s what I did:
- cut four triangles off the end of a 1x4
- I used my nail gun to nail two sets of two triangles to each other
- I clamped each set into my work bench and simply started sanding down the center portion of each set, trying to get them to match as much as possible. Basically the orbital sander just whittled away and made a little dip in the wood.
Apply Chalkboard Paint
The weather turned cold and rainy, so I brought them in to give them a couple of coats of brush on chalkboard paint (in the kitchen)
That was the end of October. Finally in mid December I got around to finishing the project. What was the hold up? I was trying to find a “spreader” to allow the easel to open and close, similar to a ladder. I found an easel on Etsy that uses a spreader, but for the life of me I was unable to find a place to buy them online or in stores.
Attach hardware to chalkboard easel
Cousin Terry mentioned using some mending plates, so I picked these up at Home Depot.
I used 2” strap hinges because that’s what I had on hand—drilling pilot holes before securing the screws.
Excuse the blurry picture. You can see that I connected the mending plates in the middle with a bolt and a wing nut. I chose a wing nut so that it’s easily tightened for use and loosened for storage or portability.
It works pretty well as a spreader. (I recommend removing the stickers BEFORE you put it together) If you wanted a more rustic look, you could use rope or ribbon.
It’s not super sized, but quite large enough for many uses! The size would be determined by the size of your cabinet doors.
Have you made a great chalkboard lately? I just can’t seem to stop.