Weekday Project: Our Chalkboard Door

Ryan Smith writes on a chalkboard front door in the couple's New York City apartment

Like most New York City brownstone buildings, we have (had!) an unimpressive, dull white front door.

We’ve been itching to revamp it for awhile, especially after seeing how Ashley and Aron transformed their door into a dramatic centerpiece.

Supplies for painting with chalkboard paint

Earlier this week, while brainstorming home improvement projects on the couch, the idea of chalkboard paint came up.

We talked about painting a portion of our kitchen wall with it–creating a space to jot down menu ideas, grocery lists and other random notes—but then a lightbulb went on and it occurred to us that we could roll our front door makeover and chalkboard wall into one easy project. (We were also relieved that turning the front door into a chalkboard would save our kitchen from the inevitable chalk dust.)

The apartment front door before painting with chalkboard paint.

One can of Rust-Oleum chalkboard paint and a few brushes later, we set to work. Although, not everyone was as inspired by our project as we were…

Iggy Pop, a 4-year-old Brussels Griffon, lays on his family's bed

Despite Iggy’s apparent apathy, we quickly taped and painted the whole front door and its trim.

The chalkboard paint goes on just like regular paint and, luckily, it only took one coat to give nice even coverage. Another plus: the lack of humidity helped the paint dry within just a few hours.

Painting a door with chalkboard paint

A chalkboard paint door in a Manhattan apartment

Last night, after returning from dinner, we couldn’t resist the urge to start scribbling on our new canvas. Surprisingly, it really is like a real chalkboard!

We liked the elegant, stark look of the new door immediately, but we weren’t completely sure how it would hold chalk or if the texture would really be like a chalkboard.

A cartoon drawing of a dog on a chalkboard-painted door

After a few scribbles, we easily wiped the door off, giving it that worn-in slate-like look that old chalkboards have.

Since then, we’ve had so much fun jotting down recipe ideas, playing games of tic-tac-toe and even drawing a few caricatures of our sweet Iggy. Thus far, it seems easy to clean and surprisingly durable.

We wish all home improvements paid off so well for such little work (and such little money)!

– Laura and Ryan

On Ryan: Shirt by Thom Browne (similar)

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