DIYdiy projects

diy project: jen thompson’s screen door chalkboard

by Grace Bonney

photographer jen thompson sent over these photos of her home and i was instantly smitten with the framed chalkboard in the back. i picked up a vintage frame chalkboard last month and have loved to see how people use them in their homes. but when i found out that jen’s was actually made from an old screen door i had to know how she did it. and luckily jen was willing to share her project instructions with us. so click here for the full project or just click “read more” below. [thanks, jen!]

Jen’s Screen Door Chalkboard

What You’ll Need:

1. Old screen door (try flea markets, thrift stores or yard sales)
2. Sheet of MDF
3. Sandpaper
4. Varnish (optional)
5. Primer
6. Chalkboard Paint


1. Remove the screen from the screen door (yard clippers are helpful for this if it won’t easily rip out)
2. Sand off any chipping paint (unless you want to leave it unfinished) on the door frame and seal it with a clear varnish if you’d like to keep the antique finish.

*note, if you’d like to paint the frame a different color, just sand, prime and paint with your choice of color. also, if you plan to leave the paint uncovered and in its original state, just make sure that the paint used on the door isn’t lead based. you definitely don’t want a chipped lead finish anywhere near you or your children.

2. Cut the piece of MDF to fit the entire screen area (you can pre-measure and have your local Home Depot do this).

3. Prime your MDF with standard paint primer.

4. Paint a layer of chalkboard paint, let dry. Repeat.

5. Attach the MDF to your door frame (using brackets or nails, whatever works best for your particular door).

6. Hang and enjoy your new chalkboard!

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