hey, there’s a chalkboard hiding in your kitchen backsplash

If you’ve been following along, you know there was one more piece to our kitchen remodel…the chalkboard backsplash. It finally went up this weekend, and it’s a work of art. Steve did the work (and the art on the finished work), so I can only take credit for the idea.

We always add a bit of funk to everything we do. Our front porch features a table Kate made of old license plates, and we have several paintings hanging on our backyard fence. We collect found art and rusted artifacts and always have room for one more Day of the Dead figure. The new kitchen was no exception, as the Ikea cabinets are modern and sleek, and they really needed some texture to warm them up. The idea of tile (which would require a custom design, of course) overwhelmed me. I’ve always wanted a chalkboard wall, and this solved all of my issues, plus it was cheap.

When we finished the kitchen, Steve started on the backsplash. We decided not to paint directly on the wall, as it would require smoothing the texture, and quite frankly, we didn’t know for sure if it would work. We decided on doorskin, which is a thin veneer wood (what they use for doors), about 1/8″ thick. Steve had two pieces cut, more than what we needed, so we would have a tester piece.

He tested the cutout (for the electrical outlets) and we thought this just might work. We purchased the chalkboard paint at Home Depot. It comes in many colors, but we opted for basic black. There is also a magnetic primer, but after three coats, it really didn’t have much oomph, so we passed on that.

The paint itself took about five coats, and each coat requires several days to dry and cure. All together, the painting took about 14 days. That’s a little more patience than I possess, and I was almost convinced it would never happen.

On Saturday we were ready to “prime” the chalkboard. This requires rubbing chalk over the board (along with accompanying chalkboard squeaks) and then erasing, so that chalk gets into the porous paint, and provides a coating, so subsequent drawings will actually erase. We did this three times. And then Steve ran his head into the garage door, so we took a small break for ice and televised golf. You don’t need to add that component to your project.

We had two pieces to put together, and three electrical outlets. Steve employed the maxim, “measure eight times, cut once” and it was successful. In hindsight, there is a teensy, tiny gap between the two pieces, and we should have painted black behind it. But I think it will disappear when we stop being so critical.

We attached the board with heavy duty double stick tape, with a few nails at the top where they are hidden by the cabinet (and painted over with Sharpie). The outlet covers provided even more stability. We painted one cover black, but opted for the metal covers instead.

Finally, time to draw….

Something for each of us…


I’m thrilled with it. It’s fun and funky, and provides the “what in the world is that?” exclamation. And best of all,  it’s done. Now I wonder about a chalkboard dining room table? Or perhaps a car?


About kim tackett

Northern CA marketing consultant, writer of very small stories, and drinker of very strong coffee.
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6 Responses to hey, there’s a chalkboard hiding in your kitchen backsplash

  1. Nicole Isaacson says:

    It’s spectacular, to be sure! It also helps to have a spectacular artist; I’m afraid ours would be more along the lines of showcasing a tic tac toe game. I chalkboard painted the inside of our pantry door to act as a shopping list and I thought I was pretty clever but this takes it to a whole new level!

  2. Pingback: 313|365 kitchen chalk « life | served daily

  3. bb says:

    Yay! This is so cool! I’m becoming a HUGE fan of chalkboard paint for everyday spaces.

  4. Alix says:

    Kim I love this. You guys have outdone your selves. And I mean this. In the sweetest way possible.

  5. Pingback: think outside the house « Kim's Tour of No Regrets

  6. hainesmorgan says:

    Love it! It looks great but I’m not sure it’s worth all that effort. I think I’m too lazy for that. Especially if it involves squeaking the board – on purpose!

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