Introduction: Up Cycling Those Old Cabinet Doors to Chalk/magnet Board

About: Retired teacher. Gardener, woodworker, bird enthusiast, and maker of things.

Maybe you or someone you know has upgraded their cabinet doors or you see them for free on Craigslist. This instructable will turn those doors into chalk boards and even a magnet board, in this case for the grandkids.

Step 1: Gathering Your Materials

I of coarse made this project much more difficult than need be. One could just paint the doors with metallic paint and chalk board paint and call it finished. But then it wouldn’t be a woodworking project, it would just be a painting project. That being said, if you want to just paint it, you need:
A used cabinet door
Metallic primer paint
Chalk board paint- not chalk paint.
If you want to make it a magnet board, paint the first coat with metallic paint.
Safety gear, eye and ear protection and a well ventilated area.

Paint the area you wish to make the chalk/magnet board with the metallic primer. This is heavy thick paint because it must contain metal filings so stir well and often.
Once dry, follow the directions on the chalk board paint and paint over the metal primer.

If you wish to take this to the next level, follow the following steps.

Step 2: Turning the Door Into a “real” Magnet Board.

Decide what type door you have. The doors in the pictures are “panel” doors. The have stiles and rails that capture or hold the panel. The other type of door would be made of solid material like MDF or plywood. Solid doors will not work for the rest of this instructable and you will need to refer to step one.

Things you will need for the rest of this instructable:
Panel made cabinet doors
Sheet metal
Jig saw
Chalk board paint

Step 3: Taking the Panel Out

You will need to find the edge of the panel. I used a forstner bit. Once you see the edge you can mark the back of the door to see where you need to cut.

I used a router with a 1/2” bit to cut along the line where the edge of the panel is located.

A WORD OF WARNING! Typically panel doors float in the stiles and rails and contain no nails. This was not the case in the doors I had. There were a few small brads in the doors, fortunately I missed them otherwise they could have ruined my router bit. So be careful and move forward at your own risk.

Step 4: Cutting the Sheet Metal

Use the panel to figure out the size of the sheet metal. Cut carefully with your choice of method, angle grinder, snipes, jig saw or whatever you prefer.

Sand and/or file the edges. Please be careful, no matter what method you used to cut the metal it will be very sharp. It is best to use heavy gloves doing this step.

Step 5: Painting

Since the panel is out it makes it easy to paint the metal and frame separately. The blue frame still has the panel in it because I didn’t have any more sheet metal, it will be a simple chalk board.

Step 6: Reassemble the Door

Once the second coat of paint is dry it’s time to put it all back together. Place the sheet metal chalk board side down. Replace the panel and screw it in place.

Step 7: Hang on Wall and Use

Attach the boards to the wall OR, finish the back and let it remain as a movable “lap” board. On the two boards I wanted to attach to the playhouse I prepainted the screws so they would blend in. Since the red door was just painted and never taken apart, the grandkids can move it around as they wish.

Reclaimed Contest 2017

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Reclaimed Contest 2017