Looking for a super simple project that gives you big bang for your buck? Look no further, the total cost for this pantry door transformation was a measly $10! For much less than a day’s work, this makeover was truly one of the easiest and most dramatic changes we’ve done so far, and I am thrilled with the results.
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There are so many great examples of pantry door beautification, but so many rely on total door swaps or nicer doors to begin with- not the huge plain door we’ve got.
Are you in the same boat? Both my husband and I always loved the idea of the glass door pantries, but I just couldn’t bring myself to replace a perfectly good door. Plus, we’ve got kiddos and ones that love Hot Wheels… Little metal cars and glass do not mix well in my mind.
Considering budget, child safety, and functionality, we opted to keep the solid wood front and embellish it with chalkboard paint and a wooden frame. Much safer option. Now it will stand out, keep it’s contents beautifully hidden, and serve as a communication board of sorts. One day it could be a menu, another the verse of the day, or even a grocery list- the sky’s the limit. Wanna see the transformation?
Here’s is a list of what we used:
▪️ Wood stain of your choice
▪️ Liquid Nails, Wood Glue, or Gorilla Glue
▪️ Flathead screwdriver (or old butter knife)
▪️ Power drill with hole saw/arbor attachment
▪️ Saw* (optional: depending on lumber source, you may have it cut for you)
Step 1: Remove the door and door knob
To remove the door from hinges, use a hammer and screwdriver to tap the bottom of the pinhead upward. If it gets stuck or is particularly difficult, use the screwdriver or a putty knife to wedge between the top of the pinhead and hinge and hammer upward here. These pieces are sturdy, so watch your fingers and give it a good whack as many times as needed. As for the door knob, unscrew all points and pull apart. Yup, it’s that easy!
*Disclaimer: If you are tiny like me (I’m 4’11”) you WILL need some help getting the door off. Really, unless you’re Wonder Woman, this task is probably a two person job. However, one way to get around this is to use a brush or roller to paint instead of using spray paint. Since I already had the paint on hand and I’m a bit particular, we took the door off.
Step 2: Clean and sand door
All you need is a sponge with good old soap and water 🙂 or Clorox wipes are great too. As for the sanding, you really do not need to go to crazy on this one. Whatever you have on hand will do, this is just to help the paint adhere and really give it a final scrub of cleanliness. Dont forget to wipe clean!
Step 3: Paint door
Grab your chalkboard paint of preference, and chalk that door! I used Rustoleum chalkboard spray, and love the results. I’ve tried it before with other projects and so I already had it in hand, but buying a can will only set you back $3. Give it several coats, I used most of one can for good coverage. Allow time to dry between coats. Amazon and Hobby Lobby also sell a liquid bottle for roughly the same price and it too works beautifully. If you’re going with liquid, inexpensive foam brushes work really well. This is exactly what I used to touch mine up recently. As for that old brass doorknob, I gave it a new life with some oil rubbed bronze spray paint 🙂 A clear coat of any sort is a good idea here to avoid scratching over time.
Tips for spray painting
- A folding table or couple of sturdy weighted chairs to prop the door against is very helpful.
- Cover the table and floor where the door sits with canvas or plastic sheeting to protect all else from the chalkboard spray. If you don’t have one already, the dollar store always has these in their home/auto tool isle.
- Do NOT spray when windy! Trust me, be patient. You’ll end up wasting paint and spraying everything but the door. Mornings around here are usually best.
- Spray evenly and in long strokes, not spurts. Your index finger may hurt by the time you finish. I know mine did.
Step 4: Measure and cut your wood
While the paint is drying, this is the perfect time to attack the frame. If you are cutting the wood yourself, measure the perimeter of your door and write down these numbers. Cut wood to size. If you have these numbers ahead of time when you purchase your wood, some stores will cut if for you. However, you will get a straight cut, not diagonal. That design decision is up to your personal preference.
Need help with the measurements?
My door is 80 inches tall by 27.5 inches wide. So my two long strips are going to be cut at 80 inches. The two middle strips are going to be 19.5 inches each. (27.5 inch wide door and subtract the two long 4″ wide sides) 27.5 – 8 = 19.5 inches
I used a Rockwell compact circular saw to make all my cuts. It’s a fantastic little machine that is super portable, versatile, and I highly recommend. Make sure to sand edges to smooth out cut and any potential splintering.
Step 5: Stain or paint your wood framing.
I used what I already had at home which is a combination of Rustoleum golden oak and Minwax red mahogany to get a beautiful neutral medium tone. To duplicate this finish, be sure to apply the lighter golden oak stain first and generously. When ready for the darker stain, remember you can always add more stain, not less. Apply in thin coats until you achieve the tone you desire.
Step 6: Attach wood framing to door
Once dry, the wood framing is ready for the glue. Apply your wood glue or strong adhesive of choice generously and clamp into place. Allow the framing to set for 24 hours. Once you are finished with attaching the framing to the front side, from the back side you’ll now see the hole opening where the door knob will go. Use your hole saw and simply stick it in the opening and cut out the wood covering the front door knob hole.
If you decided to paint your frame instead, a nail gun would work just as well. You’ll just have the added step of patching and painting the holes.
Tip : Harbor Freight is a great place to pick up some cheap clamps that will do the job. If you dont have one in town, these are my other favorites.
Step 7: Reattach door knob and door
For some odd reason, putting the door knob back together was not as easy as taking it off lol. I think it took my three tries. If you’re like me, and it does not come together intuitively, check out the video below for help. The door hinges on the other hand are quite easy- simply line up the door hinges with the ones attached to the door frame, and hammer in the pinhead to lock the two together.
Step 8: Enjoy your brand new chalkboard pantry door!
Take a moment and bask in your handiness! You did it, and I’m guessing it looks beautiful. Now all that’s left to do is write something pretty and take selfie with you and your new pantry door.
If you happen to take a picture, I’d love to see your work! Comment below and tag or #MommaLovesCoffee so the MLC community and I can applaud your awesomeness 🙂
Thanks for joining me, what projects are you working on this week? Comment below!