September 14, 2011

DIY Chalkboard Knife Block

Want a knife block you can doodle on?

Our knife block, a cheap-o Winner's purchase from four years ago, was looking a bit worse for wear.  Due to my excessive cleaning, I had managed to scrub most of the varnish off and I wasn't a fan of the light wood.


Before - Sans Varnish

I had a can of chalkboard spray paint lying around because I opted not to paint the magnetic memo board I made.  But that means I haven't ever tried chalkboard paint.  And all the cool kids are doing it.  So I thought the lonely can of paint + an ugly worn-out knife block = fun kitchen accessory.

I lightly sanded the surface of the knife block and spray painted it in a well ventilated area.  One coat resulted in this: 

Once the paint was dry, as per the manufacturer's instructions, I rubbed the whole thing in chalk using the side of a piece of chalk.

Then I wiped the chalk off using a damp cloth.  Apparently this "conditions" the chalkboard surface.  Can you imagine doing this for an entire chalkboard wall?!?

Now I can doodle:

No doodle.

To save you some scrolling . . . the "before" again.


I love the look!  Even as a plain black knife block I think it looks better: crisper, more modern and it fits with the other black accessories in the kitchen.  Yay for the inexpensive and successful (key word) DIY project.


This project is a little like Don Draper: cool and super easy.  But here are some troubleshooting tips:
  • Use a very fine sandpaper because any scrapes or scratches in the wood will be made more visible by the paint.
  • Don't paint rubber feet - the paint would NOT dry on the rubber feet so I had to spend a few minutes scrubbing them clean with paint remover.
  • Be a bit more generous with the "conditioning" process.  The amount of chalk I used was insufficient and sometimes what I draw won't erase easily.


  1. Wow - chalkboard paint on a knife block? So cool. I love this project!

  2. it never even occurred to me that I could paint this bad boy!

    Good Jobbie!

  3. How fun is that! Even if you don't do much doodling it looks great with the black paint.

  4. Thanks!

    Carol: I don't doodle that much either. I kind of settled on a doodle and it stayed. But I do like the graphic look.

  5. Oh you little smarty pants, you. That's freaking awesome!

  6. Great idea! I love chalkboard paint. I did a kitchen door in it at my last house, and Carl and I used it for notes to each other and for our grocery lists. I also did a door in the rumpus room at my daughter's house, and I drew funny little cartoons on it for my grandson.

  7. looks very very neat :), no doubt am a huge fan of yours :)

  8. I think that's an awesome idea, but I couldn't take my eyes off that tea kettle.

    1. Thanks! The tea kettle is by Le Creuset (which is pricey) but I got it at Winner's, where it was steeply discounted. I've seen them at TJ Maxx, in the States, and also at Le Creuset outlet malls.

  9. What a great idea! I was just thinking the other day that we needed to get rid of our knife block because it starts too look ugly.


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