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DIY Chalkboard Knife Block

Want a knife block you can doodle on?  Here’s how you can easily re-paint your knife block, using chalkboard paint.

Chalkboard Knife Block

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 in our kitchen.

Knife block makeover
Knife block makeover
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 meant I hadn’t actually tried super trendy 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, without spending any money!



  • Lightly sanded the surface of the knife block
  • Wipe it down with a damp rag to remove any residue, let dry
  • Tape off the feet – especially if they are rubber
  • Spray in light, even coast in well ventilated area
  • Let dry
  • Rub the side of a piece of chalk all over the surface, wipe off with a damp rag

One coat of paint resulted in this: 

Chalkboard Knife Block

Chalkboard Knife Block

Here’s what it looked like after I rubbed the whole thing in chalk using the side of a piece of chalk (as per the manufacturer’s instructions):

How to prepare chalkboard paint for writing on

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:

Chalkboard Knife Block
No doodle.

Chalkboard Knife Block

To save you some scrolling . . . the “before” again.

Chalkboard Knife Block

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.  Check out these other knife block makeovers – I promise you’ll be inspired!

How to update a knife block

Chalkboard Knife Block

Chalkboard Knife Block

Troubleshooting tips for using chalkboard spray paint:

  • Use a very fine sandpaper because any scrapes or scratches in the wood will be made more visible by the matte 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, but I still love it.



  1. Jessica
    September 14, 2011 / 3:14 pm

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

  2. Shannon
    September 14, 2011 / 4:35 pm

    it never even occurred to me that I could paint this bad boy!Good Jobbie!

  3. Carol@TheDesignPages
    September 14, 2011 / 4:53 pm

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

  4. Tanya @ Dans le Townhouse
    September 14, 2011 / 5:02 pm

    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. Lesley
    September 15, 2011 / 5:30 am

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

  6. Dana@Mid2Mod
    September 15, 2011 / 7:57 am

    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. Sudha
    September 15, 2011 / 7:19 pm

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

  8. elaine
    November 25, 2011 / 2:14 am

    That looks great Tanya 🙂

  9. Julienne
    June 7, 2012 / 8:49 pm

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

    • Tanya from Dans le Townhouse
      June 7, 2012 / 10:26 pm

      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.

  10. Marianne Le Temps Jadis
    August 24, 2012 / 7:19 pm

    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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