Yesterday I told you I would be completing my ugly cabinet project today…and I thought it would take at least an hour and a half…well it took 3 total. But I am extremely happy with the finished look! It brightens that boring block of wood that that faces my dining room and living room in my rented townhouse. I can paint the walls, within reason, but I didn’t want to deal with a permanent solution on the cabinets, because I ain’t living here forever……hmmm. Any how

I have come up with this phrase “temporary solutions” for apartment living. Things that can easily be undone when you move, so you can get back your deposit. So I knew I wanted to put a message center in this spot because I leave to work pretty early and telling my teenage daughters to take out the meat at 5 in the morning to defrost for dinner is, well, pointless. I had found an old frame with a pretty stiff mat in it for 99 cents at the thrift store…it was ugly white with black speckles of paint. I prettied it up and painted it teal to match some colors in a fabric that I envisioned hanging on those ugly cabinets some way. Then I painted the mat with my chalkboard paint. I have recently become obsessed with chalkboard paint. I have done at least 5 projects since I bought it 6 months ago and the can is half full still. One of the best 10 dollars I have spent crafting.

Chalkboard Inspiration


The next thing to do after wiping the cabinets down was to prep everything make, mask off areas,make my adhesive, cornstarch and water, measure and cut my fabric panels, apply the contac paper, paint the contac paper, apply the panels and poof ugly cabinet backs be gone! Below is a video tutorial you can get all the information to do this! Did I forget to mention I did this for less than 20 bucks?

Before ughhh ugly….wanted to create a message center

Ugly cabinet backs be gone!

Baby food jar chalk holder


Adhesive Recipe

1/2 cup of cornstarch mixed into 1c. of cold water

put 4c. of water in a pot on stove on med heat

pour cornstarch slurry in the water and stir till it thickens

let cool

you can put in spray bottle or use a or brush to apply to your surface

for smaller pieces you can soak them in a large bowl and gently squeeze out excess

This entry was published on July 6, 2014 at 7:51 am. It’s filed under DIY Craft Projects and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Follow any comments here with the RSS feed for this post.


  1. Great idea! In NYC, apartment living is a given and temporary solutions such as this are Godsends!


    • Thank You Barbara,
      I had fun planning my message center but realized my grandson would stand on a chair to write on the chalkboard…so the contac chalkboard seemed like a solution. Every weekend when he comes over he draws on it…I should take photos of them to keep. He loves it and I love that he has HIS own space!


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