I'm sure you'd agree that interior doors provide a necessary function in the home. They offer privacy, shelter from noise, a means to hide a junky spare room and even a barricade when more than one teenager needs to use the bathroom.
But beyond these purposes, wouldn't it be nice if someone thought of another way to eke out a bit more functionality?
Well, the designers at the Simpson Door Company have and they've come up with a series of interior doors that offer a few additional handy functions.
To get to the point, Simpson has developed a magnetic chalkboard door. The panels within the door frame are actually magnetic chalkboards. They act as a conventional blackboard where you can write messages as well as a place to deposit the overflow of all those refrigerator magnets.
Despite the novelty item that these doors appear to be on the surface, you can probably see that they do offer a handy convenience as a message center for a place like the kitchen or the pantry.
Photo Courtesy of Simpson Door Company
Lots of kitchens don't have a good place to stash messages or compile a list of needed groceries. These notes are usually jotted down on a piece of paper and thrown somewhere on the countertop. More often than not, they get swept up and lost before they've served their useful purpose. A chalkboard door like this would be a handy place to put these messages.
Maybe your refrigerator is your current message board, replete with notes pinned to its surface with magnets. The magnetic chalkboard door could free up your existing refrigerator or simply provide more real estate for additional notes and magnets.
These doors are also just as useful for kids' rooms too. They afford a place for young toddlers to develop their budding graffiti skills (instead of on your living room walls). When they get older, what better place to leave them a message, given that the bedroom door is one of the first things they'll see in the morning.
One drawback to these kinds of doors, depending on how much you use these doors as a chalkboard, is the possibility for the scattering of chalk dust around the area of the door. It's nothing that a damp cloth can't take care of but it is something to consider.
Then there's the question of where to put the chalk and erasers. Maybe you could stash them in a small container in a corner of the countertop or bedroom dresser.
Door Photos Courtesy of Simpson Door Co.
Simpson's magnetic chalkboard door is made using engineered wood stiles and rails, in several standard wood species including oak, cherry and fir although custom doors can be made in just about any wood species.
The doors are 1-3/8" thick whereas the interior panels that form the magnetic chalkboards are 1/4" thick. The doors are available in heights of 6 feet/8 inches, 7 feet and 8 feet.
For style flexibility, these interior doors come in three versions. One style includes a full-length chalkboard panel that gives the most available "workspace". The two-panel version is similar to the full-length version except for a middle rail that bisects the door. The third version places the chalkboard above an equally-sized wood panel that forms the bottom 50% of the door.
If this concept sounds like a good idea but you're not in the market for new interior doors, there are a few alternatives. One involves turning one of your existing doors (or any other space) into a chalkboard using chalkboard paint.
Chalkboard paint is available from several sources, two products being Rust-Oleum's Specialty Chalk Board Paint and Plaid® FolkArt® Chalkboard Paint. You're not limited to the traditional black and green chalkboard colors either as both products are available in various hues.
Another alternative is to make your own chalkboard paint using latex or acrylic paint mixed with sandless tile grout. Just search the web for "make chalkboard paint" to find several websites that detail how do this.
You can even go as far as making your own magnetic chalkboard using, what else... magnetic chalkboard paint. MagnaMagic and Magprime are two products that offer this capability. The effectiveness may vary however, with some users reporting variability in the paint's "magnetic hold" depending on the number of coats applied.
Regardless of whether you choose to go with new interior doors or try to turn your existing door(s) into a chalkboard, the concept offers a unique and alternative location for your home's message center. This is especially true in smaller kitchens that don't have a small desk or the countertop space for this purpose.
You can learn more about choosing the right doors for your home by reading the article on interior, exterior and patio doors.