One great thing about building a Murphy bed for our spare room is that the space now feels like a bona-fide craft room. It could also do double-duty as a home office, if I ever needed one.
In hopes of making the Murphy bed even more useful, I had dreams of using chalkboard paint  or even corkboard to make it a message board of sorts, for writing lists and pinning up photos and cards.
I haven't been able to do much with my cork board idea, but the chalkboard is now complete.
My furniture-building spouse  nixed the idea of using chalkboard paint on the actual front of the bed. "The whole reason I used birch plywood is so we could stain the whole thing," he told me. I couldn't really argue with that.
I thought about cutting a piece of foam insulation to fit snugly in one of the panels created by the trim , and then painting it with chalkboard paint and maybe using velcro to attach it to the front of the bed.
Rob, instead, suggested making a more sturdy chalkboard out of leftover wood and hanging it from the Murphy bed. I was skeptical, but he swore it would work.
He cut down a piece of plywood to a little smaller than the top lefthand panel. I painted it with Rustoleum Chalkboard Paint  - I know you can get it in all kinds of colors, but I really like the traditional green I have. Plus, my pint of it seems to be lasting forever. Even this project didn't seem to make a dent.
Anyhow, I ignored the instructions to prime the wood first, and it covered nicely in two coats. Rob hung it the other day, and I painted both sides so I can turn it around, if need be.
The paint still curing, so I've yet to write on it. But I'm pretty sure it's going to be the perfect place for me to make lists for craft supplies I need and recording progress on homemade Christmas gifts.
Edit from Sept. 7, 2012: Here's another photo of how it looks now that I can write on it, and the Murphy bed is now in its permanent spot: