My design studio

{Home, sweet home + DIY} Magnetic Chalkboard

We have this empty cabinet panel on the side of our refrigerator.  I tried to decorate it with picture ledges from Ikea.  It looked like this:

The problem with the picture ledges is that I can only display a few framed pictures.  And, the picture frames actually could fall when our little boy runs his toy truck to the cabinet or someone bumps into the cabinet (it happened.  Luckily, the picture frame didn’t hit his head).  So, I knew I had to find a safer way to utilize this space.  Then, I found this post about magnetic chalkboard on Apartment Therapy.  This is exactly what I want for this space!  We have a stainless steel refrigerator, so magnets don’t stick to the front of the fridge.  And, I’ve always wanted to have a chalkboard in our home.  A magnetic chalkboard is the perfect solution!

I bought a can of magnetic primer and a can of chalkboard paint from the Home Depot to start this project.  It took a total of 4 days to finish the project.  Here are a few things I learnt:

1. You need at least 3 coats of magnetic primer to provide enough magnetic power.  I used the entire can of the primer (total of 4~5 coats).  Flat and light weight magnets work great on the finished wall, but the big ones don’t stick (unless you use these rare earth magnets, but they are not safe to use in the house with small children because they may swallow the small magnets).

2. The magnetic primer smells very bad.  So, you MUST open all the windows while painting it.  I wore a mask when I used the paint.

3. Protect the surrounding area with masking tape and newspapers.  I had to use foam rollers to apply the primer and paint to get a smooth finished surface (suggested on the package instruction).  Rollers splashed a lot and were harder to control when painting a tight corner.  I didn’t tape enough and wasn’t careful when painting, so I had a messy wall to touch up after I finished the magnetic chalkboard wall.

4. Use a fan to speed up the drying time.  Because I can only paint when our little boy was taking a nap and after he went to bed at night, I had very limited amount of work time.  A fan helped a lot!

If I’ve had taped more, I wouldn’t have to touch up the wall afterward!  A lesson learnt.

After the chalkboard paint was dry for 3 days, I conditioned the chalkboard as suggested on the package instruction.

We really like the finished magnetic chalkboard. I could display more pictures (StickyGram is wonderful!) It also gives us a space to take nots and a place for our little boy’s foam magnets!


One Comment

  1. Beautiful! Love it! Thank you for the good ideas!

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November 19, 2012 DIY, Home, sweet home 1 Comment