DIY Magnetic Chalkboard Wall

Because our house has a lot of built-ins, we actually don't have very much wall space in our home. The walls look full, but they're filled with tall baseboards, thick woodwork around our windows and lots of storage space. Before Eli was born, I just used the side of the fridge for photos, calendars, invitations and announcements, it worked well, but it really wasn't enough space for everything I wanted to hang. The short hall leading off our kitchen into the basement was a wall I had never really thought of before. While we've painted nearly every room in our house, this was one wall that had never received my DIY treatment, probably because while it wasn't pretty, it wasn't really an eyesore, so it just remained as is.


Well, no longer. This previously unused hallway is now one of the hardest working walls in our house. I gave it a quick makeover, turning it into a magnetic chalkboard wall to hang photos, papers, and all of Eli's beautiful artwork of course. I just keep imagining him coming home from school someday telling me he drew a picture of me and it says "I love Mommy" underneath. I'm sure he'll do that, right?

Anyhow, here's the final product. Please keep in mind, I did not "style" or draw on this for the photos - this is real life and how it's looking after about six weeks of use. A bit of a hot mess, but that just means children are around, right?

DIY Magnetic Chalkboard Wall

DIY Magnetic Chalkboard Wall
This ain't my first rodeo with chalkboard paint, but I had never used magnetic paint before. I used Rust-oleum's Magnetic Primer, and I laid on about eight coats. I had read online that while the back of the can says you'll only need three, you need a lot more in order for it to hold a magnet with any weight to it. I painted it in about a day, letting it dry about an hour between coats. It only took about 10 minutes to cover this amount of space, so really it wasn't much time at all - I just set a timer so I'd remember to go do it. It ended up taking about two cans of magnetic paint to cover this much wall space, but because the magnetic paint is a dark grey color, it only took two coats of chalkboard paint (I used Rust-oleum brand again).

The magnetic paint works pretty well, but I still have to admit it's not that strong. It holds lightweight magnetics that have a full magnetic backing, but anything with a little heft to it, or is a large piece with only small magnet (like a chip clip) doesn't stay up. These wooden animal magnets stay on just fine, and kids of all ages seem to love them.
DIY Magnetic Chalkboard Wall


DIY Magnetic Chalkboard Wall

Even though Eli's not old enough to really maximize using the new wall, we have plenty of our friend's kiddos over who have been able to help break it in. That's our neighbor's sweet daughter up there, and below is a bit of her art. (You might have noticed, I took these pictures on a few different days, which is why the wall looks different - and - the baby gate went up so Eli doesn't fall right down the stairs on one of his steamrolling missions.)

DIY Magnetic Chalkboard Wall

On a side note: I fully realize the stairs are not the best spot for a kiddo to play. Chalk it up to a First-time Mom Fail, but I didn't realize what I'd done until it was finished. It really hasn't been too big of a deal, anytime kids are drawing on it or playing with the magnets, I'm right there with them and usually by the time they're old enough to actually want to interact with the wall, they're pretty self-aware about stairs. 

Chalk

To make my dream of Eli bringing home artwork for me a reality, I had an impromptu painting session with him one afternoon (I'll be writing all about how it went down in my next Rookie Mom's Challenge!) and he created these lovely pieces of abstract art for me. I considered writing "I Love You Mommy" in big letters with my left hand along the bottom, but seeing as Eli can't even speak, people would probably know that it was me. Only a few more years...

DIY Magnetic Chalkboard Wall

DIY Magnetic Chalkboard Wall

How about you? Done anything fun lately with your walls?

4 comments:

  1. such a cute idea! your kids will use that walls for years to come.

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  2. Awesome--That chalk bunny and butterfly are amazing!

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  3. I've been toying with the idea of magnetic paint in our spare bedroom, so it's great to hear about this subject from someone I trust! We have lots of post cards, small posters, and pieces of art that we'd like to hang up, move around and rotate through ... and magnetic paint seems like the best way to do it. But a quick question ... can you paint any old color on top?

    And on an unrelated note, when you said "kids of all ages seem to love [the magnetic animals], I half expected to see a picture of Mike playing with them under the one of Eli :)

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  4. Hi Brittany, Yep, any color works on top, you'd probably want to prime it first since the magnetic primer is so dark, then do a couple coats of your wall color. YHL did something like that here: http://www.younghouselove.com/2010/07/office-progress-a-new-home-for-the-wallflowers/ Hope that helps!


    And don't worry, Mike loves those magnets too. :)

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