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Sunday, February 6, 2011

Magnetic Chalkboards: the Do's & Don'ts


This is the story of a Plan B Project. You know those types, right? You get a great idea, then somewhere in the process you realize that your plan's just not coming together, so you take a deep breath, pull out Plan B and try again. And occasionally, you meet a really tough challenge and you may even have to invent a Plan C. Every now and  then these things happen when you're a Domestic Artist, right? And then we have blogs so we can tell our fellow Domestic Artists how to avoid the headaches of Plan A and go straight to Plan B.

Such was the case for Lily's Magnetic Chalkboard. In my mind I had a picture of the perfect size and style of frame I wanted for a chalkboard for Lily's room. And after several weeks, my patience was rewarded when I found this mirror at an estate sale near my house one Saturday. I knew the frame would look great in white with just a hint of distress.



Plan A was to use my usual particle board that I always use for chalkboards and spray it with Krylon's Magnetic Spray Paint, then top it with Krylon's Chalkboard Spray Paint. {LOVE this chalkboard spray!  Find a good deal on it here.}



Here's where I tell you what Krylon fails to mention on their can: the chalkboard paint cancels out the magnetization of the magnetic paint, so you cannot use these 2 together. I know. Why didn't they say so? In fact, just FYI: when I talked to Krylon on the phone, they also told me the magnetic paint takes up to 5 days to actually become magnetic. Ahhemmm. Another detail you won't find on the can. And just so you know--I did try it after the 5 days and still there was no magnetization. SO- my personal recommendation is to save your money and skip the magnetic paint. Maybe there are some success stories out there somewhere, but not here. I will add, though, that Krylon was very accommodating on the phone and they have promised to honor their satisfaction guarantee, so if I can find my receipt, I'll be in luck.

So, that is the road that led me to Plan B on this chalkboard. I started over, went to Home Depot, and found a piece of sheet metal near the plumbing supplies for less than $10. Be sure you don't look for this in the sheet metal section. Those cost more for what seem to be the same thing. The one you want for a project like this is the one that looks like this:



Remember, this is only a 24"X36", so be sure it's not too small for the frame you want to use it for. This metal is easy to cut to size with a pair of tin snips and BE SURE you use gloves when handling this type of metal because it will easily cut you.




After it's cut, just sand it a little to help it accept the paint, wipe it clean, and coat it with several coats of the Krylon Chalkboard spray (this stuff I do love). Then use a thin piece of board as a backer to stabilize the sheet metal when you place it into the frame.


For Lily's board, I made a few jeweled magnets out of some old brooches I had.




I used a pair of pliers to remove the pin mechanism and clasp, then glued on the magnets with E-6000.




That was it. Now my little artist has a chalkboard hanging above her desk, looking like it was meant to be.






Now, Lily's happy, I'm happy, and hopefully you'll be happy, knowing you can save yourself the trouble of Plan A and just go with Plan B. And we'll all live happily ever after.

You can read more about Lily's desk and chair here.

I'm linking this little story with a few of these people.





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75 comments:

  1. That's an adorable idea!! I love it! The colors in her room are great!

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  2. NOW I know what to do with all those old pieces of jewelry I have....LOVE this project!

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  3. it looks gorgeous! love those magnets you made! i actually just finished a magnetic chalboard as well- it is being posted tuesday morning. it's very different from yours- i LOVE yous and it is so perfect above that desk!

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  4. Love all the info! I have not tried those two together but I was thinking about it...now I know not to...Looks great above her desk!

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  5. Super cute! & thanks for the great tips. You should check out Sixty-Fifth Avenue (http://sixtyfifthavenue.blogspot.com/) There is going to be a chalkboard link party.

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  6. This is fantastic! I've been wanting to make one of these for months; thanks for sharing the money savings tips as my Plan A would have been the same Plan A you had! :o) Your magnetic chalkboard is beautiful!

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  7. It looks great, Julie! I do have a frame that I'd like to do this to; thanks for the tips. I hadn't gotten as far as to what to buy to do the backing, but at least I know what to get now!

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  8. Such a fantastic post! Great score finding that frame and the magnets are fabulous! Thanks for linking up to the chalkboard party.

    Londen

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  9. LOVE how that looks in her room! So cute!

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  10. oh man am I ever glad you figured it out because its gorgeous! I love it.
    Tana

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  11. That looks great, and I LOVE the magnets!

    <3

    Risa

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  12. That looks great. I also tried the magnetic paint awhile back as a review. The guy said to follow the directions carefully..which we did. He also mentioned a specific kind of magnets (which I did not purchase) It worked a little bit. Not great. But... I like your idea much better. Just getting the sheet metal. I also like that you said to look near the plumbing. I am thinking I am going to do something like this over my desk in my newly reorganized office.
    I would love for you to share this post with my readers. I have been working on offices this month and have a link party going on until Feb. 24th for it.
    I found you from Sumo's Sweet Stuff.
    Hope to see you there! I am going to give you the link since I'm not on blogger and it's a pain to get my link from the google link.
    http://www.organizewithsandy.com/2011/02/07/organizing-mission-monday-mission-office-week-8/

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  13. What a great idea. I HATE it when companies don't tell you all the properties of a product you are buying to use. I don't think ANYONE else knew this yet...so thanks for the tip.

    Love her room and the new blackboard is perfect! Works 2 ways! Great idea and wonderful job! Hugs-Diana

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  14. Love the chalkboard! Great tips. Thanks for sharing!

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  15. I really like the frame that you put it in! It really makes it look so classy!

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  16. Thank you for your insight! I so love those magnets!

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  17. Thanks for the tips on the paint! I hadn't heard of the magnetized one before, but I'll know to steer clear. I LOVE your daughter's desk. I just checked out your post about it. I want to paint my own (ugly brown) desk that lovely shade of Hazel. Love...love!

    Better Than a Milk Mustache

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  18. Hop on over to the Party! Would love for you to link-up @

    http://thetreasurista.blogspot.com/p/treasuristas-thursday-treasures-come.html

    The Treasurista
    Finding and Creating FUN things...

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  19. I just made a magnet board yesterday w/ the same metal. I wouldn't have thought to paint on chalkboard paint. I love your jewel magnets. I see an upgrade in the future for my magnetic board!

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  20. That looks so great!

    And I've been looking for something like that to fill a frame and I think the sheet metal may work. I'm definitely going to have to see if my Home Depot has that too!

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  21. Love it!!
    I did the same thing with some of my Mother's old earrings!

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  22. great idea, and thanks for the info on the paints, will have to try this!

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  23. Really beautiful! Glad I found your blog today through the Shabby Nest link! :)

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  24. Love this {and the desk is beautiful, too!}

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  25. Really great idea for magnets! Stopping by from Tatertots and Jello!

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  26. Wow, what a great idea, I am glad I am not the only one that has to go to plan c now and then. I love how it is magnetic and a chalkboard, so creative, and beautiful magnets.

    ladybirdln.blogspot.com

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  27. I'm loving the new look of your blog! :) I love the chalkboard also. The magnets turned out so pretty. When I make chalkboards, I spray the glass with chalkboard paint. It works great.

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  28. I love this! I've been wanting to do a magnetic chalkboard for my kids room forever and just haven't gotten around to it.
    Stopping by from Tatertots and Jello!

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  29. I have made a magnetic chalkboard and it did not work well! I didn't think to call - your smart!Thanks for sharing!

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  30. We have that same desk, which came from an auction for $12. How lovely it is in this color! Another project for me to do this summer.

    Thank you!

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  31. So cute! I found you on tt&j :) Love your ideas!


    -Kellie
    http://sixtieshome.blogspot.com/

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  32. That is fabulous! You just solved the exact dilemma I was having for some frames that I just painted. Thanks for your info.

    Brittany
    www.prettyhandygirl.com

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  33. I just looove this, really! I'm getting married in October, so I'm constantly looking or ideas for our new place; this would be perfect for a message center/calendar/reminders/etc. Bookmarking now!

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  34. Great idea! Turned out beautiful. I love your reuse of the brooches. :)

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  35. Your magnetic chalkboard turned out so beautifully!

    Hi Julie, my name is Amy and I am a new follower! Not because of the chalkboard(though it's great), but because of how brilliantly you share your relationship with Jesus Christ. Wow. I am so inpsired by you as a Christian wife and mother and can't wait to learn more about you.
    Have a blessed day my new friend!

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  36. This is a fabulous save on a project that would have derailed at my house!

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  37. Thanks for posting this and saving me time! I'm about to start on a huge chalkboard. Not even sure if Home Depot has this huge of sheet metal. I think 3X5 feet!! HUGE!! Hadn't thought about making it magnetic, but I guess that will determine if I do!. Love how yours turned out. Ck mine out soon!

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  38. You can find Rust-oleum at Home Depot which is a roll-on/brush-on paint that works great. The more applications the more magnetic it becomes.
    http://www.rustoleum.com/cbgproduct.asp?pid=127

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  39. I really love this because I've been wanting a large chalkboard for our living space.
    I'll have to head to a thrift store for a large frame.

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  40. @Miss Obara
    I work for a roofing company that also does sheet metal work. If Home Depot doesn't have the size you need, you may try looking into people in the area that do sheet metal work. They may even be able to cut the exact size that you need for you.

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  41. I just happened onto this blog from Org Junkie and have a question - I bought that same Krylon chalkboard paint for a project. I thought that ALL chalkboard paint was magnetic (from other DIY blogs) but what I painted with it is not the least bit magnetic. Is all chalkboard paint NOT magnetic??

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  42. @Shannon
    There may be a product out there that is a combination of the two, but I haven't been able to find one. I just know that the Krylon Chalkboard spray is not magnetic or compatible with the Krylon Magnetic spray. Hope that helps you!

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  43. @Texas Sugar
    Thanks for pointing this out. I've used the sheet metal used for HVAC duct work & it works great as well. It just takes a little more effort to find it.

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  44. I love the color of your daughters desk. What color/brand did you use? It looks "Tiffany Blue".

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  45. @Goldilocks
    That's Hazel by Sherwin Williams. You can read more about it here:
    http://lessthanperfectlifeofbliss.blogspot.com/2010/11/desk-named-hazel.html

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  46. That's very pretty & thanks for all the FYI! :)

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  47. This is great! I linked it to my chalkboard paint project post too, fantastic!

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  48. Hi! I found you over at Tatertots and Jello! I love this idea so much! I'm mentioning you in my post tomorrow over at derekandnicki.blogspot.com!

    Thanks so much!

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  49. LOVE this idea!! We are working on one tonight. Your picture of the sheet metal package totally helped me find it in Home Depot too!

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  50. I made my grandkids a chalkboard for their room. It was 4x8 feet. Also used magnetic paint out of a can. It took me 5 coats to finally get a magnet to hold. Also top coated with chalk board paint. Framed it with red painted trim. I love the size of it. My next board I did have a custom piece of sheet metal and painted it with chalk board paint. Turned out perfect! Great when you find that perfect frame also.

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  51. Thanks for the tip about the paint. I didn't even know there was such a thing. But I was thinking of getting some sheet metal at HD. This turned out great. The brooches made cute magnets.

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  52. I'm writing up a post about my magnetic display frame and would like to reference your magnetic chalkboard. May I have your permission to use a photo and link back to this post?

    I'd greatly appreciate it.

    Brittany

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  53. love it- great idea!

    do you happen to know the color and brand of paint on that desk?? it looks like it's just what i've been looking for!

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  54. Thanks for this awesome tutorial. I also made the same board. But I couldn't find the same kind of chalk board spray paint you have but I found rust-oleum. Did you use that brand before?

    Please feel free to take a look at my chalk/magnetic board:

    http://dianathao.blogspot.com/2011/10/chalk-and-magnetic-board.html

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  55. I LOVE all of this. I am getting ready to move and just found your blog a few days ago! Question: on your pieces of furniture that you have painted, have you ever attempted to repaint them a different color? If so, what were your results? I'm afraid I will choose a wrong color that won't look so hot when I get it home. Thanks!

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  56. @Katie
    Yes, I've repainted things many times! Don't be afraid of using the wrong color...if it doesn't work out, just try again! So glad you stopped by!

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  57. This is absolutely beautiful. I'm not really good at making things, but I'd really like to try this. Can you tell me how you went from the metal to the frame? You cut the metal, then 1) how did you attach it to the thin piece of board? 2) is the board a piece of wood? 3) how do you get it attached into the mirror frame (I have a mirror I'd like to turn into a magnetic chalkboard for my daughters). 4) Would it be better for me as a beginner to just use a regular frame (and frame the metal like a picture?) Thanks for your help! So pretty

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    1. I'm sure you can do this, Krissy! 1)you don't necessarily have to "attach" it to the board. Just sandwiching it in will hold it. 2) yes, the board is wood--it's very thin particle board, also known as Eucaboard 3) you can attach several ways--glue, a strong tape around the entire edge on the back,or staples or nails wedged in at an angle to hold the board in place. 4) If this is all to confusing just go with what you know! I'm sure it will be great!

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  58. Have you had any trouble with the chalkboard paint chipping off of the sheet metal? The guy at Lowe's recommended priming it first, but the primer for metal is so expensive. Thanks for your help!

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    1. I've had no trouble so far! I skipped the primer because (a) I wanted to do it cheaper & easier, & (b) I wasn't sure if it would interfere with the magnetization of the metal. Hope that helps you!

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  59. Have you had trouble with getting the chalkboard clean? We have done this same thing and are in about week 3 of writing notes and my little boys drawing on it. I cant seem to get it clean now. How do you clean yours?

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  60. I usually clean mine with either a damp paper towel or a baby wipe, and they usually work well. Hope tht helps you!

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  61. I am having SO much trouble cleaning mine too! We got the same sheet metal and I did two coats of the chalkboard paint. And you can see everything we have ever wrote on it. And it takes FOREVER to erase with a damp cloth.. and you can still see what it said. I'm not sure if I should go buy the kind you paint on and give it more coats... or if I just need to end up doing it on wood instead of metal.. because I'm just so disappointed that it wont erase. I dont know what I did wrong. :(

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    1. I'm sorry it hasn't worked out for you! Ive found that with almost all chalkboards I own that there is some degree of residual chalk left over, but it sounds like yours is more than normal. I'm wondering if it could be the type of chalk you've been using. You may want to try a different kind of chalk. And I would also recommend resurfacing with the Krylon spray for a couple more coats. Also, be sure to wait the recommended 24 hrs before using & chalk over the whole board before using, as per the directions on the can. Hopefully these steps will fix it for you!

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  62. Julie,

    Brilliant!! My daughter is getting married and her future mother in law had gotten some cute doll magnest which we wanted to use to hold place cards. I thought about the magnetic paint but saw your post - went off to home depot and found the sheets then discovered I had some lovely embroidered silk fabric which I could use to cover the metal - not sacrifycing any magnetism. THen framed them with 2x3 poster frames -not expensive and voila! A unique, presentable and cheap solutions! Thank you!! Esp for the photo from home depot!

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  63. Thank you so much for sharing your experience! I am SO glad I found this post before tackling my own magnetic chalkboard project!

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  64. Thanks this is exactally the type of information I was looking for. I had an idea in my head and wanted good honest feedback to see what others experiences were before I dove in. I'm on a budget and have limited time so I have to be as efficient and cost effective as possible the first time around. Glad I stumbled on your site it has lots of great info. Thanks!
    Beth Soileau

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  65. I did this today just because of all the horrible things I'd read online about the magnetic paint and I thought I was coming up with an original idea by using the sheet metal (yes, you can feel free to laugh at me). Unfortuantely I didn't see your post 5 hours ago because I paid $20 for a 24x36 piece of sheet metal in the tools section :(

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    1. Bummer! But I hope it turned out well for you anyway!

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  66. how did it hold up over the years of use - i am concerned with the paint chipping and my little one eating it :) thanks

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    1. Ours has been fine so far. It doesn't get tons of use like some of my other chalkboards, but it gets a fair amount & no problems at this point!

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I love hearing from each of you and will do my best to respond! Thanks so much for stopping by. So glad you're here!