Sunday, March 06, 2011

How to ...Make Your Own Magnetic Blackboard

That's right. Now I've caught the crafting bug and I've got to finish up the desk backing for Caitlin's room. My plan is to make a magnetized blackboard to fit that opening.

Hope you're having a great day!

Tutorial with photos!
  1. First, get yourself a thin piece of plywood, for sturdiness. Have it cut to the size you'd like. (Do you have an old frame that needs a new purpose? Wall space crying out for some magnets?)  I have two of them around 30" x 20", one is for Caitlin's desk and the other is going to be my menu board/shopping list board mounted in the kitchen. 
  2. Get a quart of magnetic primer. You don't want spray paint for this. From the reading I've done, it doesn't appear to work so well. Make sure to either have the store you buy it from use their agitator to shake it or expect to stir it up a lot when you get it home and while painting it on. You need to ensure the primer is well mixed for it to work properly.
  3. Use a very smooth roller or a foam brush. I went the foam brush route, since that's what I had on hand.
  4. Sand your plywood with a fine grit sandpaper, just to ensure it's nice and smooth. Wipe away the dust with a damp rag and allow to dry before priming.

The primer I picked up suggested a minimum of two thin coats, so I went for three and tested in between each coat with a small magnet for strength after allowing it to dry for 30 minutes each time. After 3 coats, it seemed to be strong enough for my needs.

By the way, this stuff is really whiffy, so you'll want to paint it outdoors or in an extremely well ventilated location. I was in the garage with the door open and I still chose to put on a mask to fend off the fumes. By the time I was done with the third coat, it was starting to get a little too chilly to move on to the next phase of the project: applying the chalkboard paint.

I will start on that tomorrow, assuming it's not too cold to paint!

 - - -

Of course I couldn't finish what I'd started. It dropped below freezing and has stayed there the last 2 days. So...instead I'll put this post on hold until the weather returns to the "spring" setting.

In the meantime, I'm working on an indoor project. More about that later.

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