Thursday, November 8, 2012

Magnetic chalkboard wall

The title of this post should probably read "A simple project turned crazy". I'll tell you why, but first, a little prelude...

As you might remember from Audrey's birthday pictures, we now have a chalkboard wall in our kitchen...and it's magnetic too! This is by no means a new concept. I'm sure you've seen many chalkboard walls on other blogs, Pinterest, and in magazines. They are something that I've admired for a while now, and I'm so glad I finally have one of my own.

I love using it to write quick lists or reminders. And of course, it's always cute to do fun things on it like I did for Audrey's party. I also made it magnetic, mostly for Audrey's enjoyment. I thought it would be fun for her to play on it with alphabet letters and things like that....although, I have yet to find ones strong enough that will actually stay on the wall (more on that in a minute).

Here's how I (painstakingly!) created my magnetic chalkboard wall.

I used:

I have to give you a fair warning. I HATED the magnetic paint. It was so incredibly thick, that it was almost impossible to stir with a stick. I should have had the can shaken at Home Depot, but it never crossed my mind. I think having it shaken would have helped the consistency a bit, but not enough to make me want to use it again. I started painting the wall with it, just as you would a regular paint, but it was SO thick. Imagine trying to paint your walls with wet sand. That's what it was like! Not to mention, it was splattering everywhere. I don't know if another brand of magnetic paint would be different, but this one scared me enough to not want to find out!

After the first coat was on and dry, my walls looked so bumpy. Like textured walls from the 80's. Not good! I decided to give it another coat, as recommended on the box, but it did not improve the texture that was happening.

The chalkboard paint is supposed to go on top of the magnetic paint once it has dried. My walls were still really bumpy, but I hoped against hope, that somehow the chalkboard paint would smooth things out. I was wrong! The texture was still so obvious, and besides just looking terrible, I knew it would also be a problem for writing on the wall with chalk.

I knew I had to sand the walls down, and I was dreading it! I also knew it would be way too time consuming to do it by hand, so I bought an inexpensive electric sander. I don't even have pictures of this step because I was just so frustrated and in a hurry to get the job done!

Once the walls were smooth again, I gave them another 2 coats of the chalkboard paint. I knew that I had sanded down some of the magnetic paint, but at this point I just couldn't bring myself to apply more! The wall still ended up being magnetic, although only my very strongest magnets will stick to it. I don't know if that's due to the fact that I sanded it down a bit, or if it would be this way regardless. Either way, now I'm on the lookout for some alphabet letters that will stick to the wall, or I might just make my own, using these.

Here's how my walls looked when all was said and done!

The last and very important step to complete before writing on your chalkboard wall, is to condition it. You do this by turning your chalk on its side, and rubbing the entire chalkboard surface. Wipe off the chalk, and then your chalkboard will be conditioned and ready for pretty writing. The reason for conditioning your chalkboard is so that the entire surface has an even coating of chalk. That way, the first things written on it will erase easily and not leave permanent marks.

Now you're officially done, and can have some fun writing on your new chalkboard wall! This little lady really loves it when I give her some chalk...

Beautiful baby art...

So there you have it! My magnetic chalkboard wall. Here's a fun before and after:

What do you guys think of chalkboard walls? Do you have one of your own? Have you used magnetic paint before? I'd love to know if it gave you a hard time, like it did me! Let me know in the comments! 


  1. You're crafty so I think these DIY alphabet magnets would be a breeze of a project for you.
    I've bought all the materials, just need to get the courage to actually make them myself!

  2. Thanks Mimi...those are so cute!!!

  3. A very good resource for everybody that wants to read a good blog.

    Magnetic Chalkboard

  4. I love it. And I am thinking of having the same thing on one of my walls (it is kind of boring so it really needs to be transformed into something cool). But I am still thinking of its cost and how laborious it could be.

  5. I did the EXACT thing you did, just a bit bigger wall. Same products and everything. I am done with the magnetic part and have yet to put on the chalkboard paint....that is why I am online looking for tips. You are not alone with all the mixing pain, splatters, and rolled on bumps! It was a nightmare, but I feel I triumphed over this project just because I didn't give up. I actually had to do SIX coats to get the magnets to really work. I knew from other sites I would need extra coats, but geez!(so I don't think your sanding caused the weakness) I got online last night at 11:30 when I finally finished my final coat and ordered super strong tiny magnets from Amazon. Hoping they work for me, but since you have a baby, maybe you can appoxy them to some letters for her. Anyway, I am proud of us both! Wish me luck on my chalkboard coats today .

    1. Thanks for the info! Hope your project goes well!!!!

  6. I just finished my 2 chalkboard coatings this morning, after FIVE painful coatings of the magnetic primer. I completely agree with you on what a pain it was. Thankfully mine didn't come out looking horribly bumpy (slightly-yes)....maybe it's because I used a special smoothing roller. It was smaller than normal so even more of a pain! Anyway, thanks for your info. I like your chalkboard tips. How long did you wait to condition the chalkboard after paint application. I've seen people say to wait 24 hrs, 3 days, etc... I'm impatient and want to do it now!!! :) But after all this effort I don't want to screw it up now.
    Also, I found some sheets of magnets that have adhesive on them at Hobby Lobby. I'm using them to add magnetism to some other Alphabet magnets I found. It's worked on the couple I already tried!


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