“Do you like it, Mommy?”

Picture after picture after picture.  Princess after princess after princess.  What can I do with all these precious pictures that narrowly escape the fated doom of “THE TRASH CAN”?

Paint up a magnetic wall in the kitchen!

wpid-IMAG2162.jpgWhat I learned when I painted a magnetic wall:
1.  The Rust-Oleum paint stinks to high heaven!  We opened all windows and doors and used fans to exhaust to the outside for several days.  The smell was pretty much gone by the end of a week.
2.  The paint spatters like crazy!  Drop cloth and good taping required.  Gloves and old clothes.  Spills cleaned up right away.
3.  The metal shavings in the paint make the magnets stick to it–thus “magnetic.”  The shavings need to be distributed throughout the paint to work well.  I had the store mix the paint for me, and I mixed it well again before use.
4.  I did not sand the wall smooth because it was smooth drywall, and I was not making it into a chalkboard wall.  I sanded it with fine-grained sandpaper when finished.  However, in our schoolroom, I painted a magnetic-chalkboard wall, and I sanded between coats and when finished for a smooth finish.
5.  I used a roller and brush designed to give a smooth finish.  I disposed of them and the paint tray when finished.  Didn’t try to use them again.
6.  I applied at least 4 coats.  I waited for the paint to be dry to touch before painting another coat.  When my desired magnets stuck how I wanted, I quit.
7.  Regular refrigerator magnets WILL NOT hold on this wall except as a decoration, if you are lucky.  Our letter magnets and poison-center magnets do stick, but they won’t hold a thing.  I had to buy the neodymium rare earth magnets, which are dangerous.  The neodymium magnets that worked best for me are the ones about the size of a nickel with a hole cut out of the center like a donut.  I keep them out of reach of toddlers, and they are off-limits to the kids in general.  Like a sharp kitchen knife or mandolin slicer.  The magnets hold up our art well and will even hold up to 5 sheets of printer paper.

Would I do it again?wpid-IMAG2171.jpg
As long as I was prepared for the mess, the overwhelming smell (no different from any other oil-based paint smell, if you’re acquainted with that), purchased neodymium magnets, and felt confident the magnets would not be manipulated by little hands.  We like our magnetic wall, and it’s always full of art, call schedules, snack calendars, and meaningful quotes.

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