DIY Wednesday: Magnetic Chalkboard

Pinterest, thou art a cold-hearted b!+@%!  I found two crafts I decided to try from Pinterest, and well, they were not as easy as they looked.  The first is the Magnetic Chalkboard I”m going to share with you today and the second is the Ice Cream Cone Tea Cup that will be featured on Party On! Friday.  This DIY magnetic chalkboard gave me the most trouble though, but with a few tweaks I was able to simplify the process and make it look sharp for less.  Heed my warning: Stay away from magnetic primer!

I made  this for my son’s preschool so that they could turn the side of a cabinet and it’s door into a functional message board so that parents can see notices right where they sign the kids in and out.  I’m dying to do this to the inside of my pantry…pictures to follow on that one as I will be testing another chalkboard method for you, but I digress.

What You’ll Need:

  • Steel cut to size (if you want it magnetic)
  • A Drill
  • Electric Screwdriver
  • Chalkboard paint
  • Regular Primer (I used spray paint primer)
  • Yardsticks
  • Saw
  • Caulking
  • Screws

Step One: Measure Twice, Cut Once

If you’re going to be using a sheet of metal like I did you’ll want to make sure you measure twice, heck make that three times, to make sure you order the right size.  Most machine shops or fabrication shops can order you what you need, just be sure to ask them for their lightest weight metal that magnets will stick to.

Step Two: Holy Moley

Before you jump into to painting be sure to drill holes into the metal so that you can attach it to your surface.


Step Three: Prime Time

It’s time to prime your metal, I used a simple spray on primer I got for around $3 at my local hardware store.  Do not use magnetic primer, that’s what the metal is for.  DO NOT spray your cabinets with magnetic primer and then expect it to be magnetic…it will hardly hold up an alphabet magnet.  Then when you try to add yet another coat it will do this weird bubbling thing and ruin your project…not like I would know from experience or anything…

Step Four: Chalk to Baby

Once your primer is completely dry you can brush on your chalkboard paint.  I found mine on clearance at Walmart for $3.24, score, and I did two coats.  Allow plenty of drying time or the paint “shrinks” and gets weird cracks that look kind of antiquish in it.

Step Five: Stuck On You

Time to stick your dried magnetic chalkboard in place.  I had my big brother screw it in for me because, well, he’s taller and I didn’t want to teeter on a preschool sized chair holding a power tool.  Once it is fixed in place you’re ready for the final touch.

Step Six: I’ve Been Framed

We whipped up this oh-so-easy frame out of yardsticks from the hardware store, there were $1.50 a piece and worked out well because they were easy to measure since, well, they are yardsticks.  You could paint them, but since this is for my son’s school I thought they added to a little something kitschy-cute to the project just the way they are.

Done!  His teacher loved it and since he won’t be back next year (off to big kid school) this will be his “legacy” gift to the school.

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