Wednesday, February 13, 2013

DIY Magnet Boards

So, I am working on and improving P's big boy room one small project at a time. I've got a couple of projects on my list (I'll share a to do list in the next few days). One of the things I can cross off are magnet boards for one of the bare walls. I checked them out on Land of Nod ($24.95 for a 15 x 15 inch square). I wanted something a little bigger and didn't want to shell out $50 for two. The description said it was made of painted stainless steel so I figured I could make something similar. Off to Lowe's I went and bingo!! A whole shelf of steel pieces in different sizes and thicknesses (intended for welding)! Be careful when you are fiddling through these because they are a little sharp and they're not stainless so there is sort of a black layer. Also take a magnet with you, half of the panels in the same area are actually aluminum...not magnetic.

I came home with two panels, 12 x 18 inches at $4.00 each. Not bad! Add the $4-$8 for spray primer and paint and that's it!

steel panels (choose the thin panels so that you can pierce them with a nail or drill )
sharp, sturdy nails (medium thickness for making holes)
small nails or screws for hanging
spray primer, spray paint (satin or gloss)
work bench, indestructible table, scrap wood, etc... to support the metal as you hammer/drill

1) I used our sturdy patio table to make holes, the cutouts perfectly supported the metal as I pierced holes. I can't guarantee that this won't break or bend your table so do this at your own risk. Several pieces of scrap wood or something like that could also work, anything that keeps the metal from bending. 

2) Use a heavy duty nail to make a hole, pull it out, flip the metal panel over and you'll see some nasty sharp edges. Place it on a smooth, supportive surface (like a piece of wood) and hammer flat. 

3) In a well ventilated area, spray a thin coat of primer on the back of the panels, allow to dry. Spray primer on the front, then follow with thin, even coats in a color of your choice (three coats of gloss for me) drying well between layers. 

4) I let my magnet boards dry about 24 hours then popped them on the wall using small nails. It's working really well so far and have been a hit with the boy. He has already added some beautiful crayon drawings :) and a Valentine from a friend.

I don't anticipate damage to the wall. The primer on the back should keep the black residue from transferring to the wall. The nail holes are so flat that I don't think they will be a problem, but I'll have to patch the screw or nail holes if I take them off so it shouldn't be tough to fix any scratches at the same time. 

I'd love to see if you make these yourself! Leave comments!

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