I’m attracted to magnets. I think it’s cool to take a ho-hum wall or door, give it a couple coats of specialty paint and turn it into a focal point – a magnetic wall.
My client loves the chalkboard wall in their new guest room.
And if the magnet wall serves as a blackboard too, then it’s twice as useful.
You can use magnetic and blackboard paints on wood, tile, drywall, glass, metal or any surface. Think about all the areas you can customize: a hallway door, a kitchen cabinet (keeps your shopping list at eye level!) or a storage unit in your garage. You can use paint to hide a window that has no view while giving it new purpose.
Three ways to do it
- Use magnetic primer (it has a texture like an emery board), let dry and cover with latex paint, and use with magnets
- Use blackboard paint alone to use the surface as a blackboard; it’s available in green and black
- Paint first with magnetic primer, then cover with blackboard paint for a magnetic bulletin board
Be sure to carefully prepare the surface according to the manufacturer’s directions so the finish doesn’t chip over time.
Where to do it
- Do a wall in your entryway where guests can sign their names
- In your family room, it’s fun for parties and other celebrations
- Encourages writing and spelling in playrooms or kids’ rooms
- Keep tabs on who’s winning with a scoreboard in the game room
- Create a bistro-style menu board in a casual dining area
- Keep track of the family on a message board in the mudroom
- Stay up-to-date with a calendar in your home office
Dress it up
I try to anchor a big wall with a fun element. For example, for a room I recently did for a client, I placed a colorful, 24” diameter wall clock in the center of a magnetic blackboard wall. The clock anchors the area and gives the owners four quadrants of creative space for artwork, magnets, drawing and writing.
Do you have a single window in a small wall, maybe in your kitchen or mudroom? Paint the wall around it with magnetic or blackboard paint. Or paint a big square next to a door, then buy a frame to surround the “blackboard,” and it will look like a piece of framed art.
If you have a pantry door in your kitchen, paint a blackboard-sized section of it, attach a picture frame and add a “hanging” ribbon with decorative nailheads for a “trompe l’oeil” (fool the eye) effect. Then use it for kitchen notes or your shopping list. The same idea works well for the door to your basement, giving new style and purpose to a not-so-attractive door.
The family fridge is still the reigning champ of message boards. Our newest Kenmore side-by-side refrigerator takes that concept a step further. It has a 7-inch LCD display that you can type messages into or program to run a photo show!