Saturday, February 4, 2012


I've always wanted a big chalkboard wall in my kitchen - a command center of sorts. Perhaps my love for chalk dust goes back to my childhood, playing school in the basement where my folks set us up with a big 4x6' chalkboard and room to play.

After years of bulletin boards, white boards, photo displays, I knew I'd eventually figure out how to create what I wanted. On a DIY show I saw a kitchen wall painted with magnetic paint. It was a huge wall for the kid's magnets. The light went off. I could paint a coat of magnetic paint UNDER the chalkboard paint. Darn I'm genius!

I cleared the wall of the old white board combination and filled the holes. Then with an expert eye, because I've already confessed I don't measure, I taped off approximately the dimensions I wanted to cover with the paint.

I wanted it high enough for looks and low enough for Grands. The next step was to sand the orange peel texture off the walls. Hand sanding lasted about... THAT long. I quickly employed my husband's upper body strength and belt sander. After about 20 minutes AND 2-3" of dry wall dust in the surrounding rooms we were ready to wash the wall down with TSP, allowing it overnight to dry.

The magnetic paint was found at Lowe's in the same area as spray paint. It was approximately $20/quart. I had them shake the can but still ended up stirring up the paint to get the metal shavings mixed up. Three thin coats applied with a disposable foam roller brush. You could see the glitter and feel the texture. Very "Twilight". It's recommended 30 minutes drying time between the three coats. I couldn't wait to test out our new wall!

BTW, magnetic paint requires a special (expensive) cleaning product. We opted for a smaller, less expensive can of acetone which worked marginally well, thus the disposable rollers.

The chalkboard paint was also found in the same aisle and is just as easy. I again had the paint shaken but stirred it up good at home the next day. I applied three thin coats, allowing it to dry between, using the foam roller to get a nice even coverage. Clean up was much easier - soap and water.

My husband trimmed out the chalkboard with matching trim I painted prior to hanging. We confirmed what we've always known about the walls of our home - they are not flat. He used an adhesive but ended up tacking down a few of the less than level spots with finishing nails. The holes were filled and trim was paint touched up.

We are so excited with our new communication area. I love how our grandson practices his letters and numbers when he visits. His Dad and Uncle enjoy the upper regions for their notes and doodles too. I couldn't be more pleased to say "Check - another one of my ideas has come to life!"

1 comment:

Amy said...

ITS SO COOL!!! I still haven't done mine... :(