Last Wednesday when I posted about our chalkboard wall, I left you with a tease that I was going to post about my wonderful idea for displaying children’s artwork. (No, it’s not hang the pictures on the fridge 🙂 )
I was inspired with the idea a few years ago while skimming a decorating magazine. There was a picture of an elegantly painted chocolate brown, accent wall with an antique oil painting and amazing frame hung in contrast to the darkness of the wall. It was lovely and simple and quite fitting for a home fashion magazine. It’s not that I wouldn’t love to have such a classy looking area in our home, but the reality is that with homeschooling 9 children my goal is kid friendly, beauty and educational practicality. Nonetheless it was the beginning of my idea for an accent wall to display the children’s art.
So how did I make it happen? I painted an accent wall with magnetic paint.Making your own magnetic wall is embarrassingly simple, but I did learn a few things in the process and am more than happy to share.
To make your own magnetic wall you will need:
- magnetic paint – we got ours from Lowe’s (Pay attention to the recommended coverages. The thicker the paint is applied the stronger the magnetism, you will not want to use less than recommended.)
- wall paint in your color choice.
- magnets (I purchase the plain, round magnets at Wal-Mart)
- (optional) decorations to glue onto the tops of the magnets. I used round gemstones and interesting buttons.
A couple of notes:
- The magnetic paint is black, so if you choose a lighter color for your finished wall be prepared for several coats.
- Read the instructions on the magnetic paint as to how many topcoats it will handle and still be sufficiently magnetic.
- The magnetic paint is thick and a little tricky to work with. It took me six coats to get all of the paint recommended for our space onto the wall. Just keep going, it turned out fine.
- The magnetic paint has a slight texture. Most people never notice, but if you look at our wall in the right light, you can see where the magnetic part stops. If I were doing it over, I would have painted ceiling to floor and then no one would ever notice.
- We used satin paint for wash-ability. However, because of the texture of the magnetic paint and the high traffic that our wall gets, I would suggest considering matte paint for ease of touch ups.
- Apply the magnetic paint according to the directions.
- Paint the whole wall including your new magnetic area with regular latex paint.
- Hot glue your decorations to the magnets if you want.
- Wait a long time for the paint to dry, longer than recommended. We waited a few days before we left things hung on the wall. Otherwise some of the paint will stick to the magnets or the paper.
- Hang your children’s art on your wall.
- Be prepared to explain to every guest that visits your home how you are able to hang pictures on your wall.
Here are some ways that we have utilized our magnetic wall:
- displaying art (obviously)
- hanging maps
- displaying missionary prayer cards/updates
- hanging our art appreciation cards
- decorating for special occasions (birthday, father’s day banners, Christmas cards, balloons, etc.)
- displaying any school visuals, graphs, charts, etc.