Display Children’s Art: Make Your Own Magnetic Wall

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.magnetic wall with living roomMaking 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.Magnets

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.

How to:

  • 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. magnetic 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.

A magnetic wall to display children’s art works for me!  You can read moreRaising Olives Works for Me Wednesday or head over to We Are THAT Family for more.

Check out some of my other Do-It-Yourself posts or you may be interested in reading my series of posts on Why We Homeschool or stick around to read about HOW we homeschool nine children and love it.

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75 Responses to Display Children’s Art: Make Your Own Magnetic Wall
  1. […] 4.  A whole magnetic wall from Raising Olives. […]

  2. […] Happy Housewife picks up inexpensive frames at IKEA. Kimberly made one whole wall magnetic. Pam stapled artwork to the garage wall. Kristen created her kids’ art gallery in an alcove by […]

  3. Rasa
    January 26, 2011 | 11:01 am

    I love the idea! I would like to try it, but my concern is that I will have to re-locate the kids out of their room until the paint dries … How long does the whole project take? You mention six coats of magnetic paint. How much time do you have to wait between coats? How much time do you have to wait after the last magnetic coat before you can paint the final color? How many coats of final color are neededed? Thank you so much in advance!


    Kimberly @ Raising Olives Reply:

    It’s been a while since we did this project and I don’t remember the specifics of how long it took the paint to dry. You’ll have to refer to the can of paint that you purchase.

    It only took one coat of the final color to cover the magnetic paint, but our final color was dark as was the magnetic paint.


  4. Celee
    February 5, 2011 | 5:56 pm

    My fridge is getting a bit um crowded. Great idea!



  5. cindy
    March 20, 2011 | 10:32 am

    so do you think i could combine the magnetic and chalkboard walls by using the chalkboard paint as the topcoat on the magnetic? my son would love both, and if i combined them, he could draw around magnetic letters and other items that way.


    Kimberly @ Raising Olives Reply:

    I think that may work and it would be super fun for him.


    Sarah B Reply:

    Oh!! If you do this I have to know how it works! As soon as I saw this I knew exactly what wall I would want to do this too and was trying how to split the wall have chalkboard half magnetic, if you can put the chalkboard on top that would be great!!


  6. Lynette
    March 26, 2011 | 12:39 am

    This is FABULOUS! Brilliant! I LOVE IT! We are planning on building our own house here in the future – and I’m builing in a giant sized – wait for it – homeschooling room! In stead of a traditional family room, it’s going to be the homeschooling/play room! So excited about that and now excited about decorating one area of the walls this way! Thanks for the super cool idea!


  7. Amanda
    May 1, 2011 | 1:48 pm

    You could always get some molding to frame the magnetic paint so you won’t be able to see the difference in wall texture. Plus it’ll give it a little extra touch.


  8. Brandy
    August 28, 2011 | 10:44 am

    I LOVE this idea!!!!


  9. betsy
    December 4, 2011 | 9:52 pm

    this is my first time posting in a blog… we are looking for ideas of a playroom we have in our new house for our two daughters. my husband and i are sooooo excited!!!! this is a wonderful idea!!!!! thanks for sharing!!!!


  10. Natasha
    January 3, 2012 | 4:47 pm

    I just wanted to make sureI am reading this correctly. Once I paint the magnetic wall, I will need to paint over it with my color of choice? So, paint the wall, wait to dry and then paint my color? Just double checking. Fabulous idea, thank you.


    Kimberly @ Raising Olives Reply:

    You’ve got that right. I just followed the directions on the can of magnetic paint, so I’d double check with the type of paint you get, but it’s so super easy and gives such nice results.


  11. Tara
    June 27, 2012 | 11:38 pm

    Love your blog! Really need to go to bed but can’t seem to stop reading it and it all started with a google foe workboxes. Anyway, my question is: our walls are textured. Will this still work? Thanks!


  12. alexis
    March 7, 2013 | 9:57 am

    hello, okay this might be a bit of a hard question but I NEED HELP alright my mom is letting me paint my room and i am doing all the walls but one the same color, my idea was paint one wall with chalkbored AND magnetic paint that way i cant draw on my wall have little insperational notes things like that but all so be able to magneticly stick things to the wall with out having to poke holes in the wall. now my mom doesnt want me to have a black wall (she things its to gothic) so i ready that i could use grout and paint and that could be used as a chalkbored paint but i want to do the WHOLE wall not just one small section but that whole side of the wall. i noticed that you had done the whole wall as well and i was wondering if i have to keep mixing over and over in one paint pan? or can i mix it to where i dont have to get re mixing?
    also i want to try and convince my mom to at least get the magnetic paint and i can paint over it with the custom chalkbored paint(white)


  13. April
    January 18, 2014 | 10:33 am

    We’re in the process of finishing our basement which will have a family/play room and I plan on doing this on one of the walls. I’ve come across more than one brand of magnetic paint and there seems to be a wide range of reviews so I was wondering what magnetic paint you used?


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