When I asked the Instagram world if a magnetic board was worth it in our toddler playroom, the answer was an overwhelming YES! I’m so glad I took the advice of so many of my followers because my twins have loved this board! It allows us to practice their colors, numbers, letters, and animals in a fun and playful way. Since I also made this a chalkboard, they will be able to practice their letters when they get older – for now, they love to scribble.
This was a pretty simple project; the hardest part was just waiting for the paint to cure! I’ve included the supply list and instructions below, but as always, feel free to ask any questions in the comments below!
- Galvanized Sheet Metal (I purchased mine at Home Depot for around $11. It can be cut to whatever size you’d like to make your board; however, I wanted mine as big as possible, so I kept it at 36″ X 48″. )
- Thin Backing Board (To mount the sheet metal to – I chose the thinest/lightest one Home Depot sold and had it cut to the same size as my sheet metal.)
- 1″x 2″ Wood Cut To Frame Size (You’ll need four pieces to make the frame.)
- Liquid Nails (To glue down the sheet metal and frame)
- Paint Primer (Kilz is my go-to!)
- Benjamin Moore Chalkboard Paint (The great thing about their chalkboard paint is that you can mix it with ANY color Benjamin Moore carries!)
- Roller Brush (For the primer and paint. You definitely do not want to use a paint brush or it’ll show your brush strokes!)
- Wood Stain (For staining the frame. I used Minwax in Dark Walnut.)
- Vinegar (For prepping the sheet metal for paint.)
- Degreaser (For prepping the sheet metal. I used the Zep brand which was only a few dollars at Home Depot.)
- Hanging Hardware (I used standard sawtooth picture frame hangers that were made to hold heavy weight.)
- Gorilla Wall Tape (I used this one. This mounts the bottom of the board to the wall which is important if you are making a large board like mine. It prevents your little ones from knocking it off the hangers on to their heads or feet!)
1. Prepare The Sheet Metal – It’s important to etch the sheet metal before painting or you run the risk of the paint not adhering properly and chipping off over time. First, spray on your degreaser and let it set for a few minutes before wiping it off. I actually used a water hose after to make sure it was completely off. Then cover the sheet metal with vinegar and let it sit for 5-10 minutes before washing it off. Now your sheet metal is ready to be painted!
2. Glue The Sheet Metal To The Backing Board – Use your liquid nails to bond the sheet metal to the backing board. Be sure to apply liquid nails to the edges and then make vertical and horizontal stripes all the way across to ensure all of it is bonded evenly.
3. Prime The Sheet Metal – Apply 1-2 coats of primer to the sheet metal using your roller brush. Be sure to follow the instructions for your specific primer on how long to wait before applying another coat.
4. Paint The Sheet Metal – Apply 2-3 coats of chalkboard paint being sure to pay attention to the required dry time between coats. Mine needed three coats to to make it look perfect. It is very important that you use a roller brush and not a paint brush in order for it to be a smooth finish. The chalkboard paint will have no affect on the magnetism of the sheet metal.
5. Stain And Glue Your Frame – Once your frame has been stained and dried, use the liquid nails to glue it down to the board. Be sure to place some weight on the frame as it’s drying in order for it to bond completely (I used weight plates we had in our garage gym). I also sanded my frame boards before staining thoroughly to ensure there were no splinters or sharp edges.
6. Wait The Required Time – Chalkboard paint needs a few days to cure. 3-4 days to be exact. It’s tough to wait, but it is very very important that you do!!
7. Attach Hanging Hardware – Attach the brackets to your board and hang it on the wall. Be sure it goes in to studs or use anchors.
8. Use Gorilla Tape At The Bottom – I used gorilla wall tape to connect the bottom of the board directly to the wall to prevent my little ones from being able to lift the bottom and having it fall off the hanging hardware. This worked perfectly and make it 100% safe!
9. Prep The Surface – Cover the entire board with white chalk, be sure you are very thorough with this step! Once it’s covered, use a warm cloth to wash the board clean.
To view more photos from our playroom as well as the full source list, CLICK HERE.