This is a project I did last fall. I found a large bulletin board in a thrift store for $15 and decided it was the right size to turn into a magnetic chalkboard for my kitchen. I wanted a chalkboard because I like how they look, but the idea of being able to hang my son’s drawings and paintings on it was even better, so we’d have a central location for everything right in the kitchen. I really like things that do double duty like that.
This board was basically a giant piece of plywood with a frame already built around it. Too bad I don’t have any real “before” pictures… it was pretty horrible, covered with a weird tan cloth with odd things stapled to it. After we removed the frame and stripped everything off, we put my son to work sanding the plywood smooth (he wanted to help) prior to trying out some much anticipated magnetic primer paint (which he did NOT help with).
The magnetic primer paint was pretty neat and it does work, but it requires a lot of patience, lots of stirring (you might want them to shake it at the store prior to use) and several coats of paint (I used one can). We wanted to be on the safe side so we put about 3 coats on it. We tested it with magnets before we covered it with chalkboard paint. Stronger magnets hold better, but I’m not using the super strong ones, just large ones and it works pretty well.
For the chalkboard color, I decided to go with Rustoleum’s tintable colors in ‘Schoolhouse Green’ instead of the usual black you see everywhere. I really like it, but I think I’d like black too…. The green is somewhat warmer though. I’d also like to try some of the bright colors you can get.
We were pretty pleased with the results from the primer and paint, but next time I don’t think I’d use plywood as the base for a chalkboard. It is nice and heavy, but the slightly uneven surface of it does make it a little harder to write on or erase… more so than masonite would, but it still works fine. We use it more for hanging now than for chalk though.
Up close you can see a bit of the grain of the plywood.
The verdict: I really like my DIY magnetic chalkboard and would definitely try another one.