Last week, we suggested that you turn a hidden wall of your house (in a basement or laundry room, for example) into an “art wall” to display all of your kid’s masterpieces.
One commenter, known as “Ja’mie Lannister, Private School Kingslayer,” jumped in with another idea we love: Pick a wall or door in your kid’s room and paint it with magnetic primer:
“Depending on how much work you want to put into it, a good option may be to repaint the wall using a product like Rust-Oleum’s Magnetic Primer. Then you can topcoat with whatever colour you wish and hang the artwork with magnets.
You won’t have to worry about damaging the wall or the artwork, and when this phase of your kid’s life is over, you’ll just have a regular-looking wall back.”
Other commenters jumped in to second the suggestion and offer up more tips.
Layer, layer, layer
In order for it to be strong enough to hold the magnets, you’ll need to apply several layers of the primer before you paint over it with a top coat. You can use any regular wall paint as a top coat—or top it off with chalkboard paint for extra fun.
Mix, mix, mix
This primer needs to be mixed well, commenter CommonVices says:
Magnetic primers work by having iron filings mixed in with the paint. Iron is obviously heavier than the liquid, so it has a natural tendency to settle at the bottom of the can. If it’s not well mixed, the primer you use from the top of the can is going to be less magnetic than what’s left over at the bottom (which will also wind up being ‘gloopier’ from the denser concentration of filings).
CommonVices suggests taking the can to your local hardware store the day you’re planning to paint to have it run through the store’s shaker. Then seal it and vigorously shake between coats. Commenters on the paint’s Amazon listing also suggest stirring it up every few minutes.
Take this shortcut
Magnetic primer is both more expensive and more labour-intensive than regular primer. So instead of doing an entire wall, CommonVices suggests creating a horizontal stripe near the child’s eye level.
Use painters tape, apply the primer and then a colourful top coat for a magnetic racing stripe look.