• Emma Neate

Weekend project: Create a blackboard wall

Updated: Oct 15, 2018

With a tin of Rustoleum blackboard paint and a few spare hours on the weekend, you can create something personal, useful, and adaptable for family life. I give you the blackboard wall:

If you look closely, you can see we have some magnets sticking to ours. That is because we mixed two packets of iron powder (https://www.amazon.co.uk/Magnetite-powder-ferrous-ferric-oxide-Fe3O4/dp/B00B29UWOC/ref=sr_1_10?ie=UTF8&qid=1539088971&sr=8-10&keywords=iron+powder) with our paint, to create a metallic surface that magnets could stick to. If you are going to try this at home, I would recommend you learn from my mistakes and:

- use the iron powder only in the top two coats, not the first

- apply the coats which have the iron powder in with a brush, not a foam roller.

I used a foam roller to apply the paint as I thought it would give a smoother finish, but unfortunately a lot of the iron powder got stuck in the roller and never made it on to the board. As a result, the only magnets which will stick to our blackboard are the extra strong ones you see in the picture (https://www.amazon.co.uk/Magnetic-Refrigerator-Whiteboard-Assorted-Attractive/dp/B01EOVACVW/ref=sr_1_14?ie=UTF8&qid=1539091295&sr=8-14&keywords=extra+strong+magnets). Once you've finished your top coat with a brush, I would just give it a gentle sanding down to get rid of any brush marks (and yes, this is going to mean black dust everywhere, so perhaps get someone to stand there with a cordless dyson as you sand).

As you can see, I just followed the line of the door frame vertically upwards to the ceiling to demarcate the area.

We use the blackboard for spellings, phonics, displaying the kids' artwork (using the magnets), and for writing epic Summer to-do lists. This last one turned out to be a lifesaver when it came to moans of 'I'm bored, can we watch something?' over the school holidays.

Heads up: you'll find that chalk dust gathers along the top of the skirting board and floor beneath, so it's best not to attempt this is a carpeted area.

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