diy project: magnetic chalkboard mirror


these days i have a strong affinity for anything chalkboard related. it began with the vintage frame chalkboard i bought from gosia at blue bell bazaar on etsy (above, in my house), and continued with my most recent column for craft magazine about using chalkboard or magnetic paint (online here). so i was thrilled to see an email from christina at viva full house about her recent diy project.


christina found this gorgeous (and cheap!) mirror on craigslist and decided to use it to make something custom for a huge empty wall in her kitchen. she wanted it to be something sentimental so she decided on a magnetic chalkboard so she could use it for family photos and words. rather than use magnetic chalkboard paint (which can admittedly sometimes not be strong enough for heavy objects), christina and her dad decided to use the frame as a template and cut a thin piece of steel (which is magnetic) to fit the frame. then they painted the metal piece with chalkboard paint and updated the frame with some glossy dove white spray paint. once it was reassembled it was ready to hold court in the kitchen and keep cherished family pictures and words together.

christina was kind enough to share her project steps with us so just CLICK HERE for the full project, or click “read more” below. [thanks, christina!]


Materials:

-Vintage (or new, depending on your desire) frame or mirror
-Thin piece of steel
-Primer
-Chalkboard Paint
-Spray adhesive
-Spray or regular paint for the frame

1. The mirror was disassembled and the mirror and backing board were saved

2. The mirror that was in the original frame was used as a template in order to draw the shape needed for the sheet metal, Easyboard, and spacing/backing cardboard. All items were cut out of the original stock. The sheet metal was cut with aviation snips, the Eashboard and cardboard were cut out with a carpet knife.

**if you’re not experienced or uncomfortable with cutting metal, please pick up a sheet of metal and have it cut to size at your local hardware store, or hire an affordable handyman on craigslist to do the cutting for you**

**alternatively: if you’d rather not deal with metal and don’t plan on hanging heavy items on the board, you can simply paint or spray the original frame/mirror with chalkboard paint and skip this step.**

3. The sheet metal was adhered to the Easyboard using the spray adhesive. A coating was applied to both surfaces in order to get a good lamination and then a large piece of plywood with cinderblocks were put on it in order to press them together for several hours.

4. The sheet metal surface was re-cleaned and then sprayed with a couple of coats of primer.

5. The sheet metal was then sprayed with the chalkboard paint.

6. The frame was cleaned and sprayed with the spray paint using numerous coats in order to get a complete coverage.

7. After the paint was dried, the frame was sprayed with clear coat in order to obtain a shiny, clean, hard surface for the frame.

8. After the frame dried completely the assembly took place first installing the metallic laminated chalkboard, then a cardboard spacer, and then the original backing was re-installed using the original screws and staples.

Laura

chalkboards are my new obsession too! i found some great ones on Etsy. I would love to just jot down a to-do list or positive statement every day :)

Jen Singh

This is such an innovative DIY project! I’ve been searching for something to hang near my piano for my daughter’s lesson and for her to practice writing her staff notes. Perfect! Now I just have to find that perfect frame…

Kristina

What a great idea! It turned out beautiful. Thanks for sharing your creative idea with the rest of us!

Susan Gist Taylor

Dashing dads with power tools are things of beauty aren’t they? I always think mine is at least. Lovely chalkboard and will definitely be trying this one out!

alexis

i love this, in my old apartment i did an entire wall in chalkboard paint, and now i’m wanting another chalkboard surface! thanks for sharing!

jamie

That is really cool. And I love when Dads help out with projects. I’m always calling mine for help!

Lynne

I love these too. In fact yesterday I bought some blackboard paint at a hardware shop – I had to buy £10 of stuff before they would let me use a card so I had to add a few extra things to what I was actually buying. Even though I don’t actually have a project for it…well, I do, I want to have a blackboard like you have pictured above – but I keep going to car boot sales looking for bargain frames and there never are any!

Whitney

Seeing these two dazzling chalkboards, I think Im falling in love with them. Christina’s goes perfectly on that wall and what a clever idea to do steel and then paint it.

brooke

oh my gosh, this took my breath away. i definitely want to try this!

mixette

These look so great!

I think MS Living magazine had instructions on how to make your own chalkboard paint by mixing latex paint and non-sanded grout. Then you can have a “chalkable” surface in a color other than black or green.

Rachel

Oh the steel is a great idea! I made mine on the canvas that came in my thrift store frame. I’d love to make a magnetic version!

gia

I love this! I’ll definitely re-create one in the near future. So charming! Now I must hunt for a vintage frame! Thank you very much for posting this.

jen

i love my little chalkboard but i wish it had a pretty vintage frame..now i’m thinking of a way to swap it out!

The Deco Detective

This is so clever! I didn’t know that magnetic paint existed, but this seem like a better solution – it’s hopeless when the magnetic stuff doesn’t work properly and starts sliding down…

Spinach Tiger

I love love love that mirror. And it’s all so cleverly done. BTW, there is a new paint on market, that paints on WHITE dry erase..called Idea Paint.

Carolyn

what is easyboard? and where do you get it? is it an art supply item or hardware store item? can’t wait to do this project!

Briana

This is gorgeous!!! I really want to try this, thanks for the inside tips!!!

Chihiro

Still yearning for the person who knows if chalkboard paint is available in low VOC. Benjamin Moore has no idea!

Christina

Carolyn – Easyboard is easily assesible @ all of the hardware stores & comes as large as 5 x 3 sheets. It’s pretty inexpensive and because you would use spray adhesive to adhere it to the sheet metal, it then in return gives that sheet metal the stiffness it needs. The sheet metal on it’s own is pretty flimsy. Hope that helps.

liz stanley

can you really paint directly onto the mirror with magnetic chalkboard paint? it seems easier than buying and cutting a sheet of metal.
Or..does anyone know is Lowes/Home Depot would cut a piece of metal bought there?

Hollie

Wow, love love love this. Think it will make a fab prezzy for my girlfriends… along with some black and white photos of us, and families. Amazing idea, the vintage frame looks incredible.

Gabrielle

how did you know i wanted to know how to make a magnetic chalkboard mirror?!

liz stanley

i just made one from a $7 mirror I found at the thrift store and it turned out great! I painted with magnetic and chalkboard spray right onto the mirror. After four coats of magnetic paint, it’s ‘pretty’ magnetic, but nothing great. Love it though.
Looks awesome!
see it here:
http://tinyurl.com/ckcmzo

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cecile

i just finished this project and HIGHLY recommend the hardware store was happyto cutthe sheetmetal for me, but be warned that the edges are ery sharp. i brought along the cardboard backing from the vintage frame for sizing and had them wrap my cut metal in a discarded box for safe transportation. i’m going to do it again for sure, with the extra sheet metal.

trentlaceysunxxp

I really liked it. But not bad, it would be to add a few important sections.

Paddy Peters

Did you use galvanized sheet metal or treated with zinc surface? Do you have to treat the metal? Also, I was wondering what the cost, minus frame?

Thanks a bunch, I hope to make a large 3 ft by 4 ft board for my 10 month old twins playroom.

Jamie

I have a $3 wood window-like frame from a thrift store which once must have had mirrors in it, but doesn’t anymore. I was wondering if anyone has suggestions as to 1) how to attach the sheet metal to the frame? Drill? or 2) other materials that will work for chalkboarding besides mirror or sheet metal.

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Christi

I love the idea of this. I would like to make it half mirror and half chalkboard but all of it magnetized. Anyway to magnetize a mirror? I want to put a desk in my daughters room that she can also use as a vanity. Thanks!

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