Creating a Happy, Colorful, Handmade Home & life on the shores of lake superior

April 21, 2011

DIY Magnetic Memo Board Created with Magnetic Paint

I recently shared photos of my new silhouette gallery wall.  I'm so excited, it is hard to turn my chair around and actually do work because I just keep ogling my silhouette collection, which is finally on display.  I'm also pretty excited about the magnetic board I made that hangs, very discretely, among my silhouettes - much better than my ratty old bulletin board!

DIY magnetic memo board

Here's how to turn any smooth into a magnetic memo board, using paint!

I started with a great vintage frame, which wasn't easy to find!  (The frame also has a mirror, which is what I applied the paint to).

I love the ornate details:

I took the mirror and frame apart, and set up a place to paint in my basement, covering the floor with some cardboard.  I cleaned the mirror thoroughly to remove any dust or grime.

Turning a mirror into a magnetic surface

In my basement (but you should use a well-ventilated area), I applied the Rust-Oleum magnetic paint to my mirror with a small roller.  As suggested on the can, I applied numerous, very thin coats.  The manufacturer claims three coats will work, but that is a lie.  I literally used almost the whole can before it would hold a magnet.  After using almost all of the paint, I could finally get a magnet to stick & hold up some paper.  

Then I roughed up the frame with sand paper, cleaned it, and applied some leftover magnetic paint with a paintbrush - it took two coats for even coverage.  I wanted the frame and magnetic surface to be the same colour.

Although it took a few days to finally get all of the paint on, the results are impressive - I created a magnetic surface from a mirror and a can of paint! 

Some tips for using magnetic paint:
  • Allow more than the recommended drying time in between coats for a smooth surface
  • Mix the paint really well each time you use it
  • Buy a nice smooth, low pile roller that won't create "dimpling"
  • Keep a magnet handy to test the magnetism after each coat dries
  • Don't fool yourself into thinking this can be done in an afternoon

DIY magnetic memo board
Does magnetic paint work?
I didn't let it dry enough in between coats, so I don't have the smoothest
surface ever, but it works!
Tips for using magnetic paint // What not to do
Create a magnetic surface (almost) anywhere
Proof of magnetism
Create a DIY modern memo board

Now it is time to rock the magnetic poetry.  Have you tried using magnetic paint for any projects?  I have to admit, this stuff is pretty cool!  Here's a tour of my vintage/modern home office, so you can see how this new DIY magnetic memo board add some function without sacrificing a modern style.


  1. Looks great!! I love the frame, might have to try that : )

  2. I would have never thought in a million years that you could build up enough of a metallic surface with paint for a magnet to stick. That is so cool!

  3. that looks fab! i'm always skeptical of those wacky paints (after my chalkboard paint fail) but it's great to see them actually work!

  4. oh! I love this!! thanks for sharing, I've been wanting to try something, your tips will be helpful. =)

  5. I was a little skeptical, too. I'm actually super surprised it is actually magnetic. I kind of thought this might be another DIY Fail. But, seeing as phase II is chalkboard paint I'm nervous about your experience, Emily.

  6. I love it! Great idea "wink wink"! Great minds think alike!

    The wall looks fantastic!


  7. Oh yes, forgot to mention: I intended to create a bunch of these. You know, because I'd have so much extra paint. Snort. I'll have to love this one alot because no way am I dropping 30 clams on another can of magnetic paint.

  8. Egad. I may just end up stealing every single idea that you have. I already made your Abstract Painting and now I have to make this? Sigh. Stop being so inspiring. I'm exhausted.

  9. You are so creative and artistic. I'm not jealous but maybe a wee bit envious :) Just love your wall of silhouettes and the new magnetic mirror is icing on the cake.

  10. so creative..thanks for sharing your inspiring ideas../Marie

  11. Well, dang. I just did my first chalkboard paint project and now I gotta try this too! Love all your tips. Thanks for sharing. Nowadays, I always read (trust) blogger tutorials over the manufacturers!

  12. An update: if you try this project, you might find not all magnets are strong enough to adhere. I picked up some super strong magnets and they work perfectly.


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