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Mmm...magnetic wall...

So, there's this really stupid arch in our main living room at the new den. It's...oh, maybe six feet wide, maybe eight feet tall. It's a silly thing, a pair of faux columns embedded in the walls, with a sort of greek-style symbolic "roof" closing the space off.

One of my little obsessions is magnetic poetry--I used to have about 32 feet of sheet metal on the wall with various words adhering to them. Fun, fun.

So...what to do with that arch--Whines reminded me (I think I told him about this originally, but my mind blanked on it) that there are several companies that make magnetic paint--paint with metallic particles in it.

Could be fun...that paint's awfully expensive, something like $80/gallon, and it'd take a few coats to get the magnetic effect really strong...but...v-e-r-y tempting as an idea :)


( 17 comments — Leave a comment )
Oct. 22nd, 2007 08:05 pm (UTC)
A friend painted her son's wall with a mural of a cartoon countryside, and the road was magnetic, with little cars you could move along it. The effect was really cool, but the texture of the paint was somewhat lumpy / rough - just looking at the wall, the road was raised and looked a bit odd. Also, it didn't stick very strongly - the little cars would fall off if you weren't very gentle placing them.
You may be better off with sheet metal cut to shape and painted whatever color you want.
Oct. 22nd, 2007 08:25 pm (UTC)
Hmm...do you know if your friend used multiple coats of the paint? Allegedly that helps the magnetic properties.

There's some suggestions for smoothing out the paint--going over it with a smooth brush, I think, was the main one. I'll do a little more research, though. The wall's pretty big...I'd have to use a number of panes of sheet metal...
Oct. 22nd, 2007 08:26 pm (UTC)
One "user review" of the product did say that it was really only good for sticking magnets to the wall, and anything other than a magnet (like a magnet with a wooden car glued to it) would probably fall off. Dunno. They also recommended using rare earth magnets.

Maybe I'll play around with a sheet of plywood first...
Oct. 22nd, 2007 08:26 pm (UTC)
A bit of sheet metal and Gorilla glue (and some bolts for safety) would work better.
Oct. 22nd, 2007 08:36 pm (UTC)
I've thought about that--but again, this is a pretty large area (about 6X8). I'd have to do the sheet metal in panels, I'm not sure that the sheet metal approach wouldn't leave the wall looking ugly and non-professional, since I'm pretty amateur on the carpentry side.
Oct. 22nd, 2007 09:02 pm (UTC)
Take measurements of where you want it and go to any sheet metal shop and ask for a quote for them to cut and deliver it. 6 x 8 isn't out of the question, especially if you split it into 6x4 panels.
Oct. 22nd, 2007 09:37 pm (UTC)
I'll look into that as a concept--again, my carpentry skills are pretty poor, so it's hard for me to wrap my head around options involving drills.
Oct. 22nd, 2007 08:51 pm (UTC)
I've seen several different ways of creating magnetic walls, and really, the magnetic paint has been far and away the most expensive and the least appealling in my opinion. If you want to take the sheet metal route, you could always paper or texture lightly over it to cover it up. You could probably also find actual magnetic panels that would hold magnets batter through heavier texturing if you poked around enough.
Oct. 22nd, 2007 09:17 pm (UTC)
Well, if you *do* decide to do magnetic paint, here's the stuff that's in the teacher discount catalog I get at school. It's still kind of expensive, but cheaper than you'd get elsewhere. I was tempted to use some of it in my bedroom, but didn't end up doing it. If you do use it, let me know how it goes!
Oct. 22nd, 2007 09:25 pm (UTC)
This seems like a good idea until you lean up against it with a flash drive in your pocket.
Oct. 22nd, 2007 09:38 pm (UTC)
Ach, we can't worry about these things...
Oct. 22nd, 2007 09:32 pm (UTC)
I'm gonna go with Shockwave on the sheet metal idea. Cut it to shape, put sticky vynil sheet over it so it's not all metal-y and dengerous-edge-y, and call it good. :) 80$/gal for not-very-good isn't a good deal.

Oct. 22nd, 2007 09:33 pm (UTC)
...and the sheet metal could be done in removable form. (perhaps glued to thin plywood backing?) I think that'd be smart.
Oct. 23rd, 2007 12:05 am (UTC)
No helpful suggestions, but a magnetic wall sounds really cool.
Oct. 23rd, 2007 02:03 pm (UTC)
I've been pondering the same thing and decided on a colored glass mosaic.
Oct. 23rd, 2007 02:31 pm (UTC)
That does sound pretty! The area I'm looking at is actually just a chunk of wall with an arch *design* around it, not a real arch or gate. It's a useless architectural fluff. But...we do have a window in our bedroom with an arch, that might be a good idea! I've also got a number of friends in the "faux wrought iron" business, I might be able to hit them up for a window treatment of some kind...
Oct. 23rd, 2007 05:02 pm (UTC)
Housewarming gift
You could always just say to bring a pint of magnetic paint instead of pot holders or food.

As far as sheet metal, I don't think it has to be in panels for only 6 feet wide; unless it is stainless steel the welder doesn't even have to be well skilled...Mom might be able to flirt for discounted work at her old job.

Have you checked home depot for the misc rolls of plyable metal to see if any of them hold magnets well? That might be the cheaper route and they would be much lighter.
( 17 comments — Leave a comment )