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Thread: Magnetic Wall Question

  1. #1

    Magnetic Wall Question

    I want to build Alyson a magnetic wall for her new playroom. She just loves magnetic pictures, letters and other stuff on the refrigerator, so I thought a 4 x 8 sheet of steel would be great.

    I can order that through work, but the question is, how thick does it need to be. 24 gauge, 22 gauge, 14 gauge????? The thinner the better as far as cost goes, but at some point the thickness would interfere with the magnetic stuff she puts up there. I am also hoping to get one side painted so that it looks a little better and does not rust.

    Example of magnetic wall:

    I have no intention of traveling from birth to the grave in a manicured and well preserved body; but rather I will skid in sideways, totally beat up, completely worn out, utterly exhausted and jump off my tractor and loudly yell, "Wow, this is what it took to feed a nation!"

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Southern Georgia
    Hey Travis,

    Have you thought about using MAGNETIC PAINT?

    There are several vendors that sell it online. Just google 'magnetic paint'.

    I have no experience with it, but it sure seems easier than tacking up a hunk of sheet metal...

    - Marty -
    Fivebraids, Inc.
    When you earnestly believe you can compensate for a lack of skill by doubling your efforts, there’s no end to what you can’t do…

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Oak Harbor Washington on Whidbey Island
    Why not just use a piece of white metal roofing its thin & already white. Contact it to some 1/4" or 1/2" sheet goods hang it on the wall & put some trim around it. The trim can cover the fasteners that hold it to the wall. Or you can use a few spots of panel glue. The roofing comes in several colors one being white on one side & brown on the other.
    Last edited by Bart Leetch; 02-24-2008 at 03:48 PM.
    "Forget the flat stuff slap something on the spinny thing and lets go, we're burning daylight" Bart Leetch
    "If it ain't round you may be a knuckle dragger""Turners drag their nuckles too, they just do it at a higher RPM"Bart

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Between Aledo and Fort Worth, TX
    I second the magnetic paint. My wife used some at our other house on a closet door. Then painted over it. Refigerator magnets and little words on the pliable magnetic backing work great on it. The kids did all sorts of things with it. It's not cheap, but with being able to paint over it, it works very well. Not sure how well it would do on a textured surface. Might need to mud and sand that part of the wall smooth, then paint the magnetic stuff, then paint over it. Jim.
    Coolmeadow Setters...
    Exclusively Irish!
    Home of Irish Setter Rescue of North Texas
    When Irish Eyes are smiling, they're usually up to something!!
    At a minimum, I'm Pentatoxic...but most likely, I'm a Pentaholic. There seems to be no known cure. Pentatonix, winners of The Sing Off, season 3

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Monroe, MI
    I've seen mixed results with the magnetic paint. A bunch of the women folk in my family used it to make magnetic message boards. Some worked and some didn't. Most likely due to the thickness of the paint, but it would make me nervous spending that much.

    If you paint a piece of steel, its probably going to get scratched up over time. One idea to reduce that would be to have a sign maker cover the face with vinyl. Another would be to have it powder coated. Even very thin will work. My daughter's magnetic whiteboard is 30ga at the most. The drawback though is that thinner dents easier. You could laminate it to a piece of ply to back it up and make it less likely to dent.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    No, not all of SoCal is Los Angeles!
    I would test the type of magnet you are going to use on some pieces at the hardware store or maybe in your own shop. I have a cheap-o toolbox that's 18ga and stuff sticks pretty good. My heavier free standing metal cabinets are 16ga and the difference in grip is significant. I don't know that there is a 'standard' per say. You could also check commercial products from an educational supplies outfit and then bump it up a ga to be sure(?).
    Last edited by glenn bradley; 02-24-2008 at 05:03 PM.
    Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.
    - Arthur C. Clarke

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Odessa, Tx
    Travis, there have been several postings on various forums where the guys took an old refridgerator door (metal one) that was in good shape, trimmed off the edges and made a nice wood frame for it and were using them for large bulletin boards both in their shops AND houses. The nice features were;
    2. holds magnets.......excellent
    3. Already has a good hard finish that so it can be used like a blackboard with the magic marker like chalk stuff that can be erased like regular chalk.........................excellent

  8. #8
    Sorry for not getting back to this until now. You guys got some great ideas. I liked the paint idea, but especially the refrigerator door idea. I got plenty of that outback in the old dump. I never thought much about cannibalizing a refrigerator for this project, but it could be done very easily.

    I'll have to table that idea for now. Snow is over waist high now and we are supposed to get another foot tonight. At this rate it might be June before I can get back into there to get those old refrigerators.
    I have no intention of traveling from birth to the grave in a manicured and well preserved body; but rather I will skid in sideways, totally beat up, completely worn out, utterly exhausted and jump off my tractor and loudly yell, "Wow, this is what it took to feed a nation!"

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