Outdoor Magnetic Chalkboard DIY

If there was one toy that I never seemed to get enough of as a child (actually I still can't get enough of them!) it was a chalkboard but they can get a bit messy indoors. So I decided Aggie just needed to have an exterior chalkboard this year.  And since she loves playing with these magnetic letters, I knew it had to be magnetic as well.  This way she can make as much mess with chalk as she wants and misspell to her hearts delight without worry.



We hung it this weekend and it's already a hit.
Outdoor Magnetic Chalkboard | Brooklyn Limestone
Outdoor Magnetic Chalkboard | Brooklyn LimestoneOutdoor Magnetic Chalkboard | Brooklyn Limestone
Outdoor Magnetic Chalkboard | Brooklyn Limestone

To build it I used a 3 foot by 5 foot piece of galvanized steel, exterior flat paint, unsanded grout, 3 lengths of 2x1 wood boards, metal screws, 2 rope hooks (you can skip these if you aren't hanging on a chain link fence) and chalk.

Outdoor Magnetic Chalkboard | Brooklyn Limestone

Readymade chalkboard paint is not recommended for exterior use so I had to make my own.  The recipe calls for 2 tbsps of unsanded grout for every 1 cup of paint. I mixed til my arm was sore but I was never able to get all the lumps out. It worked well enough even with a few small clumps in there but if I were to do this project again, I'd ask the paint desk to mix up the grout with the paint in the shaking machine.  I gave the metal 3 solid coats and let dry completely for several days.

Outdoor Magnetic Chalkboard | Brooklyn LimestoneOutdoor Magnetic Chalkboard | Brooklyn Limestone

Finally I measured and cut the boards to serve as a decorative frame.  The boards were attached with a few metal screws from the back on each edge.  Finally the rope cleats were added through the metal and the wood for easy hanging on the chain link fence.

Not only will this be a fun play spot for my daughter but I think it will work well for grown up uses as well like a barbecue menu or a photo backdrop.

DIY Outdoor Magnetic Chalkboard | Brooklyn Limestone

By no means perfect but I'm looking forward to enjoying it with Aggie all summer. I'm not sure how long this will last in the harsh outdoor elements but I'll keep you posted.

14 comments:

  1. I just made a magnetic chalkboard for my girls' room last week. It's perfect for playing school!

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  2. That is so cool!

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  3. Where did you get the galvanized steel sheet? I can't find any that size unless I call a sheet metal fabricator.

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    1. Yes I had to go to a sheet metal store. Once I found one, they were very willing to cut something to size right on the spot so it was a lot easier than I expected. This piece cost me $50. Not sure if that was a steal or a ripoff but I didn't haggle because I wasn't going to drive all around town looking for an alternative.

      If you don't need something quite so big, Lowes sells 2 feet by 4 feet pieces of sheet metal ready made.

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  4. Cute idea!! Let us know how it holds up outside.

    ps Aggie is adorable! :)

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  5. You are a rock star Mom. I love that it is outside. How cool! I would be drawing on it all the time.
    pve

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  6. That pretty little girl is so lucky to have such a creative mom! Love her wardrobe!

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  7. I am so distracted by that beautiful baby that I keep forgetting what the post is about!

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  8. I love this idea so much! It's perfect for outdoors and such a great idea to add magnetic paint to it.

    Also, her dress? I die.

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  9. can i ask you what color paint you used? it looks like the perfect not-quite-green-but-not-quite-black shade! thanks!

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    1. The color is Shaded Fern by Glidden. It looked quite green going on but was the perfect color once it had dried. Hope that helps!

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  10. I'm sorry, but as cool as that magnetic chalkboard is, Aggie is about the most adorable and beautiful little girl on the planet!! Lots of happy times ahead for her to express her creative self.

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  11. I know this an old post but I wanted to know what you did for the back of the metal to keep it from rusting. Did you paint it too? And did you attach it to plywood? How has it held up?

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    1. I don't remember if I painted the back or not but its definitely a good idea to do so (do as i say, not as i do). I had meant to bring it in for the winter but just forgot it but much to my shock its still good as new! It would definitely be better NOT to leave it out in the elements for harsh winters but evidently its no worse for wear after one full year. Our backyard gets very strong sun and obviously NYC gets harsh winters so I think it had a good beating.

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