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The One About the Art Wall

One day, somehow, we found ourselves with both the time and energy for a project we had been thinking about for a while. In our hallway was a large section of blank wall. With kids entering school age we really wanted a place to display their artwork as well as act as an outlet for their artistic creativity.

There are three sections to this wall. The first was supposed to be easy. After marking off the area I wanted, I decided to sand the wall smooth to get rid of the texture. Who wants a bumpy chalkboard, right? So I jumped right in with some 100 grit sandpaper. Within seconds I had dust everywhere. My floor, my hair, my lungs. Lesson learned: either use a shot vac or some way to contain the dust, or find a way to enjoy a bumpy chalkboard.

Once smooth (and cleaned) I used several coats of chalkboard paint to cover it. I’m a fan of chalkboard paint. We have used it in several places throughout our house which makes us not worry so much about kids inevitable writing on the walls.

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The second section is all about magnets. We wanted to include a lot of random magnets as well as magnetic letters. From what I understand, the Earth’s iron core is rotating creating a magnetic field that shields the Earth in a…well, long story short, magnets stick to metal.

I knew I would need some help here so I called a local sheet metal manufacturer and for a surprisingly low cost, they made me this sheet of galvanized metal to my exact dimensions. I gave them a call, and next day picked it up. It was amazing.

I drilled holes in each corner and used some anchors to mount it to the wall next to the chalkboard.

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The third section is for displaying art. It mainly consists of a colored background so I had my wife choose some fabric, and along with some thin batting, wrapped it around a scrap piece of 1/8″ fiber board. An electric staple gun made this process go quickly.

Again, screws and anchors secured it to the wall.

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Next came the molding. I used some 3 1/2″ molding for the vertical pieces, 1 1/2″ molding between each section, and then constructed the top to match the rest of the molding throughout the house. I painted all the molding white to match as well.

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To complete the art section, we used some wire and clip sets we found at Ikea. I mounted them straight into the molding, securing them fairly tightly. And it came with a lot of clips, each capable of hanging a fabulous piece of artwork that I’m sure will be worth millions.

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The final product! We try to change out the artwork periodically but it is sure hard to get rid of those early family portraits.

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Here are some of the tools and supplies I used in this project. If you are interested in one, take a look. You get a fun product, I get a fun commission. Thanks!

 

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