Somewhat happy accidents


I have been planning for months to paint one of my walls, and not with just any old paint. I decided to paint it with magnetic paint. The paint itself isn’t magnetic, but it contains iron filings in it which one can then stick magnets to and hang all sorts of things (at least, according to the companies promoting this product). My plan was to have an active wall that would make it easy for me to swap out artwork to suit my mood. I imagined slicing up bold, beautiful photographs, patterns and the like in photoshop and then taking them to FedEx to print them out in high quality and then hold them to the wall with tiny magnets. I carefully planned how the painting would go, gathering the paint and supplies necessary, and corralling a few wonderful friends to help me get the job done quickly. Last night we taped off all the edges and put down the tarps. Before starting today I had to mix the paint pretty thoroughly, because the filings separate easily from the mixture and I must have been stirring with the drill stir about 10 minutes non-stop before the consistency seemed acceptable. We finished the first coat today, and I can tell you this about the paint: It is rather more like paste than paint, and almost impossible to make a smooth finish of. After a few strokes we kind of gave up on the idea of uniformity and acceded to the imperfections (of the paint, and let’s face it, life). Although I still have one more coat to apply tomorrow, I kind of like the texture it gives to the wall. And I know that the second coat will make the magnets stick a little better, but I am a little worried that they aren’t holding very well just yet. I even bought the really powerful rare earth kind. But I will withhold judgement until after tomorrow. I just hope I don’t have to order more paint for a third coat. It costs an arm and a leg,  takes about a week to arrive, and I can’t leave my living room in the disastrous state it is currently for more than a couple of days.


  1. Angela Carr says:

    I used this paint in my kids’ playroom and needed four coats to get the holding power I needed for children ( who would constantly be running by and knocking things off ). This was a good nine years ago, so the technology may have improved but the sueded texture of your wall looks familiar.

  2. Kevin says:

    The texture is interesting. A nice smooth coat would be boring. Post a picture when you get some artwork up.