How to Make Magnetic Boards for Your Classroom

One of the challenges of using magnets in the classroom is having a magnetic surface. Some cookie sheets are magnetic and make a nice surface, but they do take room to store. If you are short on space, making your own magnetic boards might be a better option. It is super easy to make a magnetic surface - and you can customize the size of the surface.

Would you like to use magnets in a center in your classroom? Make your own magnetic boards to fit your storage space! This magnetic primer project is easy to make and can be personalized with paint on top to add a pop of color to your classroom.

Here's how to make your own boards in six easy steps!

Supplies

  • Thin Plywood - have the store cut it to the size you desire. (They only do straight cuts.) I purchased one board and had it cut into 3 large panels. At my store a 4.5 ft x 2 ft board was about $7.
  • Rust-Oleum Magnetic Primer 30 oz can - This was about $20, but it is actually enough to paint several boards. I put 2 coats on my 2 large pieces of plywood and easily have half the can or more left.  Other users have recommended 3 - 4 coats for the best magnetic hold.
  • Foam Roller - use a small one and get a foam roller for each coat you plan to do.
  • Small Paint Pan
  • Rope or Ribbon for board handle
  • Drill
  • Ruler 
  • Pencil
  • Plastic Sheet or a Plastic Picnic Tablecloth

Would you like to use magnets in a center in your classroom? Make your own magnetic boards to fit your storage space! This magnetic primer project is easy to make and can be personalized with paint on top to add a pop of color to your classroom.

How to Make Magnetic Boards

I recommend starting early in the morning so you have time to dry one coat and do the next all in one day. The roller will absolutely not come clean, and you either need to use a new one for each coat or wrap it in a baggie really well so the roller doesn't get hard. The bag will work for a short time (such as between coats done on one day), but it won't keep for more than one day.

  1. Measure and drill holes for a rope handle (if you want to have a handle).
  2. Put down a drop cloth - I recommend something vinyl or plastic. 
  3. Shake and stir the magnetic primer can really well - otherwise all the steel bits will be on the bottom.
  4. Pour some primer into a small plastic paint tray, then begin rolling the primer onto the board.
  5. Allow the primer to dry, then add the next coat. Repeat until you have 3 - 4 coats.
  6. Allow the boards to dry. If you are adding handles, cut your rope to the length you'd like plus about 5 inches. Put the rope through the holes and knot in the back. 

Enjoy your magnetic boards!


How would you use magnets in your classroom?

If you'd like to use poetry magnets, read my other post to learn how to make your own.

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