Today I’m sharing a great project we did for the studio that was super fun to do, and is one of those kinds of things that came together with a little bit of creativity. Let me explain.

Last summer I happened to be in a little town that was having its annual “put all your junk on the curb and we will pick it up” weekends. I am a huge fan of these kinds of events because I love getting good junk for free. I don’t pilfer through piles like I used to, but I couldn’t resist to see what I could recycle.

One house had a stack of 10-12 old wooden windows, about 2’ x4’. I am a huge fan of old wooden windows and doors, so I had to check them out. They weren’t what I was looking for, but my daughter-in-law was on the search for something similar for a project so I wanted to bring one home for her. To see if it would fit in my Jeep, I used the old screen door insert that was on top of the stack (it wasn’t nearly as heavy) to measure. Fit like a glove. I just left the screen there for protection for the window and loaded it up, happy to find something that might work for her. My thought is, if it isn’t what she wants, I can put it in my own trash. 

(She loved the window and made an awesome photo gallery with it.)

As I unloaded the screen, I realized it was kind of cool in it’s own way, even though it had probably been unloved for years, as evidenced by the grime on it. It sat against the wall in the garage until recently when I had an idea to make a magnet board for the studio. As I puzzled on what to use, I grabbed it out of holding to see if it would be a good size for the space, and sure enough, it was a winner! First up, I had to clean it – It really was kind of a mess.

I know Darren did not think it would be worth much, but I didn’t have anything to lose by giving it a good scrub and see where we ended up.

It was pretty rewarding to see actual dirt coming off, and had me feeling hopeful.

And how fun is this – A phone number written where I’m sure it was pretty handy at one point. I actually kind of like this little quirkiness. Darren tells me I would.

I pulled all the screen off and the wood came clean like a champ, but then this part of the project stalled. It got pretty water-logged with it’s bath, and I wanted it good and dry before I sealed it up. 

No worries. I turned my attention to the sheet metal that would go in place of the screen. We found this at Lowe’s for about $22. Let me tell you, this stuff was shiny. I didn’t want to pop that in the old wood frame like that so I did a little research on how to give it a good patina. I found a few tutorials for using toilet bowl cleaner with bleach, but I don’t use that and I really didn’t want to buy a bottle of it for one little project so I kept searching.

The one I landed on called for vinegar. I have tons of that and I actually felt better about using that since I was in the basement with this project. The worst it would smell like was Easter eggs.

I sanded the metal just a bit and then poured the vinegar right on it, spread it around with my fingers, and then ignored it for about an hour. After an hour, it was dry so I poured on a little more. And then look what happened?

I was pretty happy with the hazy look of the metal, which Darren then measured and cut it to fit the frame.

Speaking of the frame, after a few days, I got my new favorite clear matte Polycrylic out and watched the magic happen. Just look at the difference.

Darren secured the metal for the frame with the original trim that was holding in the screen. It all came together just like in my vision.

We decided to screw it directly into the wall, which seemed a little strange. But we had a feeling our little grand-kiddos would gravitate towards it, and we don’t want to worry about it crashing down.

Now that it’s up we love it. This piece of trash ended up being a fun, unique piece in our home. We just love rescuing things that still have a purpose. Sometimes it takes a little thought and dreaming, and it doesn’t always turn out, but it’s usually worth a try.

4 thoughts on “DIY MAGNET BOARD

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