Wednesday, October 23, 2013

A Magnetic Memo Board

Surprise!  I didn't think I'd have time to pull this post together for you by today -- but, I confess, I was kind of excited to share it with you.  My inspiration came from THIS PHOTO. [source]

And this [below] was what I came home with.  For $2 (a flea market find), I was willing to take the risk in trying to fix this tray up for a magnetic memo board.  The best part?  I didn't have to do any fancy magnetic painting -- just a few little touch-ups, and I was good to go.

Let me share the process.

I knew that I wanted to try to camouflage some of the bad scratches around the edges of the tray.  But how? After some conversations on Facebook, I decided to try black shoe polish.  (Thanks Jill!)  Here's what I found out.  Shoe polish worked great on the straight sides around the border.  I could "paint" nice straight and continuous "lines" of polish, and it really did do the trick.  You can see here in the before/after picture that there was quite a difference.

HOWEVER, I decided to take it a step further and use the polish around the floral design.  Not a good idea. Using the polish in random swipes tended to make the tray look blotchy.  Before it could dry, I ran to the sink & did a good washing!  Problem averted.  Changing tactics, I lightly dabbed at some of the worst spots around the floral design, wiping excess away with a wet cloth -- and called it a day.  My goal was not perfection (as we'll prove later in this discussion) -- or to make this tray look brand new, but just to give some little touch-ups, as I mentioned.

The shoe polish dried pretty quickly, and then it was on to the next step.  EVERYONE advised me to seal the tray, protecting the design.  [Thanks everyone!]  I ended up buying a product at Ace Hardware called Ace Premium Enamel (clear gloss).  Here's what the front label says: "Very Fast Drying :: Interior/Exterior :: For Wood or Metal :: Durable, Smooth Finish."  This sprayed on very easily (I did it in my empty garage with the side door open for ventilation), and was fast drying.  However, I had two small issues -- probably due to my impatience -- even though I read the directions.  The finish, though lovely, was slight textured, or pebbly. Also, there were a couple random bursts of spray that I didn't notice until the tray was dry.  (Remember when I said I would prove that perfection was not my goal?  *wink)

But seriously.  Check out the difference!

When the enamel was dry, I brought the tray back inside to think about hanging hardware.  I decided to use a saw-tooth hanger and some instant adhesive.  Ultimately, this worked great... but um, who knew that instant adhesive would dissolve the paint on the tray before it could adhere?  Well, obviously, I didn't know.  Needless to say, the adhesion was NOT instant.  More like 16 hours (otherwise known as "I went to bed, and remembered about it the next day").

By the next morning, we were good to go.

Two more things you should know:
1. In searching for supplies, I found some double-sided tape squares.  I decided to use those on the bottom corners of the tray, just to cushion the tray from hitting the wall.

2. I must confess that I never thought of the balance issue by the time you add magnets -- and, you'd be surprised what happens when you have more magnets on one side than the other.  So, a little DISCLAIMER:  if you try this at home, either re-think my hanging system -- or be prepared to be occasionally off-balance -- and that pretty much just makes me laugh.  (Go for off-balance.  It keeps life interesting!)

My next mission: to look for cute & strong magnets.

I am tickled with this perfectly imperfect piece, and it does a lot to spruce up a corner of our kitchen that was previously bare.

So what do you think?
Have you completed any perfectly imperfect projects lately?

'13 Gratefulness
* grateful for successful projects
* grateful for a little part-time job
* grateful for sweet friends who encourage us
* grateful for successful surgery for a friend

Feel free to chime in with a comment!  What are you grateful for today?


  1. It looks GREAT! I love it!
    (You have a very smart sister, by the way) :D

  2. It looks like my other advice about the finishing was a bit too late! It turned out lovely! For the balance issues, you can always add two more sawtooth hangers so that the tray won't inadvertently swivel.

  3. This is so cool! what a neat idea. thanks for sharing.

  4. You've made it look fabulous! I was going to say the same thing as Donna - two hangers will take care of the balance issue.
    Most of my projects are imperfect.

  5. I love this. It came out beautifully! Thank you for linking up to the Twirl and Take a Bow Party. We plan on partying every Tuesday. Hope to see you again.



Thanks so much for taking the time to comment! I read each and every one, and truly enjoy "conversations" with you! ~Sally

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