...because home doesn't happen overnight.

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There’s a short hall that connects our mudroom / dining room and great room. (You can see the original man door to the garage that we still need to trim out and paint. Sometimes the littlest projects take the longest. Grrrr.) It’s so short that I’m not sure it even qualifies as a hall. But we refer to it as a “hall” nonetheless.

Way back when I painted the mudroom (for the third time), I had the inclination to DIY a magnetic display wall in this deficient hall. I thought it would be fun to display the kids’ creations and give the pass-through something. I rolled on four coats of Rustoleum magnetic primer and two coats of paint on top of that to match the rest of the room. Then I hung the kids’ works of art…with one major snafu. The wall was barely magnetic. No magnets would stay on the wall, let alone a magnet plus a piece of paper. I followed the directions to a T and even added an extra coat or two but the magnetic property of the wall was weak at best. I’m not sure what went wrong.

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So the kids’ art was moved to the quintessential home gallery – the side of the refrigerator – and my magnetic wall was forgotten. I added word magnets to the fridge when Everett was learning to read and quite liked the messy display of brightly colored rainbows and jumbled words. If you ask me, every family needs at least one vertical surface on their fridge smothered in rainbows, stick people and barely legible love notes.

At some point, someone (I think it was Steve) had the idea to leave funny messages on the magnetic wall using the word magnets. They stuck! The magnetic force wasn’t super strong but the words stayed on the wall and that’s all that mattered.

My magnetic wall wasn’t a lost cause after all! I just needed magnets with a decent magnetic surface area.

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Enter StickyGram. (This is not a sponsored post, btw.) You’ve probably heard of this before but if not StickyGram allows you to turn your instagram photos into 2″ x 2″ magnets. They are a little pricey ($14.99 + free shipping for a sheet of nine) so I waited until they were running a sale earlier this year to order several sheets.

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For Valentine’s Day I thought it would be fun to create a heart-shaped display using my StickyGrams and barely magnetic wall. The little magnets stick! There are a few duplicates that will eventually make their way to Steve’s file cabinet at work. Can you spot them?

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The heart could stand to be larger but I think it will be fun to add more StickyGrams over time. My goal is to cover the entire wall someday.

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For fun, I added “love always” with our magnetic words. You could go crazy and add all kinds of phrases if you wanted.

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I love how the colorful images look against the dark wall. The magnets read as one display from a distance but then you get closer and the individual images draw you in.

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This is definitely a cutesy V-day idea that could hang around all year long. Instalove!

BONUS – Use the code “FRIENDKU0H” (that’s a zero, not the letter “O”) to score $2 off your first purchase.

Find and follow me on instagram @housetweaking.

images: Dana Miller for House*Tweaking



Hi! Very cute. A nice little addition to an otherwise overlooked space. Cute! I’m wondering on your magnetic paint – did you have it shaken at the store where it was purchased? or mix yourself? I’m interested in doing a similar project and I’ve read that having them shake the can in the paint department can potentially make a difference. Curious reader!


I had the paint department shake the can at time of purchase…but I didn’t use it for weeks after that. I mixed it myself just before rolling it on. Maybe that was my problem?

I’ve also heard that shaking the can of magnetic paint is KEY! The magnetic metals all sink to the bottom of the can after a while so shaking right before you paint is very important – or else you’re just using paint.


Love that you found something that stuck. My magnetic wall was a total bust. I even called the company since I was fuming from the money and specially time spent on creating my much anticipated magnetic/chalkboard wall. The reimbursed me and said that they thought the problem was that I did not stir the paint enough. I though I had but I guess I should have done it more vigorously between coats. I did a total of 4 coats to make it “super strong”.


We have the same problem with our magnet wall. The only other magnets that work are the mighty magnets (http://www.containerstore.com/shop/collections/lockerOrganizers?productId=10007274)


LOVE THIS!! My hubby and I collect magnets from our adventures so of course, I love StickyGram! Our fridge is completely covered in magnets and pictures so I’m digging your fun way of displaying your magnets elsewhere!


love it! so sweet. I’ve used that magnetic paint several times and had the same result – only magnetic paper as such (the really thin stuff the stickygrams are made from or those tradespeople magnets the locals stick in your mailbox) works well. I did find some sticky-backed magnetic paper which meant I could stick what i wanted on top so have made my own instagram pics before – but proper magnets are too heavy. even the plastic letters didn’t stick properly. i have also found a magnetic-backed canvas that might work well – it’s a really thin a4 size sheet of canvas the kids can paint straight onto and then once dry you can just stick it on the wall!


I had the same experience with magnetic paint. I wrote the company and they suggested I try rare earth magnets. I ordered some from amazon and they work extremely well. In fact, the only problem is that they are tiny and they stick so well, it’s sometimes hard to get them off the wall.


Such a bummer about your magnetic paint. Although it sounds like others have had the same problem perhaps the cans and sale people need to inform folks that such paint need to be used immediately after extremely vigorous stirring.



Good to know!


I too tried four coats of Rustoleum magnetic primer covered by 2 coats of (chalkboard) paint and I was incredibly disappointed that it didn’t work, boo! And I used 3 cans (big area) so it was kind of pricey, double boo! I had them shake it at the store and applied it as soon as I got home so I am guessing that didn’t make much difference for you. I had these visions of the kids hanging artwork and papers on with some fun magnets. But it is back to the drawing board…. I have considered getting a large piece of metal and using dry erase markers on it, but haven’t fully explored that option. Your stickygrams are super cute btw!


I should add, that the big box retailer is only about 7 minutes from my house and I bought 1 can at a time, would paint. Then the next weekend when I tackled it again I bought the 2nd can, went home and painted right away and sent my husband for my 3rd can as I was finishing the 2nd can off. Each time they where shaken at the store and then I used them with in 15 minutes and I stirred them before use as I had heard that they wouldn’t work if they weren’t mixed well. So I don’t think that had much to do with it.


Love it – your wall looks great.
Just an FYI, you probably did do everything right – this just isn’t the greatest product out there. I’ve used it a few times, each time stirring just a little bit more & adding just 1 more coat. I used a whole can on 2 small areas. If you get some of those tiny earth magnets it will hold a post it note on the wall for you. But many of my souvenir magnets roughly the thickness of your StickyGrams stay put.
And I just have to add – I love everything about your house-I look forward to checking your site out daily.


This looks so great!


I experienced the same problem as many of those above…covered my daughters closet doors in magnetic paint covered with chalkboard paint and nothing sticks. I’m excited about your idea though. I’m going to have to try this.


I have no experience with magnetic paint, but I just had to comment that the first picture you posted just does me in. It is beautiful! I’ve always loved your style, but for some reason that first picture just oozes with love for your family/house. The notes/pictures on the fridge and the frame gallery are just adorable and the addition of the stickygrams are perfect. I love decor eye candy, but it’s so much more fun to see spaces that are lived in and loved by their owners. Well done!


Same happened when we did a chalkboard magnetic wall at our old house. I’ve since read that you need to keep stirring as you paint since the magnetic metal part is heavy and sinks to the bottom of the paint. Makes sense. Ours had good spots and bad. Glad you found a fun way around it with the StickyGrams.


That is the best compliment I could ever hope for. I, too, love me some eye candy but nothing makes me happier than to see a home with signs of life.


That’s so neat!!! And I love seeing these “new” angles of your house!
Have a great weekend ~
Leah: )


Absolutely love your work space, kitchen and bedroom! So fresh and inspiring. You must love working and living in your renovated space!!