Magnet Drywall

About: My name is Nir. Married to Sally and father to Emily. In my day to day job I'm a software engineer. From time to time I like doing DIY projects (at home, family and friends house).

It all began when my wife and I wanted to have a magnetic wall for our 2 year old daughter so she could play around and develop her imagination and creativity using magnets. Of course what we could have done was just paint a magnetic square on our living room wall and that would have done the job, but we wanted something a bit more special. We were looking for something awesome.

*I will skip most of the drywall basic work, and will focus mainly on the project story itself since there is no "special" drywall work in this project*

Step 1: Learning...

Since I had no previous experience in drywall I had to do some learning before. So I started to read a lot over the internet. Most of my learning was from Michael Bashmet youtube channel.

Step 2: The Plan

My wife took a piece of paper and scribbled how she wanted it to look like (you can see the plan in the attached pictures). After that I draw a very very basic illustration using paint app just to try to be able to imagine it.
Now that we have something we could see and imagine, I've created a shopping list for both missing tools and materials, took 2 days off from work, and called a good friend to join me in this project.

Step 3: Preparations

In addition to all the drywall materials (screws, wall anchors, boards, studs and more) I bought some cool new stuff that I needed for this project.

For leveling I was using a magnet level and in addition a Laser Level Cube. For quicker and more accurate sanding I was using a Random Orbit Sander and also a manual mouse shaped hand sander. And for fastening metal studs together without screws or rivets I used this Stud Crimper. For the magnet effect I was using magnetic primer (something like this one, but from a local company called Tambour). Let's begin :)

Step 4: Metal Studs and Track Framing

  1. Cutting the tracks using tin snips to the desired size
  2. Drilling 7mm holes in the wall using and attaching a 7mm wall anchor, washer and a screw
  3. Building the shape of the niche using the tracks
  4. Cutting the studs to the desired depth (15cm)
  5. Crimp the stud to the track using the crimper tool

Step 5: Connecting the Boards

Since the wall niche is smaller the a whole drywall board I first connected the entire board to the metal frames using drywall anchors

Then I used a drywall saw to cut the inside frames.

The next step was to cut using a simple utility knife and to screw them into the metal frames.

Step 6: Appliying Flexible Corners

Applying flexible corner on all corners (interior and exterior). You can see in https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bvw-ICdPctU how to apply it

Step 7: Joint Compound Layers

I've applied joint compound all over the screws to make a smooth surface and another 2-3 layers on the entire board for giving it the smooth and professional look and feel.

BTW - I've sand it between every coat.

Step 8: Sanding

I've used both the random orbit electric sander for most of the wall, and used a manual mouse shaped sander for the inside corners and hard to reach places.

Be careful at this step and protect your house from all the fine dust it will produce (and it does produce a lot, I mean really a lot :))

Step 9: Appliying First Paint Layer

I used a regular acrylic white paint for the entire surface and also in the inside frames

Step 10: Appliying 4 Coats of Mangetic Paint

The last step was to apply 4 coats of water based magnetic paint.

Step 11: Styling

Now that we have our lovely wall, my wife and I did some online shopping, and went to several local stores to buy the magnets and colored buckets so our daughter can start playing.

As soon as we came home, she was so excited and start playing with it immediately. Seeing her playing was definitely the most satisfying part of this project.

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