I can count the number of times on one hand that my children have actually played in the room we made their playroom two and a half years ago, when we moved into this house. In an effort to increase my own personal space, I dedicated last weekend to making the room a place that they actually want to spend time in, rather than sitting an inch away from wherever I happen to be.
Below is what the room looked like before. It was beige on beige on beige and no wonder nobody ever entered the room. (There are toys, by the way, you just can’t see them in the picture. It wasn’t that bad.)
I wanted to do something interesting on the big wall, and since we don’t have any magnetic surfaces in the house, I thought it would be fun to make a whole thing a giant magnet. The kids could hang their pictures, instead of finding them in the recycling bin, and we’d have a place to slap up holiday cards. A roller, a can of black magnetic paint and I’d be golden. Ten points for mommy!
Unfortunately, it was more like seven cans of paint and my sanity. The box claims it will take three coats, but that’s bullshit — nothing stuck on that wall after three coats. Six coats later, magnets finally do stick to the wall and it is pretty cool, but OMG, the process almost killed me.
The good news is that the kids do, indeed, want to play in their playroom now. The bad? They’re messing up my freaking masterpiece. But, the effort was worth it. What’s a weekend of painting in return for the beautiful sound of children playing happily… at a distance? Small price to pay.
If you want to try using magnetic paint yourself, here are a few things I learned the hard way…
• You have to stir it like crazy. Seriously – be prepared for a major bicep workout.
• Wear gloves unless you want semi-permanent black fingernails.
• Use excessive drop cloths. This paint drips so freaking much.
• You’ll need paint thinner to remove the splatters, because it splatters like you wouldn’t believe.
• It stinks. Open a window and blast a fan.
• Buy extra. You will need so much more than you think you do. The more you paint, the stronger it becomes.
Or, just buy a big magnet board. Yeah, that would work, too.
(But, then you wouldn’t have the right to yell “I spent a whole weekend painting this fucking room. You better go play in it, dammit!”)