Friday, March 12, 2010

ALTER ALERT: Feelin' Those Magnetic Fields

On Monday we took you back to elementary school with the sights and smells of that old classroom classic, the chalkboard. Chalkboard paint is a way to transform any wall (or object) in your home into a message board, and today we're gonna take it a step further with magnetic paint.

Magnetic paint does just what it sounds like it does: it turns your walls into a place where you can stick up anything from pictures to papers to small storage containers with the help of a magnet. And of course, it doesn't just have to be your walls. Just like chalkboard paint, you can get creative and paint furniture and accessories too.

A door (top) and a window (bottom), both transformed into bulletin boards using magnetic paint, from Design*Sponge

Magnetic paint isn't actually magnetic. It's paint filled with little bitty pieces of oxidized iron shavings, so your wall isn't magnetic -- it's metallic. Still, magnets will stick to your painted wall just as they would your fridge.

Small storage containers stuck to the magnetic wall using magnets, as seen on Apartment Therapy: Chicago

Because of the shavings, magnetic paint can have a rough texture like an emery board. You should probably sand it down a bit between coats, and if you're using a non-magnetic paint over the top, opt for a flat color. A gloss will only emphasize the bumps. It's like using a shimmery makeup over your zits -- it only draws attention to it.

You don't have to use only pre-made magnetic paint. Magically Magnetic, Inc. offers a mix-in that'll turn any brand n' color you choose into the stuff of Magneto's dreams. (He's an X-Men bad guy who controls metals like a magnet -- know your comic books!) In order to ensure a strong magnetic hold, you'll probably want two or three coats of the magnetic stuff. But once you've done your coats and sanded them down, you can take your wall an extra step toward AWESOME: paint over the magnetic paint with chalkboard paint! With a place to write notes and post up papers, who even needs a fridge anymore? (Well, I guess I still need a place to keep the vodka cold...)

And don't worry, magnetic paint won't screw up your computers and electronics any more than your fridge does. Remember, it's really metal, not magnets. Now, if you go crazy and paint all your floors, walls, and ceilings with the stuff, you risk disrupting any wifi or cell signals coming into the room, but maybe some of you conspiracy nuts are into that kind of thing. That way the government can't read your thoughts, right?

But you do think you'll get tired of having Iron Man on your walls (that's comic book reference number TWO, nerds!), here's a way to ensure easy removal. First, put up strippable wallpaper, and paint over that. When you're ready to take that paint to the scrap heap, peel the wallpaper off and you've got a fresh, non-metallic wall once again.

One last word on magnetic paint: if you decide to use it, use it right away and be careful when storing your remainders. If the iron in the paint isn't fully oxidized, it can continue to do so in the can, emitting gases and building pressure until the can goes POP! Most paints are fully oxidized, but check with your retailer to make sure the paint you're using is safe to store, just in case.

For more info, Apartment Therapy has a great article here.

Via Design*Sponge and Apartment Therapy.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

B&A: Green with envy

Everyone's talking about going green. These days, going green has become synonymous with being environmentally friendly, but green means so much more than that. Just ask the Incredible Hulk. Or Kermit the Frog.

Or Tam Styles of Get It Girl Style. She took going green to a new level when she redid her home office. Her office was basically an eggshell-colored box with a few lonely pieces of furniture before she worked her magic. It looks empty, and the monotone walls, ceiling, and floor are too stark against the dark furniture.

It's hard to believe, but it really is the same room before and after. A lot of the furniture is the same, too. It's the color on the walls as well as the gallery of framed photos that have the biggest impact.

The green is a rich tone -- it borders on dark, but the light carpet, ceiling, and trim keep it balanced. The black accessories, picture frames, and chandelier add a sophisticated elegance. This room is downright sexy! Tam's definitely brought back the green-eyed monster (jealousy!) in us.

Via The Office Stylist and Get It Girl Style.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Wall Scrawls

Any good dive bar or club's gonna have a nasty, trashed bathroom. But those sticky stalls hold both art and comedy gold (at least, if you're already three martinis in): the writing on the walls. You can always find a few gems among the "So-And-So Wuz Here" and "What's-Her-Name is a bitch" as you're praying to the porcelain gods.

Why not bring that experience home, minus the risk of liver damage or infectious disease? And why not do it in a cool, sophisticated, and totally erasable way?

Chalkboard paint is a trend that's been around for the past year or so, starting out mostly in kids' play areas. But Wieden + Kennedy, an advertising agency in London, brings the fun without the grunge in their office bathroom, above.

Chalkboard-painted walls are a lot of fun. A few coats of paint and you're ready to make like an elementary school kid whose teacher has left the room. But don't forget about all the other stuff you can paint! ANYTHING can be an instant message board or place for temporary artwork.

A chalkboard doorway and a faux headboard, both from Apartment Therapy. (Click pic for link.)

Write your grocery list on your fridge, or your menu on your dining table (from Design*Sponge)

And if the dark paint is a little too rock n' roll for you, Hudson offers chalkboard paint in 24 different colors.

Now you'll be able to write "For a good time, call..." any time, any place, any color.

Via Apartment Therapy, Design*Sponge, and CasaSugar.