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Magnetic Chalkboard How-To

There’s always a lot going on in the kitchen -- collected recipes to try, grocery lists to write, maybe a postcard from a favorite restaurant. (The downside of many stainless steel refrigerators: Magnets don’t stick.) The panel here is a wooden art board, available at art-supplies stores; we customized it with a metal sheet to hold magnets and coated it with chalkboard paint for jotting down notes. Leather straps are used to hang it, and as a sleeve to keep a piece of chalk within easy reach.

Photography: Lucas Allen

Source: Martha Stewart Living, May 2014


Artists paint on these wooden boards, and they’re sturdy and affordable enough to make over as chalkboards. Custom-size boards and matching metal panels can be ordered online, but you can also pair a standard two-by-three-foot board from an art-supplies store with a metal sheet of the same size from a hardware store. If you want a base shade other than green or black, Martha Stewart Crafts chalkboard paint in Clear can be applied as a topcoat to any color of paint.


Super 77 adhesive, by 3M, $11,
Art board,
Magnetic panel,
Multisurface chalkboard paint, by Martha Stewart Crafts, in Black or Clear, $6 for 6 oz.,
Leather straps, 3/4" by 25", $12 for 2,

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  • Multipurpose spray adhesive, such as 3M Super 77

  • Wooden art board

  • Magnet-friendly metal panel, same size as art board

  • Chalkboard paint and paintbrush

  • Leather strap, 3/4 inch wide

  • Brads and hammer


  1. Working in a well-ventilated area, apply spray adhesive to metal panel. Align metal panel and art board at one end. Working toward other end, run hands over surface to smooth metal onto wood.

  2. Cover front and 4 sides with chalkboard paint. Let dry. Repeat with 2 more coats.

  3. For each strap, cut leather to twice desired length plus 1 inch. Loop in half, overlap ends 1/2 inch on back side of art board, and hammer in brads to secure, using 2 brads for each strap end.

  4. Cut another piece of strap to a length that will wrap around a piece of chalk plus 1/2 inch. Pinching strap around chalk, overlap ends by 1/4 inch on one side of art board. Slide chalk out while holding strap in place. Hammer brads through both ends of strap to secure.

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