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Magically Magnetic Photo Frames & Paint by Lytle Products



Magically Magnetic Painting Guide

Magically Magnetic Paint Painting Guide

Magically Magnetic Paint Additive is a wonderful new product that when added to ordinary paint and applied to a wall, renders that wall attractive to magnets. Any smooth, dry, clean wall painted with magnetic paint will become instantly attractive to magnets, opening up all sorts of new possibilities for magnetic decorating and perhaps best of all, hanging pictures and photos magnetically. Now there is no need for nail holes, tack holes or unsightly tape marks to mar walls.

Magnetic paint is safe around children, pets and computers. It will not affect pacemakers or other magnetically sensitive instruments. The reason is that magnetic paint is not actually magnetic. That is to say, steel items will not stick to a wall painted with magnetic paint. Only magnets will stick. Magnetic paint contains millions of microscopic magnetically attractive particles that the magnets are attracted to. Each coat of magnetic paint builds up a thicker layer of these particles making the magnets attraction to the wall stronger.

Any magnet with sufficient strength will stick to a wall painted with magnetic paint. Some low quality or low strength magnets that may stick well enough to a steel fridge door may not stick as well to a wall painted with magnetic paint. Magnetic paint is not solid steel and nothing works better with any magnet than solid steel. Magnetic paint was designed to be used with sheet magnets. Sheet magnets are thin sheets of flexible rubber or plastic with millions of tiny iron particles embedded in the sheet. These iron particles are permanently magnetized when the sheets are sent through an electro-magnetic field. Sheet magnets stick so well to magnetic paint because they are very light weight, but strong. Their strength is spread out over a large surface area. The more area a magnet covers, the better and stronger it holds. At the same time, the thicker the sheet magnet, the stronger it is and the more weight it will hold. Sheet magnets work best with magnetic paint when the magnet makes good solid contact with the magnetic paint. We are all used to placing a piece of paper to be displayed under a magnet on our fridge door. With magnetic paint, it is always best to attach the sheet magnet to the back of the item to be displayed so the magnet actually touches the magnetic painted surface.

Another type of magnet that works very well on a wall painted with magnetic paint are Rare Earth Magnets. These magnets are very strong. Care should be exercised in their handling around children as they can snap together very quickly. If they snap together too quickly, they can break and throw pieces off in any direction. To solve this problem with rare earth magnets, David Lytle designed his Technostryd Rare Earth Safety Cap Magnets. These special rare earth magnets are pole-balanced so they will not snap together or break. The safety caps are also quite colorful and the magnets work very well with his magnetic paint.

Sheet magnets are often covered with a self-adhesive on the front surface so they can be adhered to the back of any flat, light-weight object. Now a photo or a child's drawing can be made to stick to any steel surface. Magically Magnetic has inexpensive sheet magnets available in many cut sizes, thicknesses and shapes or in rolls up to twenty four inches wide.

To change an ordinary wall into a surface that will attract magnets, just follow these easy steps. You will be decorating magnetically in no time.

How to Paint with Magnetic Paint

Step 1. The first step in any painting job is preparation of the surface to be painted. The surface to be painted should be clean and free of dust and any oil or grease marks. Any nail holes or cracks should be filled with painters putty and sanded smooth.

Step 2. Decide what area of the wall is to become magnetically attractive. This will depend on who is going to be using the wall. If small children will be using the wall, the magnetically attractive area will need to be lower to the floor. Adults or taller children will require an area higher from the floor. You can estimate an area two feet above and two feet below eye level of the people using the wall.

Marking the Area for Painting Step 3. Using a pencil, straight edge and a carpenters level, draw faint pencil lines around the area to be painted with the magnetic paint. Mask off the area using painters tape. Painters tape is a special low tack masking tape that can be removed easily, after the painting is done, without damaging the painted surface underneath. This will give you a clean straight edge where the magnetic paint ends. This looks much better than just ending the application of the paint at the edges by stopping the roller.

Allow six inches or so around any obstacles such as light switches, outlets, doors, windows etc. You won't be hanging decorations or pictures in these areas anyway, so why waste the magnetic paint painting them?

Masking the Area for Painting Step 4. On top of the painters tape, adhere newspaper with ordinary masking tape. Allow about a quarter on an inch of the painters tape to show. This will help to stop runs or drips of paint from getting on other parts of the wall.

Step 5. In a mixing container a little larger than the amount of paint being used, mix the Magnetically Magnetic Paint Additive into the correct amount of white primer/sealer stain blocker paint. It is easy to do. It just stirs in. It takes about a minute and should be stirred again just before every new coat. Stirring of the paint keeps the magnetically attractive particles in suspension in the paint. If the area being painted with magnetic paint is much more than twenty five square feet, or if the painting takes longer than fifteen or twenty minutes, an occasional stir of the mixed paint is a good idea, just to keep the magnetic particles in suspension. Allow each coat of magnetic paint to dry completely before adding another coat.

We advise using an oil based white prime/sealer paint to mix with our additive. A high quality white latex primer/sealer stain blocker paint will work perfectly well also if care is taken to allow the paint to dry completely between coats. Oil based paints may take longer to appear dry but they contain no water. Latex paints may appear dry to the touch in an hour or less but the paint under the dried skin may not be completely dry for up to twelve hours, per coat. It is advised to wait until the last coat of magnetic paint is fully dry before painting over with your finish color paint. Painting successive coats of a latex paint containing magnetic additive before the previous coat is fully dry, runs the risk of trapping moisture beneath the apparently dry surface.

It is even possible to double the amount of additive when mixing the magnetic paint. This will make a slightly thicker magnetic paint that may be applied to the wall with fewer coats, if the coats are applied evenly and smoothly. That's something you can't do with premixed magnetic paint.

Applying the Magnetic Paint Step 6. Use a quarter inch thick foam roller to apply the magnetic paint. Don't try to use one of those little short toy foam rollers they sell in some hardware stores supposedly made for trim work. They are too short and soft to give very good results. Use a regular nine-inch long foam roller for best results. A short nap fiber roller cover will work very well also but imparts a slightly higher texture to the finished paint job than the foam roller. It is important to have as smooth as possible a finished surface in order to make magnets stick well. A highly textured surface will have high points and low areas between that will tend to break up the area of magnetic attraction, thus reducing the holding power of the magnets. A very highly textured surface could affect the magnetic attraction adversely. Such a high textured surface like a concrete block wall or a textured plaster surface can be smoothed out before painting with magnetic paint by a couple of layers of sheet rock mudding compound tooled into the depressions in the wall.

Wrap Your Roller Wrap Your Roller Wrap Your Roller

Above: Between coats of magnetic paint, cover the roller cover on the handle with a large sheet of tin foil or plastic sheeting to keep air away from the roller and paint. This is best done with a residue of paint remaining on the cover. This remaining paint will help to keep the roller cover damp over night. There is no need to clean the roller cover between coats of paint. Roll the tin foil right around the roller and crimp in the edges. This prevents the paint on the roller from drying while you wait for the paint on the wall to dry. You will want to make sure to cover and protect the unused paint to keep it from drying between coats as well. A sheet of tinfoil will work for this too.

Step 7. Allow each coat of the magnetic paint to dry thoroughly before applying the next coat. You can also test each coat after it dries for magnetic strength by using a small piece of sheet magnet. At least two coats are required but many people find a third or fourth coat desirable. The magnetic attractiveness of the magnetic paint comes from the millions of microscopic magnetically attractive particles in the paint. Each coat of magnetic paint imparts a new very thin layer of these particles on the wall. The more coats of magnetic paint the stronger the attraction.

Magnetic Wall Ready for Finish Paint Step 8. Shown to the left is our test wall painted with tinted magnetic paint to clearly show the area we wanted to be magnetically attractive. We have removed the tape and paper to show what the wall looks like before the final application of finish color wall paint.

When the desired strength of magnetic attraction has been reached, you are ready to paint over the magnetic paint and the rest of the entire wall with your desired color of latex paint. Peel off the newspaper and the blue painters tape and then tape over any obstructions you don't want to paint like light switches, outlets, door jambs etc. It is also a very good idea to lay old sheets or drop clothes on the floor to protect the area in front of the wall. Here is where a good thick paint comes in handy. Thinner paints will tend to splatter while rolling them on. Roll slow. This isn't a race.

Allow sufficient drying time before starting your finish color coat of regular paint. Use a new low nap fiber roller and a new, clean painting tray for the regular colored paint. The foam roller and paint tray used for the magnetic paint can be discarded. The wall paint will not affect the magnetic paint. Now, you are ready to start enjoying the new world of decorating magnetically.

We have just about everything you could need to display anything on your magnetic wall, magnetic frames and sheet magnet. See the other areas of our site for these products.

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How to make a magnetic chalkboard on a magnetic wall

We took our magnetic test wall a step further and made a magnetic chalkboard on it.

Magnetic Wall and Chalkboard Step 1. You've already made a portion of your wall into a magnetic wall with our Magically Magnetic Paint. You will notice a slight texture to the magnetic area since the additives in the magnetic paint will leave a very light texture. This is the same with any manufacturer's magnetic paint. It's unavoidable but shouldn't be a problem. You will need to sand the magnetic paint area where you want the chalkboard. Sand the magnetic paint area with 000 sand paper. 000 is very fine sand paper. All you are doing is knocking off any high tips of the texture, not sanding the wall down to smooth. All you need to do is go over the magnetic paint lightly. Next,draw light pencil lines around the area you want to become a chalkboard as you did in painting the wall with magnetic paint.

Step 2. Tape out the rest of the wall with painters tape and then with regular masking tape and paper, mask out the area you don't want to make into a chalkboard. Leave a quarter of an inch of the blue painters tape showing.

Magnetic Wall and Chalkboard Step 3. Use a can of green or black chalkboard spray paint, available in any hardware or building supply store. There are many different brands, but they all work about the same. Just spray two or three thin coats on the area allowing sufficient drying time between coats. Don't spray too heavily or you will get runs.

You can also purchase a can of chalkboard paint that you can apply with a roller. This paint will give you a thicker and more robust coating of chalkboard paint. It comes in both green and black. Two coats of this paint should be enough.

Magnetic Wall and Chalkboard Step 4. When you have a smooth even covering of chalkboard paint on the wall, you can peel off the paper and tape to reveal your new magnetic chalkboard.

The last step is to condition the surface and prepare it for use. To do this, rub a piece of chalk on its side over the entire surface of the chalkboard. Then clean it off with an eraser or a dry cloth. This will fill any small imperfections with chalk dust and make the chalk writing on the board easier to erase and wash clean.

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Inexpensive Decorations for Your Magnetic Wall

Thanks to Millie P. for this helpful suggestion for decorating a magnetic wall.

Magnetic Snowman Poster Decorative Snowman Magnets Millie sent us a decorative Christmas shopping bag she found in a dollar store. She wrote to tell us how she had made a poster of one side of the bag and mounted it magnetically on her daughter's magnetic bedroom wall. She then cut apart the other side of the bag to make separate snowman magnets for winter decorations by applying sheet magnet to the backs. She was kind enough to send us a similar bag so we could try it out and that's just what we did. Shown is a photo of our test wall with Millie's snowmen poster mounted with six of our Technostryd ® disc-style rare earth magnets.

Applying the Magnet This photo shows the self-adhesive sheet magnet we applied on the back of each snowman picture. Also the poster could have easily been mounted with this same self-adhesive sheet magnet covering the entire back and it would have lain completely flat against the Magically Magnetic painted wall. Thank you Millie for your great suggestions.

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How to Mount a Message Board on a Magnetic Wall

Thanks to Gloria N. for this great idea for a magnetic wall.

Applying Glue to the Back Attaching the Cardboard Step 1. First we measured the back of the board and cut a piece of scrap cardboard just a little smaller to glue on the back and raise the level of the back to just a little higher than the sides of the board. This was done so that almost the entire back of the board would touch the surface of the wall when it was mounted. The picture to the left shows a thin squiggly line of glue on the back of the message board.

Attaching the Magnet Step 2. We cut a piece of 60 mil thick self adhesive magnet sheeting just a hair smaller than the cardboard we had just glued onto the back of the board. The sheet magnet was then adhered to the back surface of the cardboard on the write and wipe board.

Applying Glue to the Back Step 3. We turned the board over on the table and weighted it down with a couple of heavy books. This helped the board and magnet to adhere smoothly and securely to the back of the board without warping.

Displayed on the Magnetic Wall Step 4. A couple of hours later we removed the books and held the board to the magnetic wall. It stuck beautifully. When we drew on the board with markers, it didn't move a bit, so you could easily draw using only one hand. Gloria's helpful tip gets an A+. Thanks Gloria.

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Mounting Small Traditional Picture Frames Magnetically

Traditional Frames on a Magnetic Wall

Removing the Easel Back We wanted to show you how easy it is to frame and display your photos magnetically with traditional wooden frames and our magnetic picture mounting kit. We went to a local discount store and bought some cheap 5" x 7" photo frames for only $2 each. They're designed for either sitting on a table or shelf, or they can be hung with the traditional hook and wire arrangement. Today, we are going to make them do something they were never intended to do, hang magnetically.

To start, we gently pulled off the easel-backs that supported the frames in a sitting position.

Not a Flush Back We then bent up the tabs that hold the glass and photo in the frame. As you can see, the frame backing is not quite flush, (level with the edges of the wooden frame back) so we cut a piece of ordinary corrugated cardboard as an additional backing. We used a piece of cardboard from a box we were discarding. It's necessary to have the back of the frame flat and even with the wall so when the magnet is attached, the magnet will make good contact with the wall over it's entire area.

Magnet Applied to the Flush Cardboard Spacer We then cut a piece of 60-mil thick magnetic sheeting with self-adhesive on the back and adhered it to the cardboard backing we had made. We cut the magnet about 1/8" smaller than the cardboard on all sides to allow for the small metal tabs to bend over and not hit the magnet. A little white glue was added to adhere the new cardboard backing board with the magnet to the original backing board that came with the frame. By putting the magnet on the back of the frame in this way, we are still able to dismantle the frame in the future to change the photos inside and put it all back together again.

Arranging Frames on a Magnetic Wall We repeated the steps with a second frame to demonstrate displaying a grouping of frames. We started by mounting the first frame. We just touched it to the wall and it easily stayed in place. Then we placed the second frame next to the first, spaced and leveled just right. The natural inclination is to place all your pictures evenly spaced and level, but we started to really get into this and tried all sorts of placements. With magnetic paint on the wall and magnets on the back of the frames, anything can be done. Guess what? No nail holes! This is fun. Just stick 'em on the wall and see how they look. If you don't like it, just move 'em and try again. Anyone can hang a picture crooked, but try to hang two or more at the same slant, spaced evenly and level. Only magnetically can you hang pictures like this. How do you like the frames hung at opposite angles? Use as many frames in your grouping as you want. Since there are no nails involved, you can be as creative as you please.

Just imagine how great this kind of an arrangement would look in a stairwell, on a living room wall or in a long hallway. Grandma will have a wonderful time making up her own arrangement and adding new pictures of her grandkids anytime.

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Mounting Large Traditional Picture Frames Magnetically

Poster Frames on a Magnetic Wall
No more nail holes, unsightly tape marks or broken plaster!

Now that you have painted your wall with Magically Magnetic paint you can hang your photos magnetically. The magnetic frames that we sell stick like crazy and hold so tightly to the wall that they are hard to move without taking them down. But what if you want to hang posters on the wall? We tried magnetizing some larger frames to see if the wall with Magically Magnetic paint could hold the weight of a poster frame. We went to the local discount store and purchased a couple of poster frames of various sizes. The most important thing to remember when selecting your frame is to buy one made with Plexiglas and not regular glass. We wouldn't want anyone to get cut if an accident should occur. Once you have the frame and our magnetic picture mounting kit, you are ready to begin.

Flush Back and Metal Tabs We discovered that we needed to choose frames that were flush on the backside. We found that some of the available frames were hollow on the back and that presented a problem. The self-adhesive magnet you apply to the back of the frame must make solid contact with the magnetic paint on the wall or the frame will not hold.

We chose two large frames. One is 18" x 24" and the other is 24" x 36". We decided to work with the largest frame first. It really is quite a nice looking frame for the money. It is made of plastic half round frame stock, cut at a 45-degree angle at the corners and joined with steel staples as well as glue. It also has Plexiglas on the front and a piece of cardboard on the back. It is all held together by small metal tabs that must be bent up to take the frame apart and then bent back down after assembling the frame and picture.

Magnet Applied to the Back After the art is framed and the glass is clean, you are ready to apply the self-adhesive magnet sheet to the back of the frame. We used 60 mil thick self-adhesive magnetic sheeting. We cut a piece of magnet slightly smaller than the cardboard backer. We removed the silicone paper, lined up the magnet with the backing board and pressed it to the cardboard at the center. Any air pockets were smoothed out by pressing from the middle and out toward the edges. We then re-attached the backing board by bending down the metal tabs holding the frame, the art, the glass and the backing board together.

Vacuum Sealed to the Wall We held the magnetic frame to the wall painted with Magically Magnetic Paint and...WOW! It stuck like it had a vacuum cleaner attached to it. It seemed to suck itself right to the wall. Once placed on the wall, it was impossible to change its position unless it was entirely removed from the wall and repositioned. It will not slide on the wall at all. To level the frame, we pulled the right side of the frame off the wall and held the left edge of the frame to the wall. Now, holding the right side away from the wall slightly, we rotated the frame and raised or lowered it until the frame was level. Touching it to the wall again was all that was needed to mount it securely again.

Corner Detail of Magnetic Poster Frame The smaller frame simply consists of a sheet of cardboard on the back, the art piece in the middle and a piece of thin Plexiglas on the front. It is held together with full length, U-shaped, flexible, plastic strips along all four sides of the frame. The plastic strips clamp all of the pieces together, providing a snug fit. Care must be taken to get the corners to match up correctly. Once assembled, this frame looks rather attractive. It is really easy and fun to frame a picture with either of these frames. This particular frame isn't the type I would choose for myself, but it is cheap and easy to use.

Magnet Applied to the Back The weight of the smaller frame is about two pounds and the larger 24" x 36" frame is about eight pounds. Both held wonderfully. We applied a 24" x 36" piece of 60 mil self-adhesive magnet, a total of 864 square inches, to the largest frame. The smaller frame required much less magnet. In fact, we had some scrap magnet left over after cutting the 24" x 36" magnet, so we used it. It has a total of 144 square inches of magnet and didn't even need to cover the entire back of the frame. It is very strong. After you're done putting the magnet on the back of the frames, you can mount them by simply touching them against the magnetic wall. You don't really even have to press the frame against the wall. Just get it close enough and the magnet does the rest. It feels like it is alive and actually sucks itself to the wall.

Strong Magnetic Paint and Magnet We decided to hang these heavy hammers on one corner of the larger frame so you could plainly see how strong the magnet paint holds the frame. The heavy weight didn't even budge the frame. Remember, this strength is constant and permanent. Unlike the weight of a frame being held with only a nail and a piece of wire, the magnetic sheeting and magnetic paint on the wall spreads the weight of the piece out over hundreds of square inches of wall. With a nail and wire, all that weight is on the wire and nail in only one tiny part of the wall. It is no wonder that the nail hole gets bigger and the nail often falls out or the frame gets crooked with the slightest vibration. Pictures hung magnetically stay where you mount them. Nothing could be easier than hanging a whole grouping of pictures on a magnetic wall with magnetized frames. Better yet, no more nail holes, unsightly tape marks or broken plaster. This stuff is great!

Try this with a wire and a nail! Pictures hung magnetically never need to be straightened.

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How Do You Use Magically Magnetic Paint?

We would love to hear from you with your tips about the ways you have discovered to use Magically Magnetic Paint. Please with your project descriptions or photos of your magnetic wall, and we will pass your suggestions on to our customers. After all, this is all brand new. Who knows what we will come up with?


Monica and Her Magnetic Wall

Magnetic Paint Bulletin Board

Monica Zetlin sends us these pictures of her new Magically Magnetic wall bulletin board. She and her family in Australia wanted to make a display area that would allow them to display clippings, photos and letters without pins, tape or tacks. They decided to use Magically Magnetic paint additive and their own paint to achieve their goal. They didn't say, but the pictures look like they used black chalkboard paint as their finish paint to make their display surface a blackboard as well. The pictures show her husband rolling on the white magnetic primer paint inside a blue painter's tape border. After they had a sufficiently thick layer of the magnetically attractive primer on the wall, they removed the painter's tape and painted over the magnetic paint with a coat of their choice of colored finish paint. Then they framed the entire area with special molding they purchased from a picture framing shop. The picture framing shop's owner was intrigued with their project and had never heard of Magically Magnetic Paint. He was very interested in how the project worked out. The molding was attached to the wall with screws. The Zetlins are using our magnetic Soft Pocket photo frames and Rare Earth Safety Cap magnets to display their memos and photos magnetically. Our thanks go out to Monica and her industrious family for the pictures.

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Tips for Arranging Photos and Art on a Magnetic Wall

Click here* for an excellent article on how to arrange, frame and hang art and photos on a magnetic wall. This content will open a new window on a site outside of

*Magically Magnetic is not responsible for content outside of our website.

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Magically Magnetic Paint Additive MSDS

Click here to download the MSDS for our Magnetic Paint.

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Individual results may vary depending greatly on personal painting technique, environmental conditions, surface characteristics, paints employed, etc. No warranty is expressed or implied.

Magically Magnetic Inc. sells LYTLE Magnetic Photo and Art Frames exclusively, the smart, easy, fun, modern way to protect and display your favorite photos. They're the Original and they're the best. All LYTLE products are protected by US patent and copyright laws.

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