Saturday, May 21, 2011

Kids Fun Wall

I'm so excited to share my latest and greatest project with you! 

A magnetic, chalkboard, dry erase, 
with sliding ladder WALL!  
Wow that's a mouthful!!!!
But I think it all came together beautifully and my son LOVES it.......

Things I have always wanted to include in my Home Decor are galvanized wainscoting (that a friend had in their basement), a sliding ladder (from my favorite library) and chalkboard paint!! 

After seeing The DIY Show Off's sliding ladder and Attempting Aloha's homemade chalk inspired me to start a project and include all the things I LOVE.

This Art Activity Wall is on a 9ft wall in a hallway in front of my son's room

This project cost around $100. 
Here is what I used:
  • Homemade Chalk Paint ($10)
  • 1 Sheet of Galvanized Steel ($24)
  • Pipe and Fittings ($ 30)
  • 1x8 10ft primed board  ($15)
  •  Dry Erase Paint ($15)
Items we had on hand were wood and wheels for ladder.
Here are Steps 1-4:

Step #1: Painting
I made homemade chalkboard paint using white non-sanded grout and flat interior paint. I bought the grout at Home Depot for about $4.
I used Glidden's Tropical Lagoon for my upper wall.
Mix 2 Tablespoons of grout to 1 Cup of paint. The paint will be slightly gritty. I used 2 cups of  the blue paint and painted 2 coats on my upper wall.
I may be creative but I can't draw a straight line! 
So I cheat and use my handy dandy projector and some transparency paper..... 
I found this projector at my Habitat Store for $15! 
But I'm told that most libraries, schools or colleges will loan them out......
I search google images for ideas, printed them on transparency paper,
project them on the wall and traced.
Easy Peasy!!!
This takes less than an hour:-)
Next, I mixed a little grout with some of my craft paints. We are learning our colors so I painted the train, sun and trees in bright fun colors.
After the chalkboard wall was completely dry, I prepped by wiping the whole wall down with chalk and wiping clean.

Step #2: Magnetic Wall
There are many colors of steel....I used a 36" x 10' sheet of galvanized steel for  $23.30. I decided to use the sheet horizontal. Placing the 10 ft sheet on it's side saved money and  we only had to make one cut for my 9 ft wall.
 I always have my little helper with me:-)
We measured and marked the steel and cut with tin snips
Find studs, mark and screw in place.
We framed out the steel with a 1x8 and 1x1 board,
so no little fingers get cut on the steel
I painted both boards with Dry Erase paint.
Dry Erase paint needs to be mixed to activate and used with in 2 hrs. and you have to wait 3 days for it to cure....
I painted the boards, clouds, train windows 
and the closet door at the end of the hall with dry erase paint.

Step #3: Make Ladder
Mark two 4ft 2x4's and cut holes. 
We cut a  dowel, glued and clamped in place.

For less damage on our hardwood floors, we used rubber wheels and screwed them on sideways. 

We measured and marked the amount of tilt for the ladder and  cut holes

Step #4: Pipe and Fittings
We bought a 3/4" 10 ft pipe for $14.92. 
Home Depot will cut and thread the pipe for free!! 
So cool! 
To attach the pipe and allow the ladder to slid, you will need 2 of each:  floor flange,  nipple  and elbow. 
You will need the same size as your pipe. 
We used a 3/4" pipe but they come in larger and smaller sizes. 

Screw one end to wall, thread ladder and screw in opposite end.
I found it easier to paint the ladder while it was hanging...
 I painted the ladder in a chalkboard black. 
One felt tree and one chalkboard tree....
He will be able to draw apples OR pick apples!!
In my next post I will share all the adorable felt items I got from this Etsy shop...
There is so much activity and  learning in-cooperated in the wall:-)

 We have loooong winters here in Wyoming so this wall will provide lots of learning entertainment for years to come....

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