I headed to my trusty Home Depot to find pegboards, which came in 2 foot by 4 foot sheets and were either unfinished, or with a cool, silver finish. I bought 2 sheets of silver pegboard for $3.29 each. I also bought several kinds of latches, for a couple bucks each.
I decided to leave my pegboard uncut to save time & effort, but I wanted to paint it to spruce things up. I used painters tape to map out stripes and used plain craft paint available from Michael's or just about any craft store. I realized as soon as I started painting that the shiny pegboard would need a primer for the paint to stick. Luckily I had some Kilz, in an easy spray can. I sprayed the stripes and was able to paint over them within 30 minutes. After the colored paint was dry I applied a clear gloss finish. I thought about using a magnetic primer and then painting the whole board, but at $20 it was more money than I wanted to spend on this project. It's a great idea though - you paint the primer on just about anything to turn it into a magnetic surface so you can use cute magnets with it.
Thanks to the unexpected early arrival of my husband from work on Wednesday, I was able to haul the MDF boards out of the boys' room and to the back porch. I toiled in the heat to paint them the same color as the walls (with hopes of blending in). And thankfully they were dry enough to put back before bedtime.
The first order of business the next morning was to attach the MDF sheets to the wall so little monkeys couldn't pull them down. One of the boards I attached with a latch that my husband or I could easily remove in the event of a fire or other emergency. I realized I needed the wall to be level with the board so the halves of the latch would match up, so I cut a small piece of MDF and mounted it to the wall above the board, attaching it to the stud. But first I screwed the top half of the latch to the small piece. A word to the wise - don't screw or drill into things while they are resting on your wood furniture. And don't tell my husband that the two small holes in the top of the dresser are from me! I'm blaming it on the 2 year old. Here's what it looks like now, working latch and all. And no, I will probably never get around to paining that other piece of MDF, but you never know.
I found some good advice at On The House, with info on using plastic spacers to mount your pegboard, rather than the traditional wooden strips used to create an empty space behind the board. I didn't think about it, but it makes sense - you need room to install the pegs. The spacer is just a little plastic cylinder, about 0.75 inches long. I bought pegs that came with spacers, but found the spacers by themselves at the hardware store too.
Since I had dead space behind MDF boards because of the window I decided to bolt the pegboard just to the MDF. So I drilled through the MDF with my trust green drill, slipped a bolt through the pegboard, then through the spacer, then through the board. I added a lock washer and a nut, and voila! If you don't know what these terms mean, I plan to do a glossary of tools and hardware soon - keep checking back. I attached the board in 6 places and it's secure enough I withstand a 2 year old hanging from a peg. I can't vouch for the 2 year old though. AFTER I bolted the pegboard on, I screwed the MDF board to 2 studs, at the top above the window.
I bought two packages of assorted pegs and hooks, trying to get ones with a rubber protector over the end, to avoid gouged-out eyes and other bodily injuries. I chose these because they have little plastic clips that you put over the installed pegs that keep them from falling out. In my case, I'm hoping those clips keep the 2 year old from pulling all the hooks out.
I am thrilled to finish this project, and am not planning to do more for the time being. But... it's not really as great looking as I imagined. Of course, when this is what you're going for, disappointment is bound to happen. Maybe I'll get to some additions and finishing touches, like framing, sometime in the future. I must admit everything looked a lot better once we hung things on the pegs. And the boys love it!
I wanted to add some corkboards in addition to the pegboard, but I don't quite trust my 2-year-old with sharp pushpins. That's the understatement of the year. Maybe in a few years. Check out Nesting Place for some beautifully covered corkboards the Nester did for her kids. I've attempted this before, but never with the beautiful results Nester gets. But I'm thinking of trying again for my office/craft room/sewing room/baby's room (for another 6-12 months). There are several rooms ahead of that one on my redo list, but I'll get there.
This project was part of Boo Mama's Before and After. Click on over to see other great projects around the house.