Using Magnets to Mount Drafting Film

February 14, 2016

I’m testing out an idea for mounting polyester drafting film by using magnets instead of adhesive. One of the most popular posts I’ve made was regarding the use of drafting film for drawing and painting, but an open issue has been trying to find the best way to mount the finished work. Acrylic gel or double-sided tape works okay, but I’m still looking for other methods. Using magnetic strips might be a good alternative.


I saw a craft idea on a friend’s Facebook page about how they made their own note board using magnets and sheet metal, and that started my brain gears spinning on this idea. At the local hardware store (Lowe’s) I picked up a roll of magnetic tape, and a sheet of galvanized metal. The tape is 1/2″ by 10 feet ($4,) and the metal is 2 x 2 feet, 26 gauge ($11).


Because the tape is so thin, it doesn’t have a lot of magnetic strength, but was still good enough to hold the film sheet vertically without it moving. I shook the metal very hard and it didn’t budge. In the picture above you can see it holds well even upside down. The tape has adhesive backing that I can stick to the inside grove of a frame or the back of a mat.

The sheet metal is a little heavier than 1/8″ hardboard, so you’d have to anticipate some extra weight. There is a product called magnetic primer which is a paint that has iron flakes mixed in to allow magnets to stick to it. The hardware store didn’t carry it, so I’ll have to track some down elsewhere. If it works as well as this sheet metal, then I could paint it on a lighter weight backing surface that’s easier to cut and cheaper.


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