DIY Sticky Situation
April 20, 2017 9:02 AM   Subscribe

Another home project, stuck in the final planning stages. I need to adhere two thin steel sheets to the inside of a couple cabinet doors.

My household finds itself in need of a magnet board in the kitchen. Sadly, the front of the fridge is not magnetized, and has been re-purposed as a grocery list with chalkboard contact paper. It's in a fridge...cabinet? Only about a 2" magnetic area is sort-of accessible on either side.
Instead, I have planned to get some galvanized steel sheets and affix them to the inside of two upper cabinet doors next to the fridge. The cabinet panel inserts are thin enough that a decent magnet can work through them.

I would be getting two sheets, either 18 or 20g, 13" wide x 29" long. I have no clue how heavy that would be.

What I need are recommendations on how to attach the steel sheets to the cabinet doors. I was willing to drill holes in each corner and affix with bolts, so all you would see is a small bolt head in each corner, but Mr. Objects nixed that idea.

Should I just get a permanent adhesive? What kind?
If not, is there another way to attach them so they could be later removed? I would like there to not be much of an air gap between the cabinet door and the metal sheet.

I did look into alternatives, like those peel-and-stick magnet sheets on Amazon, but they have pretty lackluster reviews on hold strength. I also looked at just getting a magnet board, but there's no real wall space for it in the kitchen, and I can get two steel sheets for less at a local metal shop.
posted by sharp pointy objects to Home & Garden (11 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
If a decent magnet will stick to the steel through the cabinet panels, could you just put some strong Nd magnets in the corners to hold the steel in place?
posted by nicwolff at 9:08 AM on April 20 [1 favorite]

First of all you want to make sure the steel isn't so heavy that it's going to weigh the doors down so much that they will be difficult to open or close.

For a permanent solution. I think any two-part epoxy would work. I'd take the doors off their hinges, lay them flat, and then put epoxy around the edge of the steel and at a few places in the middle.

For a less permanent solution, try using Turner's Tape. I use it all the time as a very strong way to clamp wood down. It's a very thin, very strong two-sided tape. I'd put it all around the perimeter of the sheets with one or two strips in the middle.

Honestly though, I'd think even the hold strength of the boards with lackluster reviews would be stronger than using magnets through wood like you're planning.
posted by bondcliff at 9:10 AM on April 20

A 13x29" 18ga galvanized steel panel will weigh about 5-6lbs. Depending on how the doors are constructed and what type of hinges are being used, that may cause the doors to sag.

I would use Gorilla Glue or other good polyurethane adhesive, and find or make some type of clip that will screw into the cabinet face frame and hold the sheet metal up. Something like this, for example.
posted by bradf at 9:16 AM on April 20 [1 favorite]

Can you post pictures of the cabinet/area ?

Friends had a flat cabinet end (with the counter top flush to it), and used corner-round (that matched the cabinet stain/color) to boarder and affix a metal magnet board. They routed a small lip in corner round that the metal fit in, and then attached the corner round w/ a finish nailer (and then touched that th enail holes etc)

It made the metal look like a door-panel on the end of their cabinet.
posted by k5.user at 9:18 AM on April 20

I know it's not ideal, but can you get over-the-door hooks like these, and set the metal sheet on the outside of the cabinet? You'll have the strongest connection to the magnet, and will do zero damage to the cabinets
posted by FirstMateKate at 9:23 AM on April 20

Not sure if I'm linking these right, but here are the only pics I have at the moment, from before we moved in. Picture 1. Picture 2.

The cabinet panel insets are seriously so thin that I worry about one of the teens accidentally kicking out one of them on the lower cabinets while sitting at the island.

That wall space next on the far left is currently being inhabited by the Calendar of Doom.
posted by sharp pointy objects at 9:37 AM on April 20

Are your cabinets painted or stained? If painted, there is magnetic paint, which you paint on as an undercoat and then repaint the final color on top.
posted by sarajane at 9:47 AM on April 20

Stainless steel foil is a thing, and the roll of it I have is as magnetic as ordinary steel.

I cut mine with tin snips, but a pair of ordinary kitchen shears would work as well, I think, but they'd need to be resharpened afterwards.

However, the cut edges are like razors, yet since you're planning to go through a metal shop anyway, you could ask them for a couple of sheets of it cut to size (with the edges dulled a bit).

But if I were you, I'd think in terms of mounting such sheets on the outside of the cabinets, where, if the reason your fridge won't take magnets is because it's stainless, they might match your decor pretty well.

For a very easily reversible adhesive, I'd apply a coat of high-melting paraffin to the cabinet (by rubbing it on like a crayon, say) and mount the foil over that using a hairdryer with the base of a drinking glass as a smoother, or with a clothes iron.
posted by jamjam at 10:08 AM on April 20 [1 favorite]

I'm surprised that the attraction through the wood panel is strong enough, but if you are satisfied that it is I'd use contact cement to attach the steel. You can ensure no air gap by covering the entire area, but if you ever want to remove them it will leave a mess.
posted by achrise at 10:33 AM on April 20

I mean thin gauge sheetmetal shouldn't be too heavy for your hinges but if it is, you could also upgrade the hinges since I'd imagine you'll be taking all the doors off anyhow to modify them...

Whenever I need something to stick to something else I go for a tube of PL adhesive... it comes in caulking style tubes and is available everywhere.

Be forewarned however, PL sticks and hardens like nobodys business to just about anything.
posted by some loser at 11:19 AM on April 20 [1 favorite]

To help us give you better answers:
1. What is your budget?
2. How reversible do you need it to be?

Here's another suggestion (not personally tested): paint with magnetic primer, then paint over that with regular paint.
posted by metaseeker at 6:50 PM on April 20 [1 favorite]

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