Can You Paint a Whiteboard on a Wall?
You can paint the walls in your office, classroom, clinic, restaurant or other venues with top-quality whiteboard paint to create attractive, durable, and easy-to-use whiteboard walls. In this way you can avoid the need for low-quality framed whiteboards and save money by not having to periodically replace the boards after they become grey and dingy due to built-up dry erase marker stains. Whiteboard painted walls also offer many other benefits, such as great durability, eco-friendliness, easy erasability, and a bright, attractive appearance that will liven up any room where they’re installed.
If you plan to coat one or more of your walls with top-quality whiteboard paint, follow the essential steps below to guarantee you’ll end up with a successful application and enjoy many years of use, value, and satisfaction from your investment.
Carefully Plan Your Whiteboard Paint Application
You should start the application process by choosing the right whiteboard paint for the type of wall space you plan to coat and one that complements your room’s environment and interior decor. Choose the color you want your whiteboard wall to be and prepare the materials needed for your project. If you prefer the look of a traditional framed whiteboard, you can apply the white version of premium dry erase paint. Or, if you want to go with the paint color currently on your wall, you can apply the clear version of whiteboard paint over it. In the latter case, however, you’ll need also to apply a fresh coat of the type of paint that’s presently on the wall before applying the clear whiteboard paint on top. In this way, you’ll ensure better adhesion of the dry erase paint and a more even, durable, and attractive finish.
Measure Your Wall to Make Sure that Your Surface is Completely Covered
Carefully measure the area of the wall you plan to convert into a dry erase surface to ensure that you have enough whiteboard paint to cover it. It’s essential to avoid trying to “stretch” the whiteboard paint by spreading it out and causing it to be applied too thinly. If you stretch the paint, your finished whiteboard surface will show irregularities and won’t function as it should, so you’ll have to redo the application process. On the other hand, applying an adequate amount of dry erase paint according to the instructions supplied with your paint kit will result in a highly functional and durable whiteboard surface that will last for ten-plus years of use with proper care and maintenance.
Use the Right-sized Paint Kit for Your Surface
In light of these facts, starting your project with the right amount of product is essential. If you plan to cover a 50-square-foot wall, you’ll need to order a 50-square-foot paint kit, not a 35-square-foot kit, and then try to stretch the product to cover your area. It’s essential that you get the correct amount of whiteboard paint to cover your wall completely. Round the square footage up when you’re making the measurements. For instance, if you need to coat an 80-square-foot wall, buy a 100-square-foot paint kit to cover that area.
Also, before you begin your application, it’s essential to mix just the right amount of paint you’ll need and no more. So, when you measure parts A and B before mixing, you should avoid estimating the quantities, and as an alternative, use containers with volume markings. In this way, you’ll be sure to wind up with precisely the right amount of product to cover your surface. Also, it’s vital to carefully mix the two components of the paint formula for at least three minutes. The correct mixing ratio is 2:1 — one part of part A with two parts of part B.
Prepare the Surface for Your Whiteboard Paint Application
Carefully check over the entire wall to be painted and fill any holes, cracks, and low places you see in the surface with a spackling compound, which can be purchased online or at your local hardware store or home improvement center. After filling in all the required spots with a spackling compound, sand the entire wall with either 180- or 240-grit sandpaper, based on how rough or uneven the surface is.
During the prep phase, it’s also a good idea to apply a skim coat, a thin coat of diluted joint compound, to the surface at least once or twice and then prime any unprimed areas with a good-quality white primer. Applying a heavier skim coat will be necessary if your wall has a so-called “orange peel” surface type. In this case, you should first skim the entire wall with drywall mud, also known as joint compound, before applying a primer or base coat. The orange peel texture consists of tiny peaks and valleys that make it feel coarse to the touch, similar to the peel of an orange. When writing or drawing with a dry erase marker on this type of surface, the marker ink has a tendency to gather in the valleys or low points, resulting in an unsightly spotted look that makes markings harder than usual to see.
To prevent such an effect, be sure to smooth out the whole surface with a layer of drywall mud to fill in all of the irregularities. Then, after the drywall mud is thoroughly dry, sand your wall with 180-grit sandpaper, followed by a second round of sanding with 240-grit sandpaper until you’ve produced a completely smooth and regular surface over the entire wall.
Mask, Mix and Apply the Whiteboard Paint
Once your surface is smooth, thoroughly mask off the area you want to turn into a whiteboard surface. You can use masking tape for this purpose, but it’s preferable to use painter’s tape, because painter’s tape is easier to remove without breaking apart or splitting after the whiteboard paint has cured.
Avoid taking the painter’s tape into the corners of the adjoining walls when masking off the area. Instead, back the tape off about a sixteenth of an inch. It’s also essential to avoid dust or dirt on the places where you apply the painter’s tape. So, before you mask off, carefully wipe down the moldings, light fixtures, door frames, and other areas where the tape will be placed. A careful wipe-down with a moistened microfiber cloth is usually all that’s needed before the tape is applied. However, if the surfaces are filthy, clean them with a microfiber cloth dampened with an eco-friendly detergent and water. Then, wait for the surfaces to dry completely before applying any tape.
Next, mix parts A and B of the two-part whiteboard paint formula according to the instructions that came with your paint kit, and carefully apply the paint using a full-sized 9″ microfiber paint roller with a nap of 1/4″ or 3/8″. The paint kit instructions also describe the proper method for rolling on the paint.
Allow the paint to dry for at least 48 hours before using your new whiteboard surface. This will allow for complete paint curing and create a durable, impenetrable whiteboard finish that will last many years with normal use. When writing or drawing on your new whiteboard wall, use only eco-friendly, low-odor dry erase markers to guarantee that you produce clear, distinct lines and help the environment. Less expensive low-quality whiteboard markers that are not labeled “low odor” contain non-eco-friendly chemicals known as volatile organic compounds (VOCs) that can cause headaches, dizziness, and other issues, affect a room’s air quality, and severely impact the environment. They also tend to produce more faded-looking lines when used for writing or drawing.