Dry Erase Paint – Comparing the Benefits of Clear vs. White
When it comes to dry erase paint, many people wonder what are the exact differences between the white (aka. Whiteboard Paint) and clear (aka. Dry Erase Paint) versions. The answer is that the clear and white versions are made with exactly the same basic ingredients using exactly the same formula; however, the white version has a titanium white tinting medium added to it during the manufacturing process, hence its white color. That said, the cost of producing the white version of the paint is higher. In terms of endurance and performance, both the clear and white versions are also identical to each other. However, some differences between the specific benefits of the clear and the white versions of top-quality dry erase do exist and will be presented below.
The Substrate for Clear Dry Erase Paint
Since it is completely transparent upon drying, the clear version of premium dry erase paint may be installed over a substrate of any color, preferably a light, pastel, or mid-toned color such as white, baby blue, lavender, or yellow. Whatever color you choose, the paint used as a substrate for the dry erase paint should be of high quality and possess a satin or eggshell finish with only a minimum number of additives such as anti-microbial agents and anti-flow or rheology agents. In cases where the clear dry erase paint is used, the underlying paint’s color will not be affected.
For a Uniform White Look, Coat all Four Walls with Whiteboard Paint
This feature is especially desirable in rooms that are painted white because hundreds of shades or gradations of the color white exist in the market. And if the white version of dry erase paint is applied to a wall in a room where the other walls are a different shade of white, a slight difference between the look of the dry erase wall and that of the other walls will become evident. For example, the dry erase wall might look to be bright white in tone, and the other white walls in the room might look slightly gray-toned or slightly yellowish in relation to the white tone of the dry erase wall. Consequently, the dry erase wall will stand out. For some people, such a look is acceptable or even desirable. They may want their dry erase wall to be noticeable and in contrast to the tone of their other walls. However, for many others, having all of the walls in a given room look similar is desirable. For this reason, if you want your dry erase wall to look just like the other walls around it, it’s best to install the clear variety of premium dry erase paint.
The Substrate for Whiteboard Paint
Unlike the clear version of premium dry erase paint, the white version must be applied over a base coat of white paint, meaning any tone of white that is obviously a bright type of white and not off-white, tan, pale yellow, or some other shade. This will allow the whiteboard paint to be applied in only one coat, as it is designed to be. If any color of paint other than white is used as a base coat under the whiteboard paint, the base coat’s color is likely to bleed through to the top coat of dry erase paint and make the finished surface have an irregular appearance, with some areas looking darker than others.
Many people nowadays are looking to resurface their existing whiteboards or chalkboards with dry erase paint, and if you plan to do so, several options exist.
Creating a White Surface
One option is to start by applying a top-quality primer and base coat all in one. For example, ReMARKable’s Base Paint. This product is of a white color that’s a bit softer or less intense than the white color found in white premium dry erase paint. So, if you want a less bright white surface on your refurbished whiteboard or chalkboard, you can apply a coat of the base paint and then follow that up with a coat of clear premium dry erase paint. And for a brighter, more intense white surface, you can apply the white version of the dry erase paint over the Base Paint.
Proper Preparation is Essential
Either way, remember to make sure that your whiteboard or chalkboard is perfectly smooth, clean, and dry before application. Using a dry microfiber cloth or sponge will allow you to remove all traces of dirt, dry erase marker ink, or chalk dust from your surface. Then apply two or more coats of base paint in order to achieve a perfectly smooth surface, and wait three to four hours between each coat. Next, when the final layer of the base paint has been applied and the desired level of smoothness is achieved, wait another 24 hours and put on either the clear or white version of the premium dry erase paint. As mentioned, the white version of dry erase paint will produce a slightly brighter, more intense white tone than the clear version. This is so because some dry erase base paints feature a more muted shade of white than that of the whiteboard paint.
Creating a Colored Surface
Another option for refurbishing a whiteboard or chalkboard is to paint it in a color other than white, perhaps to match the color of the walls in the room where it’s being installed. In this case, you would first need to apply a high-quality primer, either oil or water-based. On a chalkboard, the first coat of primer would seal up the board’s highly porous surface and begin covering its dark color. On a whiteboard, the primer would create adhesion to the surface and allow the other paint that goes over it to stick without peeling or chipping. After letting the primer dry according to the required drying time specified by the manufacturer, you would apply two or more coats of a good quality brand of paint in any color you choose.
Fyi: The “Whiteboard 101” tab on the ReMARKable company website contains a list of quality eggshell- or satin-finish paints that you could use for this purpose.
The painting process will be complete when, after applying two or more coats of paint, the surface is perfectly smooth and attractive. Then after the paint has thoroughly dried, you can proceed to apply a layer of the clear version of premium dry erase paint over it. And after it is applied, the clear dry erase paint will help preserve the paint’s original color beneath it for an indefinite period of time and will also resist yellowing, peeling, and cracking for ten-plus years of everyday use.
Both Clear Erase Paint and Whiteboard Paint Make Walls Stronger and Easier to Clean
Moreover, coating walls with either the clear or the white version of premium dry erase paint makes the surfaces of the walls much more resistant to damage from objects being bumped against them and the like. Actions that would typically dent or otherwise damage a regular painted wall are less likely to have an effect on a dry erase painted wall because the finished surface is much harder. In addition, the extremely resilient nature of a dry erase painted surface makes it difficult for objects to punch through it.
This hardness also makes dry erase painted walls easier to clean because they don’t grab dirt and hold onto it. A thorough wiping with a dry microfiber cloth is all that’s required to remove all traces of dry erase marker ink and dirt. Periodic maintenance with a microfiber cloth and water or an eco-friendly whiteboard wall cleaner are also necessary to keep your wall spotless and ready to use at all times.