Proper Surface Preparation for a Dry-Erase Painted Wall
Your Wall Must Be Smooth
One of the most critical parts of achieving a successful dry-erase paint application is providing an absolutely smooth substrate beforehand. Make sure that your wall is as smooth as possible prior to starting your application. This is one of the sometimes overlooked aspects of properly prepping a surface to be covered with premium dry-erase coating. Any holes, cracks, or cuts on the wall must be filled in with spackling paste, otherwise known as spackling compound, a plaster-like substance that resists shrinking and is formulated mainly for use in filling in smaller holes and other imperfections in drywall or plastered walls. If the smoothness is questionable after a thorough inspection, give the wall a quick sanding with some 220-grit sandpaper once you fill in any dents and holes with spackling compound, then wipe it off with a microfiber cloth. This step is so important we’ll say it another way: Make sure your wall’s surface is nice and smooth from top to bottom and from one end to the other.
The smoother and more regular your wall feels before the dry-erase paint application, the more attractive it will look and the easier it will be to write on and erase after the coating cures. To achieve a perfectly smooth surface, besides filling in all holes, cuts, and cracks, you’ll also have to eliminate any raised areas on the surface, such as lumps and divots, no matter how small they may be. Thus, you can guarantee that all writing and drawing you do on the cured dry-erase coated wall will look clear and that you can write and erase without leaving any missed spots. So make sure your surface is as perfectly even as possible because after your base paint and dry-erase paint dry, you won’t want to have high and low areas where dry erase marker ink can collect in the low places. This will cause minute spots to appear on your dry-erase surface that will be hard to erase, thus compromising the surface’s condition and requiring sanding and a new application.
Your Wall Must Be Dry
Make sure that any fresh paint on the wall has dried for at least 24 hours before beginning to apply the premium dry-erase paint. For example, if you have recently applied a fresh coat of ReMARKable Tintable Base Paint to your wall, allow it to dry for a minimum of one day before installing the premium dry-erase coating. Waiting this period of time for the base paint to dry is essential to avoiding problems with your dry-erase paint application, such as bubbling, adverse chemical reactions, and poor adhesion of the topcoat to the base coat.
Another issue that results from applying the dry-erase paint over an insufficiently dry base coat is wrinkling, which results from solvents contained in the wet base paint underneath attacking the topcoat above as they try to pass through, causing the coating to wrinkle and look unsightly. Should this problem occur, you will need to let the wrinkled coating dry thoroughly and then sand the surface with 180- to 220-grit sandpaper, depending on how severe the wrinkling is. Next, a second layer of dry-erase paint should be applied, this time allowing the base paint to dry thoroughly before applying the topcoat.
Besides making sure that your base paint is completely dry, it’s essential to monitor the moisture on the wall and in the room before applying the premium dry-erase coating. This is a vitally important step because next to dust, moisture and humidity are the arch enemies of good adhesion for all types of paints and coatings. If you need to get your surface dry in a hurry, you can use fans or a dehumidifier to accelerate the process. And besides making the surface perfectly moisture-free, it’s important to check for dampness in the air where you’re applying the coating because excessively humid air will also cause the whiteboard coating to adhere poorly to your surface. If the humidity level is high in the room, open the windows and doors to let the air move around freely and, in this way, lower the moisture level before starting the coating application.
Your Wall Must Be Dust Free
If your wall has just a slight bit of texture, you can simply use 220-grit sandpaper to lightly sand the surface until it’s completely smooth. Then thoroughly wipe down the wall with a dampened microfiber cloth followed by a dry microfiber cloth, and you’ll be ready to begin your dry-erase paint application. Using a pole sander, also known as a drywall sander, will make the job of sanding go much more quickly. A drywall sander is a tool with a long handle and a wide sandpaper holder that’s used for sanding plastered walls, hard-to-reach ceilings, and textured walls and for removing bits of paper, dried paint, old coatings, adhesive residue, loose plaster, and the like from walls prior to painting or coating.
After sanding, remember that with all types of paints and coatings, dust is the greatest enemy of proper adhesion, so be extremely careful to remove all dust or debris such as hairs, lint, and wood splinters from your surface before starting to apply the top-quality dry-erase coating. Microfiber cloths or mitts are ideal to use for this purpose because microfiber materials are capable of removing dust and other types of debris on a microscopic level, and due to their exceptionally fine fibers, they leave behind no lint or dust after use. In fact, studies have shown that when fabrics made of microfiber material are used as cleaning tools, 99% of all the bacteria present on a surface are eliminated, and the material’s electrostatic properties give it an amazing capacity to attract and hold onto the tiniest of dirt and dust particles as well.