Which Whiteboard Base Coats Will Work Best?
The proper choice and application of a quality base coat and appropriate preparation of your surface beforehand are the keys to successfully installing top-quality whiteboard paint and enjoying many years of easy, trouble-free use afterward. Whiteboard base paint is the ideal choice to use as an undercoating for high-quality whiteboard paints, as it was designed specifically for this purpose after many years of research by top-notch teams of chemists. When choosing a base paint, those with a flat or matte sheen should be avoided, as should paints containing antimicrobial agents, polyvinyl acetate, and several other chemicals. Also, allowing for a dry time of 24 hours with the base paint is essential to avoiding issues with the application of premium whiteboard coating.
Avoid Flat Paint
A high-end base coat such as a base paint and primer in one that is specifically made for use with whiteboard paint is always ideal for applying as undercoats for quality topcoats. You could also use some type of high-quality water-based enamel with a satin or eggshell sheen. Some manufacturers use the term satin, and others use the term eggshell, but water-based enamels with either name produce pretty close to the same type of sheen. Satin enamels have a slightly glossier sheen than eggshell enamels, meaning that they are somewhat more reflective of light, but satin enamels do possess some amount of luster. Either way, these types of enamels are just absorbent enough to serve as appropriate base coats for clear and white whiteboard coatings.
However, you will want to entirely avoid the use of a flat or matte paint as a base coat because paints with these types of sheens are too absorbent and will cause the whiteboard paint topcoat to soak into the surface, thus negatively affecting the finish of your cured whiteboard coating, and in turn causing difficulties with the appearance of your surface and with writing, erasing, and cleaning.
If you plan to use a base paint other than a proprietary base paint and primer in one, which is highly recommended for this purpose, we advise using Sherwin Williams Super Paint in a satin finish; Sherwin Williams Duration in a satin finish will also work pretty well. Whatever alternative base paint you choose, you will want to be sure that the paint is of good quality and does not contain modifiers, antimicrobial agents, antifungal agents, flow modifiers, defoaming agents, or any of the other additives. As these additives dry, they give off hazardous chemicals called volatile organic compounds (VOCs) as gases in a process known as “off-gassing,” which requires air to work. And since most premium whiteboard coatings are impervious or airtight and do not breathe, this release of chemical fumes will cause bubbles and otherwise react negatively with quality whiteboard paints, resulting in a compromised surface that will be hard to write on, erase, and maintain.
Avoid Polyvinyl Acetate
In addition, be sure that the base paint you choose does not contain the chemical compound polyvinyl acetate (PVAc), which is a common ingredient in some less expensive base coats and functions as the film-forming component in various types of water-based latex paints. Many base paints used by commercial paint contractors contain large amounts of this chemical, so be wary of the base paint that might be applied to your walls if you’re planning to have a professional painter install the whiteboard coating in a commercial building or other venue. PVAc can have a highly adverse chemical reaction with whiteboard coatings, so base paints containing this compound should be avoided. Check with your paint supplier about the ingredients of the base coat you plan to use to make sure you avoid this chemical and the other additives mentioned above.
Prep Work Matters Most
No matter what you do, it is important to purchase a base paint that is of decent quality because your base coat and the care you take in doing your prep work matter with regard to the writability, erasability, and overall quality and appearance of your finished whiteboard surface. A good quality base paint and the proper preparation procedures provide the foundation for a long-lasting whiteboard surface that is easily written on and erased. For this reason, you want to make sure you have excellent adhesion of the base coat and a completely smooth and well-sealed surface so that the whiteboard paint works as well as it possibly can. If your base paint is inadequate or your surface is not sufficiently smooth, and even before the application of the topcoat, the usefulness and appearance of your whiteboard painted wall will be compromised, and the surface will need to be recoated if issues with writing, erasing, and effective cleaning become too severe.
It’s also important to remember to avoid applying quality whiteboard coating directly over a primer because the above-mentioned process called “off-gassing” will occur, whereby gasses that need contact with air are released, and this will cause a problem since the better whiteboard paints are impermeable, and the gases will get trapped under the topcoat and try to escape, resulting in irregularities on the whiteboard coated surface and subsequent problems with the process of writing, erasing, and cleaning.
The ideal base coat to apply is a high-quality proprietary product like ReMARKable Tintable Base Paint, which will guarantee that you have a perfect foundation for the whiteboard paint topcoat. Thus, it’s the highly recommended undercoat for both the clear and the white versions of premium whiteboard coatings. The formula of the better tintable base paint and primers in one was specially developed by chemists to be the ideal undercoat for use in preparing your surface for applying whiteboard coatings. Therefore, it’s the product we advocate above all others for this purpose.
Superior eco-friendly base paint/primer is the outcome of sustained and intensive research and development on the formula of a paint that would best play the role of substrate for whiteboard coatings. Thus, quality base paint/primer and whiteboard paint are specially designed to be completely compatible. Also, the better base paint/primers’ ingredients will stay consistent and will never adversely react with whiteboard paints. In comparison, the low-end formulas of base paints made by other companies are changed periodically, so it’s impossible to tell if their products will interact poorly with premium coatings. For this reason, to prevent bubbles coming from the off-gassing of inferior base paint, the leaching of the whiteboard paint into the base coat, and other problems stemming from the use of potentially inadequate alternative products, it’s always best to install the best base paint/primer before applying premium whiteboard coating to your surface.
Dry for 24+ hours
Once you’re all finished with the application of your base paint, allow the paint to dry for a minimum of 24 hours before applying the whiteboard paint topcoat. Frequently, the most difficult part of any renovation, such as applying a basecoat and a whiteboard coating, is waiting for the paint to dry thoroughly before attempting to use the surface. However, it’s important to adhere to the 24-hour drying period for the base paint because it allows the gases in the base coat enough time to dissipate into the air so that they won’t interfere with the application of the topcoat. If you attempt to install the whiteboard paint before the base coat is thoroughly dry, the whiteboard paint will have a runny, uneven surface upon drying, and this will create an unsightly look and make writing, erasing, and cleaning difficult.