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Adventures With Dry-Erase Paint

November 26, 2012

After laughing my ass off at prices for larger whiteboards, I decided to request, for my birthday, Rust-oleum’s dry-erase paint. According to the box, this paint will cover up to 7’x7′ when one applies the recommended, two coats. That’s a lot of dry-erase surface for $20; my last, crappy whiteboard, which was small enough to mount on the back of my door, was $25 at Walmart. Oh, yes, and it had cardboard backing, which is anything but ideal in this part of Texas (humidity, you know).

Even though I’ve painted walls/ceilings only a few times in my entire life, this turned out to be easy and very close to idiot proof. Rust-oleum prints the instructions on the outside of the cardboard box so, before I left the paint department, I knew what I was getting into. My whiteboard is an awesome, 48"x40" surface that goes from the corner to my bookshelves; it’s large enough for me to write an entire, flash-fiction story on it if I’m so inclined.

Different surfaces call for their own preparations. I used a sheet of drywall because a) my walls are textured and I loathe sanding because, even with a mask, the fine particles send me straight to Allergy Hell; and b) if I completely screwed up with the dry-erase paint, I could just take down the drywall and try again on the other side. (After Rust-oleum’s paint cures, you have to sand it off before trying again. Oh. Hell. No.) Oh, and c) if I really want, I can take this whiteboard with me. If I can be bothered. Maybe not.

The drywall was an unfinished surface so, per Rust-oleum’s instructions, I applied latex paint first. The next morning, I was ready to create my dry-erase board, which took only a couple of hours and turned out very nicely for an amateur’s efforts.

A few notes that you might find interesting:

  • Rust-oleum’s two-part compound, when mixed, is rather thin. I had some drips and splatters, which didn’t bother me—I’d done a fairly good job of protecting the surfaces I didn’t want to paint.
  • In most cases, you’ll use two coats, applying the second one 20-30 minutes after the first. If your surface is darker colored, plan on using three coats.
  • The paint can run even if you’re applying thin coats, so have a foam brush on hand to touch up those drips.
  • Rust-oleum’s Web site states that the paint needs two days to cure; the box recommends three. I went for three, which probably wasn’t necessary but didn’t hurt anything.
  • If you want a magnetized whiteboard, Rust-oleum sells a base coat that will do the trick. I’ve never used this, so I don’t know how strong the magnetic surface ends up being, but it’s a nifty idea.

After the dry-erase surface cured for three days, I noticed that it was a little rough, unlike the commercial whiteboards I’d always used before. However, that hasn’t been a problem; the dry-erase markers and pens write almost as well as they do on more-expensive whiteboards. It’s more than good enough for my purposes, which are limited to words—I’m a writer, so my board’s for scribbling notes, deadlines, and other, relevant information.

This is probably user error, but colored markers don’t completely erase unless I bust out the whiteboard cleaner to remove the faint traces that the rag doesn’t erase. (Yeah, I use a rag. Because Tubbylicious kept getting the whiteboard eraser and hugging it, which filled it with cat hair. I got tired of that and just chucked the thing. And yes, the cat is mad because that was, apparently, her super-special object that I cruelly took away. Never mind the fact that this room is full of her crap, from annoying jingly balls I step on at three a.m. to a stupid scratch pad that’s little more than corrugated cardboard.)

Black markers, on the other hand, completely erase; I’ll just stick to those, as I’m fairly lazy and don’t care that much for colored markers anyway.

Overall, this was worth the few hours or so I spent on the project and, of course, the twenty bucks one of my sibs spent on my birthday present.
Dear FTC: I didn’t receive any compensation for writing this review.


From → DIY, MeMeMe

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