As part of moving into my house, I had big dreams to finally create my ideal office. Even though part of that fell through when the cooling for my datacenter window air conditioner in my office had to be removed, I still had high hopes after being stuck in a few apartments that allowed minimal modifications. In this day and age, what does every good office have to have? A white board (or dry erase board), of course! With that in mind, I went looking. I thought we had found the ideal solution. We were going to be repainting the rooms anyway, why not use this Rust-Oleum Dry Erase paint and make the white board whatever size and dimensions desired? One box can covers a 7′ x 7′ area. There was also the benefit of no shipping costs. It was almost too good to be true.
And as they say if something is too good to be true, it probably is… I cannot recommend using the dry erase paint. It’s a great concept but I don’t think it’s quite there in execution. Rust-Oleum actually makes three similar different types of paint: A magnetic primer, chalkboard paint, and the dry erase paint. On Amazon, only the chalkboard paint has an average of positive reviews while the other two are sitting on the lower side of things.
Using the Rust-Oleum Dry Erase paint is certainly a learning experience. You get to feel a bit like a mad scientist, or at least a kid with a chemistry set again, because of how the paint works. Inside the box, you’ll find two cans with one being larger than the other. The larger can is only about 2/3 full. You pry off both cans’ lids and pour the smaller can into the larger one. After giving it a stir, you can pour it into your paint tray.
The first thing you’ll notice is that the paint is runny. It complicates the painting process, necessitates greater caution for drips, and lends itself to splattering the wall surrounding your “white board”. The box recommends doing at least 2 coats and using a foam roller. Since I was doing less, only about 7′ x 4′, I was able to do about 4 coats.
Unfortunately, I used a standard roller instead of the recommended foam roller. It still seemed to go on well. The only problem was that a few places trapped some lint under the paint, probably one bump per 6-square inches. This made for less than smooth writing but it was still a usable dry erase board, drying with a hard and glass-like coat. The true problem came with the opposite of writing; trying to erase just didn’t work easily. Using a paper towel or cloth rag and lots of elbow grease made some progress. Using a bottle of hair spray actually allowed us to get most things off but having to do so much work anytime you wanted to erase something just seemed like too much work and made you carefully consider what was written because you knew you’d have to erase it eventually.
After giving up on the dry erase paint that now marred the office wall, I decided the best thing would be to cover it up with an honest to goodness real dry erase board. Nothing beats the real thing, right? I still wanted a large board because I had the wall space and wanted to be able to readily use it. Shopping around, we decided on this 6’x4′ magnetic dry erase board.
This board wasn’t without complications as the first one we received was mangled and bent inside a nearly perfect condition box. (Explain that one to me.) All’s well that ends well and over the course of a few weeks we were able to return the defective one and get a new one that was in great condition. I mounted it on the wall the day it arrived and it looks great!
Since the dry erase board we painted was a few inches wider than the board we bought, we also mounted four 12″x12″ square magnetic bulletin boards with a natural wood coating on it alternating with corkboard. The boards each come with a dozen magnets to hold papers but they also play nicely with magnetic poetry.
If you’re not too concerned about the board being magnetic, it actually looks like this Quartet white board would be a better deal and have a bigger brand name backing it. I’m satisfied with the board I have mounted on the wall next to me and feel like it’s definitely a step closer to that ideal office I’m picturing.