family calendar: magnetic/white board

February 27, 2008 at 8:57 pm 3 comments

Whiteboard with desk

I did a lot of web trolling before embarking on this project. I knew the magnetic paint had been well test and well received. The white board paint on the other hand has had mixed reviews and some alarming blog entries. Some whiteboard paint has to be wiped off within 24 hours or it becomes permanent. One web suggestion was to use shower fiberglass. Since I wanted a magnetic version, that wasn’t an option for me. In Lowe’s paint department I found a version put out by Rustoleum. I’m happy with the results but if you are going to homegrow your whiteboard I suggest you read the following tips first.

Whiteboard Closeups


  • Sand the wall. Sand it good, sand it real good.
  • Lots of coats. The paint can lies. It says 3-4 coats and they are full of crap. I put 10 coats of magnetic paint on. The stronger your magnets are the better.
  • You are under a time constraint. You have 2 hours to paint once you mix the white board paint together. Don’t make the same mistake I did and in the last 15 mins cake the paint on and walk away. Cake the paint on and check it every 2 mins and roll over it with a relatively dry roller to avoid dripping.
  • the framing of my whiteboard
  • Trim it out. Because the paint lines will never have clean edges (no matter how good a taper you are) it’s good to paint and fire up some trim around your board. I used leftover door trim I found in the basement.
  • Ink Jet printable magnetic paper is expensive. To save money, save the magnets that come for free on top of phonebooks. Sticker paper is a whole lot cheaper, print on it and stick it to the freebie magnet. You can use the magnets for every month things like: the days of the week, month name and reoccurring events (trash day) so you don’t have to rewrite it every month.
  • Hide all permanent markers. Guest are idiots and don’t read before they write. Mitigate your risk by not keeping any other markers but dry erase near by. Once I feel capable of drawing straight lines I’ll use a permanent marker to draw in my calendar grid.

Entry filed under: crafts, kids, organizing, things i do, things i made. Tags: , , .

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3 Comments Add your own

  • 1. bangaleh  |  March 1, 2008 at 5:20 am

    Please send pictures of product and let us know more your product.
    do you have roll white board?


  • 2. kathy  |  December 8, 2008 at 4:06 pm

    Your project looks like it turned out really well! I’m interested in doing this as well, but have a few questions.

    You mentioned that you painted 10 coats of the magnetic paint. How many coats of the dry erase paint did you end up putting on? Are you pleased with the quality of the rustoleum brand dry erase paint? Are you able to easily wipe off the dry erase pen markings or do you have to wipe it off within a short amount of time to avoid permanent staining?

  • 3. syddesigns  |  December 9, 2008 at 8:49 am

    Hi Kathy-
    To be completely honest, I recommend not using the dry erase paint. Here’s why:
    1.) Even though I put LOTS of coats of magnetic paint, it’s barely magnetic over the dry erase paint.
    2.) You only have 45 mins to apply the dry erase paint once you mix the solution together. So I was applying thin coats of paint so it would dry every 15 mins, then as time was running low I put a think coat on that caused it to run and made my surface uneven. This created spaces (potholes) so now in some places I can never erase the markers.
    3.) The surface does not clean well. I even bought the dry erase marker remover, doesn’t clean everything up.
    4.) Some colors erase better than other, brown and black erase well, everything else doesn’t, especially red. That may be also because I typically leave the marker on for the entire month.

    I am going to replace this over the next few month. I did some research prior and learned that the best solution is to buy a sheet of the material used in white plastic showers. (I can’t think of the material name). I hear it’s a flat surface and wipes clean every time. When I go ahead on this I will be sure to blog about it. I hope this helps.



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