Turn a Chalk Board into a Dry Erase Board

Turn a Chalk Board into a Dry Erase Board

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McPhystal writes in about turning a chalk board into a dry erase board… –

I’m a teacher and have been trying to convert old classroom chalk boards to dry-erase. I’ve tried epoxy spray paint, Krylon, and many other types of paint. I found that the best thing to do is to use oil-based/HIGH GLOSS paint to resurface the board. Essentially, the HIGH-GLOSS paint has very little porosity and does not allow the surface to be penetrated by minor solvents such as Dry-Erase Markers. I would use the following steps for converting a chalkboard to a dry-erase board…

  1. Prepare the surface with 400-Grade Sandpaper (you can use a lower number, but the surface will become increasingly coarse)
  2. Thoroughly dust the surface WITHOUT water (water will make any imperfections swell up, and you will have to wait for the board to dry [about 24-hrs] and re-sand the area)
  3. Apply a quality oil-based primer to the surface with a spray gun or aroller (allow full drying time as stated on paint can instructions).
  4. Apply two coats of the HIGH-GLOSS paint with a spray gun or roller and make sure to follow the reapplication instructions.
  5. Be patient. You need to give the paint about 2 weeks for the chemicals to bond well enough. It seems like a lot of work, but it’s actually quite cheap compared to a real dry-erase board.

Please keep in mind that this is for a permanent fix.

MAKE: Blog: $20 Dry erase board – Link.

7 thoughts on “Turn a Chalk Board into a Dry Erase Board

  1. Anaiya says:

    Excellent idea. Thanks for posting it! Have you tried to use any of that magnetic paint as a base coat to make a magnetic dry erase board out of your old chalk boards?

  2. roh1 says:

    I work at edding Legamaster a manufacturer of dry wipe boards in the Netherlands. and i can tell you that those painted steel boards arn’t as dry-wipeable as enamel-boards. We also sell painted boards, but allways advice to use a special spray, while on a painted surface mostely you will get vague traces of the ink.

    antother tip with dry wipable boards:
    Sometimes some clever people uses permanent markers on a whiteboard. it won’t wipe of… what you can do is, take a boardmarker and write over the lines your colleague :) just ruined your whiteboard with… and here comes the magic… just wipe it of with an ordenairy wiper or piece of cloth! try it, you will see.


  3. wdancer says:

    I used to work at a lumber yard and we sold 4ftx8ft sheets of dry-erase board (basically high-gloss white wall paneling) for about $50. Put a border around it and PRESTO! A dry erase board you can mount on a wall. I am planning on putting several panels in my garage for sketching.

  4. onebitpixel says:

    This is a great idea and if you need to repurpose you can just repaint. If you wanted to make portions of it magnetic you could use the rustoleum magnetic liquid paint…

    Back at this one start-up company I worked at, we put up several 4×8 sheets of “dry-erase boards” (available at blue hardware store or orange hardware store) from floor to ceiling on all sides of the room. worked real well to map out and flow large architected websites and software applications.

    At the end of the conference table we had a giant roll of recycled craft paper (brown paper bag stuff) that we could unroll out onto the table to do concept sketches on as well…

  5. TubaChuck says:

    At our school they glued white shower walls to the chalkboards. It has started to wear out for many of the teachers though.

  6. ZoomaZoomaZoom says:

    placing dry erase overlays over old chalkboards is an excellent idea and can make a worthless eye sore on the wall become a productive object with possible eye candy.

  7. Lisa says:

    Does it have to be oil-based paint? Has anyone else actually tried this? I am a teacher and would be doing this in my classroom, and I don’t want to permanently ruin my board.

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