Someone sent me the link to IdeaPaint which appears to be a paint that turns any surface into a whiteboard. It looks pretty appealing, but I was wondering:

  1. Whether anyone here has ever used it and if so whether they are happy with it?
  2. What if I want my wall to be a magnetic whiteboard? What might I do to the wall (and how) before applying the whiteboard paint, to make magnets stick to it?

6 Answers 6


I'm not familiar with this product, but it seem like the thing that you're looking for...

  • Be fantastic if it can be used under dry erase paint! Commented Mar 28, 2011 at 10:40
  • My wife used something similar to this (it was put on with a brush, not in a spray can) under regular paint, and it worked fine.
    – KeithB
    Commented Mar 29, 2011 at 15:37

I haven't used Ideapaint yet, but my wife is a teacher and I have used other similar products before to make dry erase boards for her. I did notice a display at Lowes last week in the paint dept of a dry erase paint. I had to play with it, and it seems to work great. So my point is, you can stop by a Lowes and actually try it out and check competitive prices etc.

If you want a magnetic board, you have to use a ferrous back board. Something made of or has a layer of steel foil. Aluminum or stainless steel is not magnetic and won't work, so ask for a ferrous material.

  • 1
    I just saw Asaf's answer about Kyrlon magnetic paint. What a great idea! If this krylon paint can be used under the dry erase paint, you got a perfect combination. Guess we would have to read the krylon instructions carefully first. Commented Mar 28, 2011 at 10:39
  • hey, i've just googled a bit and found this... can't be any simpler then this :) Commented Mar 28, 2011 at 10:49
  • Will have to get ahold of some of these paints and try out the combo. May take me a while since I don't live in the US...unless someone beats me to it and posts their results:)
    – Zippy
    Commented Mar 28, 2011 at 12:12
  • 2
    From my experience, the magnetic paints don't work. You need so many layers that at some point, it's cheaper/easier just to get some sheet metal and paint that.
    – DA01
    Commented Nov 2, 2011 at 3:28
  • I agree with DA01. After a long day of putting up magnetic primer, only the large neodymium magnets were strong enough to hold up papers.
    – Arelius
    Commented Feb 1, 2012 at 8:07

I haven't used whiteboard paint, but I have used chalkboard paint. One note from this experience: The texture in any previous layers of paint is very significant if you're trying to write on the wall. The texture in this case was from a standard paint roller; it was quite palpable even after the chalkboard paint was applied. You'll want to apply primer to the surface in thin layers with a sprayer if you have access to one, or sand thoroughly if your surface is already painted and not smooth.

Also, drywall and layers of paint aren't very durable for day-to-day use. My low-use chalkboard is weathering fairly well. After 8 months of writing the last time someone took the dog out, there are wear patterns where it doesn't erase or take the chalk as well as it used to, but it's not chipped or worn through anywhere. I erase the times once a week. If you intend to use this frequently, consider choosing a different product. Most real whiteboards are on hardboard or steel backing layers.

The different option I'd suggest is to use tileboard. Here's a 1/8" thick 4x8 panel from Home Depot for $13. It's prohibitively expensive to coat your walls in commercial whiteboards, which run from $150 to $300 for a 4x8 sheet, but panelboard or tileboard is cheap enough to coat the walls in. (Some would argue that IdeaPaint is also prohibitively expensive, but that could be debated). You can mount the panels with screws, but it will bubble. You should glue it to the wall or to a thicker piece of MDF or hardboard that won't bubble. You can also get plastic strips that clip across the gaps to make the joints less obnoxious. After 14 months of fairly heavy use as a daily whiteboard in my home office, I can say that I'm quite impressed with this stuff and will never pay the ridiculous sums that others charge to buy real whiteboards.

  • I really like the chalkboard surface I painted on my basement refridgerator, but I might have use the chalkboard contact-paper had I known about it at the time.
    – skiggety
    Commented Sep 5, 2014 at 17:21

I once worked at an office that had a very large IdeaPaint wall. I didn't do any of the painting, but I did use the wall as a whiteboard. I was pretty impressed; it erases approximately as well as a real whiteboard, and has a nice bright white color.

When they first put it in, there were a lot of signs warning us not to use it yet -- apparently it takes a few days to cure, and if you use it before it's cured, you can stain it permanently. So, have fun but read the directions!


Rust-Oleum offers these two magnetic primers: here and here. I belive they can be used together with IdeaPaint.


I have seen systems like "Magic Whiteboard" used in the UK and have been very inpressed with them, not a paint but does the same job.

Magic Whiteboard is made from statically charged polypropylene film. It allows you to create a whiteboard from a roll anywhere, in seconds.

  • I've seen it in the US. Not for sale specifically, but my neighbor had brought a pack in from his office that he had found when cleaning up that they were no longer using.
    – Joe
    Commented Nov 2, 2011 at 13:46

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