Why You Should Skip the Whiteboard Paint (with Pictures!)

Why You Should Skip the Whiteboard Paint

You’re thinking about revamping your old whiteboards or chalkboards with some of that whiteboard paint you've heard about, right?

Look at the difference between whiteboard paint from a real classroom with Hanson, our founder. 
Dont Paint Whiteboards with Whiteboard Paint - Walltalkers alternatives Dry Erase Paint substitute - YouTube

If you're more of a reader, keep reading! 

Before you grab a paintbrush, there's a few things you need to know about whiteboard paint. 

From a distance, it can sometimes be hard to tell what is a white board, vs whiteboard paint vs whiteboard film, etc. 

And while this isn't a totally fair comparison, I think this picture gives a great contrast between the whiteboard paint and Think Board. (The white board paint in this photo was about 18-months old compared to a 2-month old demo Think Board we put up for a math teacher.) 

Comparison of whiteboard paint and Think Board in a classroom

Obviously, Think Board is a whiter color and does a better job of brightening the classroom. 

Here are the main differences you can't immediately see.  

Whiteboard Paint tends to erase worse, have a 10x shorter lifespan, and peels and crack when compared to Think Boards. 

And I'll explain why below. 

1) It’s Just Not the Same Quality

Whiteboard paint, no matter how smooth you get that surface before painting, the end result just misses the mark(er).

That's because whiteboard paint is a liquid and dries into a solid.

If you're not very detail-oriented, you'll leave drops, drips, and bumps behind.
Texture is what makes whiteboard paint hard to erase and it's really easy to make a mistake with white board paint. 

At the very bottom of this article, you'll see a picture with tons of roller brush marks from a bad paint job. 

Whiteboard paints look great and cool when they are brand new but they tend to fall short when it comes to erasing—kind of the whole point of a whiteboard, right?

2) Peeling Problems

There's a durability issue. It's not much of a problem on walls. 
On a super smooth surface like a whiteboard, paint tends to not stick very well.

Whiteboard paint peeling from a smooth surface

Imagine going through all that effort, only for it to start flaking away.
It’s not just an eyesore; it’s a redo waiting to happen. 
It's worth it to do it right with a product designed to last. 

What's the Better Route?
Resurfacing Films

So, what’s the better option? We recommend (and this a totally-biased but honest opinion here), Think Board resurfacing films. Think Board goes over your old boards, smoothing out imperfections and leaving you with a surface that’s usually better than the original. It's like giving your whiteboard a whole new lease on life.
Our installers can come in, assess damage, clean up old white board paint and old whiteboard products before installing a new whiteboard over top. 

Think Boards are Easy to Install and Lasts Ages

Think Boards are super easy to install, and they last for 10 to 15 years in a classroom! (That's basically infinity in a regular home office.)

Plus, if you're a handy school admin/teacher, you can order a kit online and do it yourself in an afternoon. No fuss, no mess. We send you out the same toolkit we give our installers to make it easy. Check out Think Board's resurfacing films for a reliable solution. Here's a link to our install videos if you're thinking about giving it a shot! https://youtu.be/Ag_LVdMdk1w

White Board Paint FAQs 

How to Make Whiteboard White Again?

If your whiteboard has lost its luster and looks more grey than white, there are a few tricks you can try before going for a full resurface. Cleaning the board with a clean cloth, water or isopropyl alcohol can remove stubborn stains and restore some of its original brightness. This is temporary but important if parents are visiting the classroom! 

What Spray Can I Use on Whiteboard?

A good whiteboard should erase well with water and rubbing alcohol. Alcohol is the liquid in dry erase markers. Alcohol dries fast and leaves the ink behind. It shouldn't hurt the board. 

Can You Recoat a Whiteboard?

Yes, you can recoat a whiteboard, but whiteboard paint might disappoint you. Whiteboard paint often chips and peels quickly due to the board’s smooth surface. A better alternative is to use a resurfacing film from a reputable company like Think Board, which adheres better and lasts longer.

Can You Paint Over a Whiteboard?

Technically, you can paint over a whiteboard, but I’d advise against it. Paint tends to flake and peel. It also doesn't necessarily dry smooth, making the surface rough and difficult to erase.

Can You Use Paint on a Whiteboard?

You can use paint, but it's not ideal. Even skillfully applied whiteboard paint tends to chip and peel quickly when used in a typical classroom environment. Tape and magnets can do a lot of damage to white board paint. 

What are the Disadvantages of Whiteboard Paint?

White board paint has 3 main cons.

1) Poor adhesion to whiteboards which leads to peeling and chipping. Tape sticks harder to whiteboard paint than whiteboard paint does to a whiteboard. 

2) It's very dependent on the painter's attention-to-detail and surface prep when on walls. It's easy to mess up. 

3) Dry erase paint gets easily scuffed up especially on walls because a wall is softer than a whiteboard. 

Whiteboard paint with scuff marks and roller brush texture

Can You Put Chalkboard Paint on a Dry Erase Board?

You can, but similar to whiteboard paint, chalkboard paint probably won't stick well. It might not be a problem at first but you'll likely seeing peeling once you try to deep clean the chalkboard paint with some water. Avoid using strong tapes. Tapes can stick harder to the paint that the paint does to the white board.

What Kind of Paint is Used for Whiteboards?

Whiteboard paint is typically a type of epoxy or enamel paint that's designed to create a dry-erase surface. However, its effectiveness varies widely based on application and environment.

In short, while whiteboard paint might seem like a quick fix, it’s kind of a gamble.
Are you going to follow the directions to the letter and are you confident that you'll roll out the paint evenly? 

Whiteboard paint on a wall showing roller texture

(Yup, that's whiteboard paint on a wall. The paint roller left a lot of texture where ink gets stuck.)

Avoid whiteboard paint and stick with Think Board. 

With our resurfacing films, you’re guaranteed to get that smooth, durable finish that’ll keep your teaching space looking sharp and functional. 

Back to blog

Leave a comment

Please note, comments need to be approved before they are published.

Hear Directly From Our Customers