How to Make a Whiteboard Wall

Before we put our house on the market I saw a picture in a magazine where the bottom half of the wall had chalkboard paint, and the top half was mixture of peg boards and cork boards, the two half’s were separated by chair-arm railing.

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I liked it so much, I pinned it on my Pinterest board (which I can’t find now – I think that’s the one they took down), but fortunately I ripped it out of the magazine and pinned it to a real board for inspiration.

I had gone down the chalkboard path before and you know what I didn’t like about it? The chalk, all over my floor, on my hands, on the walls, clothes, where ever my kids got it…

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So I decided to go a different route and use IdeaPaint – White Whiteboard Paint and Rust-Oleum Magnetic Primer paint.  I love the results, but I wanted to share my learnings (and you bet I’d do it again!)

What I used:

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Here was my plan: I had several frames that have been sitting in my attic from my art gallery days that I just didn’t’ want to part with, so I pre-placed them on the wall with painters tape.  One of them, signified by the purple paper I turned into a Wall Easel for Em where I was able to reuse parts from her old easel.

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I didn’t want to loose where I’d placed the frames before I started painting, so I took a thumb tack and went along the tape line and occasionally poked the wall, leaving a nice trail of breadcrumbs.

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The first paint I used was the The Rust-Oleum Magnetic Primer.  It goes on black and requires a lot of stirring  – forget about hand shaking it, it’s is pretty heavy container!  Look at the metal clumped to the stir stick, it took me a good 5 minutes to stir it up.

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I painted two coats in the two smaller frames and in the 30 x 40 frame.

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Here is what it looked like after I painted the Rust-Oleum Magnetic Primer.

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Then I added a coat of white primer over the magnetic paint.

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Then in under 60 minutes I painted mixed the IdeaPaint – White Whiteboard Paint and painted the walls.  The instructions say that you have to move fast and put a nice thick layer on, and they weren’t kidding.  I had 80 sqft to cover, which used 2 -40 oz kits. There is no skimping on this product if you want it done right.  (You can probably tell, I did this in a day – the lighting gets worse and worse :) )


Em got a kick out of the magnets (I hadn’t revealed at this time that it was also a whiteboard wall- I was afraid she’d grab her regular markers).

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Here is what it looked like once I got the frames up.  I screwed them onto the wall so I didn’t have to worry about knocking them around and getting crooked.

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Then to top it off, I added this awesome 4 month whiteboard calendar (at the top so the kids can’t get it) for important dates that I keep track of for work.  And, so the kids would grab the right kind of markers, I added a mason jar of whiteboard markers in one of the frames (I’ll show that in another post as another Pinterest do. :))

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I LOVE the whiteboard, magnetic wall!  When I’m on conference calls I’m all about writing stuff down, drawing things out, getting the big picture. – My manager probably thinks I was kidding when I said I wrote down “Be Nice!” on my whiteboard. :)

I hope this inspires you to get creative with your space and walls – not only is this functional, but it’s art too – I just love my wall!!! It makes me smile every time I look at it. :)

  • Lynda Self
    October 7, 2013, 5:59 am

    Wow! That is so neat. I am really impressed.

  • faigie
    October 8, 2013, 2:49 pm

    This is real problematic you know…how can you not teach your children now not to color on the walls :)

    • October 23, 2013, 10:08 pm

      This comment cracked me up! I’ve used the “Magic Eraser” on at least two doors and multiple walls (and that was a sharpie! and then various markers and paint – Em is an artist in the making). If the Magic Eraser doesn’t get it off, then Kilz (found at Lowes/Home Depot/Paint store) and a coat of paint will.
      Thanks for commenting! Love the comment!!
      Stephanie from GrinningLikeAnIdiot.com

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    November 21, 2013, 8:52 pm

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  • November 24, 2013, 10:56 pm

    This idea seems great. Magnetic chalkboard wall seems a
    great way to have reminders, memos, bills and maybe some inspirational quotes
    in place. But it is just quite costly and laborious since you have to paint it many
    times just to achieve its magnetic effect.


  • Ty @ Mama of 3 Munchkins
    February 1, 2014, 1:41 am

    How creative! I bet my daughter would love this in her room!

  • Doodle741
    February 3, 2014, 7:27 pm

    SO SO SMART! I need to do this!

  • moscatomom
    February 3, 2014, 8:07 pm

    OH MY GOSH!!! I have to do this in my office!! That is so awesome!!

  • Jennifer @ My Sweet Sanity
    February 10, 2014, 1:23 am

    I love this because then it would be okay if my daughter colored on the wall with a marker.

  • December 22, 2014, 9:58 am

    That is UNBELIEVABLE. I live that you used the frames to define the space. As a professional organizer I like how you had everything designated (where the pens and chalk should be etc.). Great project. I’m wondering can I share this in a round up I’m doing inn January? Let me know ☺

  • Jason Spencer
    December 22, 2014, 4:32 pm

    Awesome ideas. Love this project and enjoyed your fresh spin on the whiteboard wall. Another, lower cost and great quality option for the paint is ReMARKable whiteboard paint – http://www.remarkablecoating.com I’ve used their stuff in the past, and it’s incredible.

  • maria @ close to home
    December 22, 2014, 7:43 pm

    I wish I had a bigger wall to do this one. IT is such a great idea to keep everyone organized in one location. Maybe I can do this above our new study area in our family room, not sure if the husband would agree to it. Great job.

  • Rochkirstin Santos
    December 22, 2014, 8:19 pm

    My boyfriend likes to write on a whiteboard so he can have a better visualization of his plans and thoughts. He should just have created his own whiteboard wall than bought one from the store. I liked how yours resulted as a very neat and creative wall with the frames in different patterns. Having a calendar posted there fits so everyone who passes by will be reminded of the day’s plans.

  • Paula Schuck
    December 22, 2014, 9:11 pm

    I love this idea so much! Not only would it boost the creativity of kids, but it would also be a great art wall. Hhhmmm maybe I should also do this on my kitchen wall.

  • Jenise
    December 22, 2014, 10:39 pm

    What a cute idea! I love that you did the entire wall, but then added the individual frames. I particularly love that top frame (the one with the calendar). It’s gorgeous. The kids will have so much fun with this and it’s a great way to put little reminders up for yourself.

  • Michelle Hwee
    December 22, 2014, 11:03 pm

    I always wanted to do something like this! I love the entire wall plus frames look! Looks great and so cute too! I really love the way the kids can creatively create whatever they want with this. It can also be great for educational purposes.

  • December 22, 2014, 11:50 pm

    This is very creative, I enjoyed reading each step didnt even scroll to the bottom to see the end result and continue reading I was just captivated and read it through. I hope one day when I have my own place I will be able to re-create something like this either for my growing blogs or for when they kids come.

  • December 23, 2014, 1:14 am

    I love the kid inspired artwork. It looks like your project has certainly added some warmth and fun to the home. Thanks for sharing this, I may attempt to give a try in my own home in the future.

  • December 23, 2014, 5:42 am

    This is so cool – I love it! How weird that you had pinned it and it disappeared… Do you think pinterest deleted the link? How awesome that you kept the magazine clip on a real live pinterest board of inspiration :) That top frame on the right is just gorgeous!

  • Melanie
    December 23, 2014, 9:28 pm

    Wow, that is fantastic. I’m not sure I could do that as I am not the worlds craftiest person. That said, I really admire people who have that kind of ability. This really makes that wall look amazing and such a great way to use the space. You have an eye for design for sure,