How fun is a good DIY whiteboard? I freaking LOVE THEM. My kids love them too and honestly, they are so useful for so many things. But most of them are kind of ugly. And they never feel big enough! When I was redesigning my home office over the last month I came up with a brilliant solution that solves both of those problems.
I am so excited to introduce you to the next big thing in DIY whiteboards. May I present: the whiteboard wall mural!
Did I just blow your mind? Do you want to make your own? Here’s how…
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DIY Whiteboard Wall Mural Step 1: Choose Your Mural
Well, duh. Except, you can’t just choose any mural that catches your eye. In order for this project to work well, you need to be able to read what you write on it. In terms of what to look for, the design should:
- Have some large open fields of light color. They can have pattern or texture as long as the contrast is low so you can read what you write on top of it.
- Have one or more sections of visual interest. This balances the “blanker” areas. If there’s no visual interest, what even is the point of doing this, right?
Keep in mind how you will use your whiteboard wall. Will you have a lot to write? Make sure there is enough functionally “blank” space. Do you just want a little area to write, “Buy milk,” or a daily inspirational quote? Then you only need to account for a small blank space.
I designed my mural with enough space to track work goals and tasks, as well as for brainstorming and impromptu notetaking. In other words, I needed mostly blank space.
To accommodate lots of scribbling, most of my wall mural is taken up by pale, ephemeral clouds that can be written right over, and two pale pink clouds that I can use as callouts for anything important I want to remember or keep top of mind. The birds are my visual interest.
See? There’s a method to my madness. Mostly π
You don’t need to design your own, of course. I found a bunch of ready-made murals that would work perfectly. Keep the above guidelines in mind and you will find one that works beautifully for your needs.
Here are a few options to get you started:
I made a whole collection for you π
DIY Whiteboard Wall Mural Step 2: Hang Your Mural
It’s important that you hang this as smoothly as possible with no air bubbles or only a few small ones that don’t bug you if you just can’t get rid of them.
Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for hanging or check out this great blog post by Young House Love that lays out the steps really well.
After installation, wait 24 hours before moving onto step 3 to be sure no new bubbles crop up. If they do, I found that poking them with a pin then resmoothing the bubble to release the air works pretty well in most cases.
DIY Whiteboard Wall Mural Step 3: Paint Over the Mural
Finally, this is where the magic happens. Time to turn this into a whiteboard using the dry erase paint!
VERY IMPORTANT THINGS:
- Triple check to be sure you bought CLEAR paint, not white. Accidentally painting your mural white at this point would suck. The clear will look white when you mix it but will dry crystal clear.
- Make sure you bought enough for at least two coats. The wallpaper will absorb a small amount of paint, which is why you want the extra coat at minimum.
- Each kit covers 50 square feet, so multiply the width of the area you want to cover by the height, then double that number to determine how much paint you need.
- Example: my wall is 8 feet wide by 7 feet tall, so I needed to cover 56 square feet. Double that number to account for doing two coats, and you get 112 square feet. I went with just two kits since my number was close, but I am strongly considering adding a third coat to cover some thin spots.
- Set aside enough time to finish painting without interruption. The paint needs to be activated by dumping the contents of the small can into the big can. After that, the paint is only good for 90 minutes. The paint rolls on very easily so it goes quickly, but you can’t put it aside then come back to finish later.
Keeping all that in mind, start painting! Just activate one kit at a time, and allow each coat to dry for 30 – 45 minutes before adding the next coat. In my case, I rolled a full kit to cover the wall, waited 45 minutes, activated the second kit, rolled that. Done and done. By far the easiest step of the process.
DIY Whiteboard Wall Mural Step 4: Wait
This might be the most crucial step of all. YOU HAVE TO WAIT. The paint needs to cure for a minimum of 3 days, but I would even go so far as to allow 5 if you added more than two coats.
If you write on your board before the paint has cured it will be ruined.
The marker won’t wipe off and you will be very very sad. I don’t want that for you.
DIY Whiteboard Wall Mural Step 5: Write!
You did it! Your whiteboard is beautiful and ready to write on. Invite your kids in to play — they’ll love that they can actually draw on these walls. Just make sure they know that it’s just THIS wall…
P.S. Only use dry erase markers on this. Regular markers will not wipe off (sad trombone).